Unchecked stress can be devastating to anyone's performance in any profession, including, of course, those who work in the demanding, super-competitive world of business.
Now, a new book, the 58-page The Stress Solution! by David A. Weiman, Psy.D., of Wynnewood, reveals proven, practical ways business executives can manage stress and reduce its limiting effects on performance.
"Although work-related stress and burnout is practically an epidemic, there aren't many resources that tell people what to do about it in a concise way," he says of the reason why he wrote the book.
"Since I have a background in both business and psychology, and an interest in stress management, I wanted to fill the gap that existed for practical resources that teach how to effectively deal with stress," explained Weiman, whose interest in the subject began in high school, where he was an athlete, as he was in college.
"I was curious about why I seemed to do well under a moderate amount of stress, but under too much, I didn't perform well at all. Of course, I learned that stress is both physical and psychological, and that too much of it derails even elite professional athletes - and that it affects everyone.
"Sports and business have a lot in common," he observed.
In the book's introduction, Weiman writes: "Reports from major health services and surveys in business publications regularly report alarming statistics about the health consequences of chronic stress, and the cost to organizations of stress-related absences, accidents, poor productivity and morale problems."
When he wrote The Stress Solution!, the person he had in mind, Weiman stated, was working hard in either a one-person operation or for a huge corporation, and feeling that despite how hard one tried, more work didn't get done.
"Secondarily, the book was intended for people who aren't yet burned out, who want ideas and strategies for making sure they don't get to that point," he added. "It's good for inoculating people against stress."
Part of a Planned Series
The book - which bears the subtitle The Complete Guide to Winning in Business Without Sacrificing in Life, and is the first part of the author's planned "The Executive Essentials Series" - is concise and information-rich. (Next in the series: Lifestyle Marketing, produced with attorney, success expert and Weiman business partner David Frees.)
The book's workbook set-up incorporates "checklists, work sheets and other tools to help people identify the sources of stress in their work lives, and plan action steps for handling them. The best way to use it is to start at the beginning and work all the way through it, because each section builds on the one before it," said Weiman, who has been conducting stress management/reduction seminars for corporations for more than 10 years, and also does one-on-one consulting.
At the end of the book, he said, executives put together an action plan of steps they can implement in a variety of areas to ensure they're also getting enough enjoyment out of life.
Early drafts of the book were reviewed by physicians, other psychologists, a career counselor, human-resources executives, attorneys and others, who had valuable input into the manuscript, acknowledged writer Weiman.
One reader's comments about the book really stand out, he noted. They came from a busy woman executive who was so stressed and overworked that she stopped eating breakfast with her children.
She read in the book that one way to reduce stress is to get back to doing something once considered pleasant. She realized that was eating breakfast with her kids.
"She started eating breakfast with her children the very next morning after reading the book, and said she got a huge emotional lift from that and brought it back into her life," said Weiman.
"It showed her also that one of the keys to having a balanced, successful life is making sure all of the roles we play are being fulfilled, and that each one of us can take simple actions to restore the balance to those roles. It doesn't take weeks or months. It can happen in the moment in which we make the decision to do it."