Sunday, January 22, 2020

More Press Cuttings

According to Time magazine, increasing mindfulness through meditation produces beneficial physical changes in the brain:
Everyone around the water cooler knows that meditation reduces stress. But with the aid of advanced brainscanning technology, researchers are beginning to show that meditation directly affects the function and structure of the brain, changing it in ways that appear to increase attention span, sharpen focus and improve memory.
Brain scan studies appear to show definite improvements in concentration and mental energy: good news for anyone who has to cope with sudden, unexpected demands or work long hours to meet a deadline.

Angela Patmore, a British author, has written a book called: The Truth About Stress. Her view is that stress is mostly hype. Peter Leo, writing in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, summarizies her views as:
…stress is a myth and … the "stress epidemic" of the last two decades is "not only bogus but deeply harmful to society. Rather than encouraging individuals to confront routine concerns and thus overcome them, it turns them into 'sufferers.' " In short, life is, uh, stressful. Stop whining, and get on with it.
Professor Cary Cooper, a British psychologist doesn't agree:
It's silly to say that stress doesn't exist. It's always been in the human condition. Sometimes the pressure reaches a point where we can't cope. That's not debatable, it just is the case.
Ms. Patmore does have a point though when she writes:
"If the problem is bad management, poor training or overwork, calling it 'stress' can lead to the action necessary to improve the situation not being taken."
Writers at the University of Passau in Germany have tackled burnout with typical Teutonic thoroughness. What they say about organizational causes makes interesting reading:
Three things are associated with burnout:
  • role conflict: A person who has conflicting responsibilities will begin to feel pulled in many directions and will try to do everything equally well without setting priorities. The result will be the feelings of fatigue or exhaustion associated with burnout.

  • role ambiguity: The individual does not know what is expected of her. She knows she is expected to be a good career person but is not quite sure how to accomplish this because she has no role model or guidelines to follow. The result is that she never feels that she has accomplished anything worthwhile.

  • role overload: The individual can't say no and keeps on taking on more responsibility than he can handle until he finally burns out.
If you aren't certain whether you're burned out or not (How does that work?), offers you an on-line test to find out. Queendom claims to be: "… an internet magazine with a difference: We provide an interactive avenue for self-exploration with a healthy dose of fun." They offer scores of different tests, if that's what fun means for you.

If you haven't already completed our survey, please take a moment to do so. We're closing in on 200 respondents, and the more responses we can get, the more impact we can make when we announce the results. Just use this link.
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