I have battled Rheumatoid Arthritis for over a decade now. The onset of the disease occurred at the same time as being prescribed the incorrect medication for a Vitamin D deficiency.  My original symptoms arose from overachieving at work and not setting enough down time recognize my stressors and motivators.  The DiSC profile has helped me identify them, and coaching others with their DiSC profiles over the years has helped me to recognize trigger points and work to have more flexibility in my schedule by depending more on others.

Living with arthritis over the course of several years has helped me be more aware of the triggers that cause major flareups, stress being a major example.  Looking back over the years, I have seen that processing and deciding upon matters too quickly (rather than sleeping on them to gain a new perspective) has caused me unnecessary stress. Learning to control my behavior and communication style has not only improved my health, but also advanced my business careerNow that I am better, I can help others when they are their own worst enemy (as I once was) or when they are facing one of life’s stressors.

Back in 1967, Holmes and Rahe developed an assessment called the Social Readjustment Rating Scale, the purpose of which is to quantify major stressful life events.  They awarded a “Life Change Unit” to each of the 43 listed stressful life events depending on how traumatic it was felt to be by a large sample of participants.

You can determine your total number of Life Change Units today by going back over the last twelve months of your life and checking the listed events that occurred in your life and adding up the total score.

If you have less than 150 life change units, you have a 30% chance of suffering from stress.

If you have been 150 and 299 life change units, you have a 50% chance of suffering from stress.

If you have over 300 life units, you have an 80% chance of developing a stress-related illness.

Mindtools Career Center has an updated version of the test you can take online at their website.  It is fun to compare the modern version to the original, especially with the listed ‘stress’ of a $20,000 mortgage.  We wish!

This week a candidate of ours had to delay accepting a job because his doctor had recommended that he not add any new stress to his life at this time.  We knew he was a right match for the company because the employer completely understood the situation and left the door wide open for the future.  Both communicated to have each other’s best interests in mind.  Moreover, a new employee should be able to fully concentrate on getting up to speed with their new job, and an employer hires new employees to be fully dedicated to their new employment commitment to do so.

Oftentimes we meet candidates seeking to change employers in order to make more money specifically to overcome a recent or ongoing challenge, such as family issues, relocation costs from their last move, or a bad investment.  We have even spoken with people who want to make more money because they are aging and “need to think about it now”.  None of these are good reasons to switch jobs, and a lack of planning on your part is not an existing or new employer’s responsibility to solve.

Most of the items on the assessment are not directly involved with work, but nevertheless affect your work. Although construction is an inherently stressful industry, if you can master and apply the well-known saying that “Life is 10% what is dealt to you and 90% how you react to it”, the stress of your job will not kill you. Most everyone in our industry chooses to be there, and the commitment level is generally greater than the corporate 9-5 world.

If you want to learn more about your stressors and motivators, give us a call.  Taking the DiSC assessment will spell them out for you and provide you with tips on how to communicate more effectively and eliminate stress-inducing ambiguity. Then you can focus on ways that work for you to navigate your life and be the best you for everyone you touch at work and home.

One of my favorite songs I play when I am stressed is “Breathe, Just Breathe” by Johnny Diaz.  We have included the video below.   I hope you find it as much of a reminder to take a step back when stress is stealing your best you.

Too Blessed to Stress,

Suzanne Breistol


1 Comment
  • Danny

    I’m very happy to be able to see this report and read it thanks because sometimes we forget and get consume I. The daily situations at work and forget how hard stress hit are bodys , the jobs will be there and we can be replace in a minutes notice !

    I’m also suffering from rhemautoides arthritis and I have to remind my self of controlling my emotions my temper and how to deal with people thanks

    Can you send me more information about this

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