Many businesses place great emphasis on trying to deal with workplace stress. The challenge is that many employees and bosses sometimes have trouble in leaving their outside problems at the door when they arrive at work. It is often these outside stresses and frustrations that end up creating stress at work. It is also true that things you do outside of work can also help you better manage work stress.
We have always joked how uptight bossed are in desperate need of a good roll in the hay but now Swiss research is proving that physical intimacy at home can drastically reduce your stress levels at work…
One such study reported in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine measured the levels of stress hormone (cortisol) in 51 working couples who were living together, most of whom were married. Over 1 week, participants kept detailed records of their daily activities, including instances of physical affection with their partner, and collected saliva samples so that the researchers could measure the daily fluctuations in cortisol levels.
In general, the researchers found that the more physical affection that the couples reported in a given day, the lower the levels of stress hormone.
Interestingly though, the study’s lead researcher, Dr. Beate Ditzen of the University of Zurich in Switzerland, refused to recommend that people express more physical affection and intimacy per se but “to find activities that creates positive feelings for both partners”. But according to her own research that activity that creates positive feelings for both partners and lowers stress hormones is physical affection!
To me the researcher’s failure to encourage physical affection despite her own research results highlights how hard it is for some to show physical affection for the partners. In a society where images of violence are freely displayed yet zealots object to displays of love and affection it is no wonder everyone seems stressed.
I say it is time for everyone to lighten up. Before you go to work be physically affectionate to your partner. If that means you end up having sex, well good luck to you. If not, you can still give your partner a beautiful warm, loving affectionate embrace. Not just a momentary obligatory squeeze. Embrace with meaning. Put some emotion into it.
While you are at it, give your kids a great big loving hug. Give the dog a hug as well. The lower stress hormones occur because it feels nice going off to work knowing that someone loves you no matter what happens today at work. It’s having that little skip or bounce in your step that can be that intangible factor that is the difference between a sale or not.
Give a hug to someone you care about today.