3 Simple Ways To Deal With Stress At Work

3 Simple Ways To Deal With Stress At Work

You sit there staring at your computer screen.

This brief pause helps you from pulling out your hair and screaming.

Dealing with stress at work is feels like a gentle punch to the face and a knee to the stomach. It hurts. It’s painful. And it leaves a bruise.

Each stressful blow knocks you down. Some days it’s hard to get back up.

In the world of aircraft maintenance, it’s AOGs, order issues and unreliable vendors. Or maybe it’s your boss putting piles of paperwork on your desk.

Weekly Aviation Round-up: The Future of Airline Seat Reclining

Aviation Weekly Roundup

The best aviation stories from this week. The future of airline seats, Dynamic Airways fire, Jetblue drops cargo, and how to reduce your stress.

Never Forget Your: Quote

"You can teach a monkey to fly an aircraft, but not to fix it." -Unknown

[Tweet "You can teach a monkey to fly an aircraft, but not to fix it." — Unknown #avgeek #quote "]

Never Forget Your: News

The Future of Airline Seat Reclining or Not — "To recline, or not to recline, is a troublesome question. Recent events in the U.S. air travel market prove that it is a volatile issue for some passengers, leading to aggression onboard."

Dynamic Airways Fire Caused by Faulty Fuel Line Connection — "While initial reports based on eyewitness accounts attributed the source of the fire to be the aircraft’s left Pratt & Whitney JT9D engine, investigators have not found any evidence 'of an engine uncontainment' or other failure.”

JetBlue Drops Cargo Business to Add More Human Cargo on Each Plane — "JetBlue officially got out of the cargo business about a week ago, and one of the factors leading to that business line’s cessation was the airline’s move to place”

Shaheen 737 Heavily Damaged During Landing — "A Boeing 737-400 aircraft operated by Pakistani carrier Shaheen Air International has suffered severe damage upon landing at Allama Iqbal International airport in Lahore.”

[Tweet "Check this out #aviation #news..."]

Never Forget Your: Relief

How To End The Day After A Stressful AOG —  Stress is common and a big part of your aviation life. It grabs you tight, suffocating your every move. Most days are made up of you scrambling to resolve the next urgent issue. One after the other. Try these tips...

Take 10 Relaxing Steps Now —  You're stressed we know it. A stress free life is a healthy life so do us a favor...

[Tweet "Try these #stress reduction tips for #aviation nuts"]

Never Forget Your: Events  

Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition

  • November 17-19, 2015
  • Las Vegas, Nevada

9th Annual Flight Operations Conference 

  • December 1-2, 2015
  • Rome, Italy

MRO Latin America 

  • January 21-22, 2016
  • Lima, Peru

[Tweet "Know your #aviation events. Here's the upcoming ones..."]


How To End The Day After A Stressful AOG

Stress is common and a big part of your aviation life. It grabs you tight, suffocating your every move. how To End The Day After A Stressful AOG

Most days are made up of you scrambling to resolve the next urgent issue. One after the other. Urgent and more urgent.Your aircraft blew 3 tires, debris cracked your windshield, and your toilet valve jammed. You have the pressure of resolving these issues or being blamed for the downed aircraft. The stress beats you up, day in and day out.

Wouldn't it be great if you could accepts these stressful times and still be able to relax and prepare for the next day?

It’s possible….

Never bring chronic stress home

Bringing stress home is inevitable, it happens. I do it all the time. It’s very difficult to divide the two and no matter how much you try to escape it, it will follow you. Stress in its most basic form is healthy. On the other hand chronic stress kills you. You make bad decisions and it makes you anxious, tired, and wore out.

Control your chronic stress. It’s the fastest way for you to become unhealthy, tired, and unmotivated. It’s even a faster way to upset your home life.

Watch the sunset

Getting away from stressful events is key to giving your mind a break. A well deserved break. A great way to do this is to go somewhere quiet and watch the sunset. There’s something tranquil and amazing about it.

While you watch it set don’t worry about the next AOG, or what vendor really makes your life difficult, just be present, you and the sun. As the sun sets for one more day think about what you’re grateful for.

Spend an hour in nature

This is one of my favorites. Sit outdoors, breathe the fresh air, and surround yourself with green trees. If you’re in a big city, get on the roof top.  When you get back to nature it has a natural calming effect. It gives you the ability to clear your head and be present in the moment. Something that can be lost in the 24/7 aviation hustle and bustle.

Exercise, meditate or do yoga

Yoga and exercise get’s oxygen flowing through your body. When you’re stressed, you’ll need more oxygen. You don’t have to be the next bodybuilder, just do a quick exercise (even in your office) and get the blood flowing. Don’t over complicate it. Just get moving.

It’s not quite exercise but meditating helps you to eliminate the chatter in your head. It makes you be present and quiet the noise with everything else you have going on. Do a quick 5 minute meditation in your office and it’ll do wonders on your stress.

Take an epsom salt bath with lavender

This may sound funny to you but it really works. Fill your bathtub up with hot water and pour in a cup of epsom salt. Then add 1 - 2 drops of lavender oil and immerse yourself in tranquility for 30 minutes. The epsom salt will help relieve stiff and sore muscles while the lavender oil helps you relax.

Turn the lights down, listen to music, and enjoy the company of others

Once the sun sets turn down your home's lights. I prefer candlelight as it helps prepare my mind for bed. Blue light at night suppresses the secretion of melatonin which then affects your quality of sleep. Reduce the light overload and chill out with dim lights and music, and get together with the people you love most.

Aviation is stressful, there’s no doubt about it. You feel overwhelmed, high pressure, and high demand. The best thing you can do for yourself is de-stress and unwind after a long day. This will only help you be more awesome the next day.

P.S. At Skylink, it’s our mission to take the stress out of aviation. We have several programs to do just that.  Fill out the form below and speak to the best Account Manager in the industry.

How Aviation Affects Your Home Life & How To Manage It

Commercial aviation! An industry that never sleeps and when it doesn't sleep, neither do you. It’s a constant sleep with one eye open moment. How Aviation Affects Your Home Life & How To Manage It

AOGs, failed components, vendor issues, you name it, you deal with it. It’s an ever revolving cycle of important and urgent.

The constant demand of aviation inevitably trickles into your personal life. Your life at home. Your life on the weekend. 24 hours, 365 days a year.

Yet we LOVE this industry. We are able to hug a loved one living 6,000mi away in under 24 hours. Such a marvel that's unachievable without amazing, hard working people to support it.

As amazing as this feat is, it’s stressful trying to keep up with the high, 24/7 demands. A stress that inevitably affects your life at home. Or maybe you're even asking, what life at home?

That leads me to a perfect story. In Q1 we had several airline partners that got stationed in another country to oversee their aircraft C checks. One in Jordan, the other in China. These projects took them away from home, for 45 - 60 days. During this time, we stayed available 24/7 to help support them. Even our VP had to deal with certain activities late on weekends and during his business travels abroad, not to mention the daily late night calls. Everybody involved worked 24/7 with the pressure felt every day. But who more than our partners who got pulled from their families and stationed in another country for months.

But that’s what it takes and that’s why we love it.

The world of commercial aviation is growing. It won’t stop. Well, until we can teleport to another country or a drone picks us up and drops us off. But for now, airlines are the key to global transcendence.

Aviation affects your home life and always will

Since you work in aviation you bring your work home. No need to guess, I know it. Your cell phone is tied to your hip and the calls and emails never stop.

The 5 top things I hear from my airline peers on how aviation affects their lives are:

  1. AOGs keep them awake at night. Losing sleep or being woke up in the middle of the night is common.
  2. Unpredictability keeps them on edge.
  3. International support makes them have to manage different time zones.
  4. Constant pressure of prices, lead times, and quality.
  5. They often feel they have to babysit support partners.

You love this industry and so do I. Managing your home life and aviation is possible. You’ll never stop the collisions of work and home, but you definitely can manage the stress that goes along with it.

Manage your home life

One of the biggest triggers on why aviation affects your home life is how you manage stress. The second trigger is that you’re relying on the wrong people to support you. The third trigger is the strategies you currently use are not supporting you efficiently enough.

Stress isn’t a bad thing. It keeps you on your toes and agile. It’s the chronic stress that you bring home that affects your life the most. It reduces your energy, hurts your brain's performance, and makes you miserable. Nothing to brag about. We’ve talked about stress in detail before. The first step you need to take is by getting your stress under control. It’ll help you make better decisions and give you the energy you need to perform in this never idle industry.

Who do you surround yourself with? Are your partners after your money or there to create valuable solutions? Answering these questions is important. The people you rely on the most  may not be the best for your situation. They could even add more stress and chaos to your life than you need. Sit back in your chair and think about the people you work with daily. Colleagues, suppliers, and MROs. Is there people who create more stress for you than others? Their job is to help create solutions. If you find they create more problems, figure out a way to replace them and surround yourself with people who create “wow” experiences.

The strategy trigger is the most difficult one as it relies on big change. A good example is from one of our airline partners. They fly at high altitude and approach landing over a mountain. This puts constant demand on their aircraft so AOGs are frequent. Their past strategy was buying AOG components as needed.  They relied on their leasing partner to provide the spares, yet 2 countries away they only took their money and provided no solution to reduce their AOGs. This didn’t help anyone's stress levels. A better solution we proposed was through our pooling strategy. We would guarantee stock for AOG, no-go components 24/7. They no longer had to “wait” for AOG support. They also didn’t have to tie up cash into supporting their own costly inventory. A simple win/win that nearly eliminated the primary stresses because a trusted partner  understood them and the value they needed. Look into your own strategy and think of the problems you currently have. Can they be resolved another way? Can you rely on a trusted partner to help you achieve this?

These are all very important questions to answer.

Aviation will continue to affect your home life, but it’s how you manage the two that will create the happiness you so well deserve.

Reduce your stress, surround yourself with good people, and take on value based solutions.

P.S. We understand the value you deserve which is why we are on a mission to create “WOW” experiences. The programs we offer here are to make your life easier. Fill out the form below and one of our top notch team members will be in touch immediately.

Dealing With AOGs & Eliminating The Stress Induced Trauma

AOGs (Aircraft On Ground) are no fun? Dealing With AOGs & Eliminating The Stress Induced Trauma

It’s the 3 letters that keep you up at night. It’s the 3 letters that make your hands sweat and your heart race. It’s the 3 letters you hope to never hear again.

AOGs are apart of our commercial aviation world. There’s no hiding from them.

You can accept them, deal with them, and minimize them, but you’ll never eliminate them.

Money Is Lost Every Second

No matter if it's an AOG now, or an AOG 7 days from now, time is money.

When an AOG occurs, you spend thousands of dollars in lost revenue and spend hefty fees to resolve the nagging problem. You become vulnerable. Many suppliers smell the AOG desperation from a mile away. And don’t forget about your freight forwarder. They’ll happily accept your 1 day transport request at a rate 200%+ more than routine freight.

This is why you get so stressed.

There’s a lot of money at stake and for you to get it right is imperative. The cold hard truth is things don’t always go according to plan. 

You resolve the problem but then your supplier cancels or your order get’s stuck in customs. Whatever it is there’s hundreds of potential variables that could delay you getting what you need. 

Resolve Your Stress Before You Resolve The Chaos

I have seen so many mistakes made in a stressful state. 

Just this week we shipped 5 parts for an AOG order to one of our partners, but under his stressful state he AOG shipped the wrong order and forgot to process the right AOG order. A silly mistake with incredible consequences. 

He was so stressed that he completely overlooked what was necessary for him to do. This is why work related stress training is so incredibly important. It’s imperative you manage your stress before you manage your AOG. 

If you read this blog often you’ll know I talk about managing stress a lot. Stress in aviation is costly. Being able to think clearly and make quick decisions is paramount to you and your fleets success.

Here are a few quick tips to control your stress on the spot, anywhere:

  • Take a 4 second deep breath, hold for 8 seconds and exhale for 16 seconds. Repeat this 5 times and only pay attention to your breath.
  • Close your eyes and smile. Think about something that makes you laugh or someone you love. This may sound silly, but trust me the psychology behind it works.
  • Go outside, preferably where there is trees and fresh air, and be grateful to be alive.
  • Do a quick 10 minute office workout.

Once you get your heart rate back into a normal state (your heart rate increases the more stressed you are) the better you’ll be able to handle the AOG situation that’s in front of you. You’ll make better decisions, you’ll rely on trusted partners, and you’ll avoid falling for tricks and false promises.

The Top Tip To Deal With An Aircraft On Ground Situation

You’ve heard it all. Quite possibly some of it came from us or here on this blog. Stock more, stock less, tap into a pooling agreement, lease your inventory, pool your safety stock, relay on a Just In Time strategy, whatever it is…you’ll continue to have AOGs.

The best tip to resolve this is simple but often times so overlooked. Work with a partner that creates a “wow” experience for you…99% of the time. I know this sounds way to easy but it makes a huge difference. When you feel like your supplier is a direct subset of your operation, you know the relationship is beneficial.

They help you resolve the problem night or day. They’ll solve it directly or find some way to come up with a solution, either way you benefit from a “wow” relationship and trusted support. You don’t have to do it all on your own.

All too often I see airlines fall victim to false promises and when they realize it, it’s too late. They've wasted time and money.

Lean on someone you trust and that creates a “wow” experience for you. Trust me on this, it makes all the difference in the world. Plus, it's more fun working with someone like this anyway.

P.S. We deal with AOGs every day. Send me an email here and tell me what your AOG problems are. We’ll then begin to help you reduce your stress, resolve your AOGs, and create the “wow” experience you deserve.

How To Properly Scrap A BER Aircraft Part

Have you ever scrapped a BER aircraft part? [CLICK TO TWEET] aircraft-part-scrap

You probably wonder what the MROs procedure is to properly “scrap” it.

Or more likely you wonder if they actually scrap it.

Questions race through your mind like what piece parts did they keep, did they turn around and sell the BER core for a small fee, what exactly happened to your unit?

These questions are normal.

It’s common for MROs to have a field day on your piece parts and that's why we created this video for you:

Properly scrapping an aircraft part

Getting rid of a BER aircraft part is easy.

Best of all you get to keep the good piece parts.

In this short video we show you one way to get rid of your BER unit.

Check it out:

As Skylink’s professional actors, Alex, Colin, Ron and Mark show you smashing your unit is an effective way to scrap your BER part.

Or you can cut it in half, burn it, melt it, soak it, or whatever option you chose as long as there’s no possible way it will ever be returned to service.

The best part is, you’ll relieve all sorts of aviation stress.

This is one reason we have partners from large national airlines to small regional operators taking advantage of the value we create in our repair program.

We know how to scrap, we know the value in piece parts and we know how to relieve stress.

Did you enjoy this video? Do you wish you could relieve stress like this? Comment below.

The Best Way To Relieve Stress & Avoid Overwhelm

This article was first seen on To see original article, click here. Stress is like the older brother I never had.

He beats me up, teases me, and takes my food when I’m not looking.


Just last month he beat me up really bad. Our email host, Bluehost (terrible), had an issue which resulted in our Virtual Private Server (VPS) being shut down for 24 hours. What this meant was no emails going in and no emails going out for Skylink.

Talk about stress. I was frantically panicked doing everything in my power to yell and scream to get our emails back. The stress lasted late into the night, 12 am to be exact.

I was mentally beaten up, and decided to go to bed.

In the morning our emails were back and the stress was over.

Sleep is one of the best ways to relieve stress. [TWEET THIS]

No, it didn't magically make our emails come back to life, but it did give my mind the ability to chill out and refresh.

Why sleep is so important

Sleep and stress have a hateful relationship.

When you’re stressed, you’re not sleeping and when you’re not sleeping, you’re stressed.

In several research studies (here, here) disruptive sleep affects stress responsivity.

In other words when you're not sleeping your tolerance for stress goes through the roof.

When you get quality sleep your memory improves, quality of life rises, inflammation subsides, creativity increases, attention sharpens, weight is healthy, stress is manageable, depression stalls, and the list can go on and on. Should I continue?

One of the most critical ways to relieve stress is to just sleep it off.  Now, this is easier said than done. If you have sleeping problems, or just need better quality of sleep, put a couple of strategies in your sleeping arsenal.

Prep your sleep sanctuary

Your sleep sanctuary is your bedroom. It’s the royal grounds of your life.

This is where you recover from being a human. This is where the life altering changes during sleep happens. Sleep less and be miserable, or sleep well and live well.

Here are a few strategies you should adopt today:

  • Eat a few hours before bed. Give your body time to digest.
  • Limit your fluid intake a couple of hours before bed.
  • Black out your shades. No light should come in to your room from the outside, your phone, alarm clock, TV or any other device. Completely black.
  • Make your room nice and cool. Research says 65°F but that's too cold for me.
  • Get ear plugs and block out unnecessary noise.
  • Turn your phone on airplane mode and turn off all WiFi connectivity. This will cut your EMF exposure and help create a sleep sanctuary.
  • Reduce your blue light exposure at least 2 hours before bed. No electronics. I like to use candles after 9pm.

Sleeping well may not be normal for you, while stress is.

It’s about making conscious efforts to change bad habits and promote higher quality of sleep.

Your stress level is depending on it.

Do you sleep well? Are you always stressed? Comment below and share your sleeping habits.

Simple Strategies To Overcome Stress With Exercise

This article was first seen on To see original article, click here. I have a scary visual for you. Did you know that 7 out of 10 adults in the United States say they experience stress or anxiety on a daily basis?


This isn’t the dinosaur chasing you type of stress our ancestors (very old ancestors) dealt with.

No, it’s modern day media in your face, boss yelling in your ear, and constant barrage of emails screeching in your inbox kind of stress.

Whether you’re in aviation or a number crunching junky on wall street, stress affects every part of your body.

We've talked about stress many times (hereherehere and here) and what you can do to combat it.

Just like your nutrition habits, you're more than likely to make excuses for easy remedies. There are a ton of easy workouts that can help relieve stress.

The benefits of exercise

Exercise isn’t just for health junkies (that would be me) and bodybuilders (only in my dreams).

Getting active is a natural human occurrence. Just until the 20th century have we plopped our butts into chairs for hours at a time. Thank you TV and thank you modern-day business environments.

We've not only become sedentary, but also neglected the best ways to alleviate stress.

Exercising is one of these ways.

Brain - body connection: Stress directly affects the brain with its vast nerve connections, so when your brain is stressed so is your body. Taking care of both is crucial to your stress busting endeavors.

Endorphin processing greatness: When you’re physically active your body produces endorphins, the little chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers.

Improved sleep: Research has shown that exercise increases slow wave sleep, the most restorative type. It also balances your circadian rhythm promoting daytime alertness and night-time “sleepiness.”

A form of meditation: When you're physically active you’ll often times forget about the days’ irritations and focus only on what you're doing in the moment. This brief single task focus (meditation) may help you keep calm in everything you do.

Increases confidence: When you set exercise goals and achieve them you get a boost in self-confidence. Not to mention the added benefit of how you look in the mirror.

Increases oxygen to the brain: Exercising increases your heart rate, which pumps more oxygen to your brain. Simple right? It also stimulates the brain's plasticity by stimulating growth of new connections between cells. Research also suggests that it increases growth factors, making it easier for your brain to grow neuronal connections.

3 steps to becoming more active

“I’m too tired”, “I don't have time”, “Exercise isn’t fun”, blah, blah, blah.

We often make excuses for things we do not enjoy and things in which we do not have a goal for.

Exercise is much easier if you're focused on a goal.

Step 1: Set a goal to reduce stress levels by 50%. Write it down and post it somewhere you always look.

Next, think of 7-10 activities you enjoy and write them down.

Step 2: Commit to doing 1 activity for 15 - 30 minutes per day for one week. Rotate the activities each day.

Activities such as throwing the frisbee, walking the dog, climbing a tree, chasing your kids around the house, jump roping, boxing, and the list can go on.

The next and final step is to get moving at work.

Step 3: Choose 2 strategies that help you become more active at the office

I do an office workout and use a stand-up desk every day.

Office workouts that relieve stress are a great strategy to keep blood flowing and to ease your mind. Yes, even during an AOG.

Gone are the days of spending hours in the gym, just add activity into your daily life.

How do you get physically active during the day? If you don’t, explain why. Comment below.

The Definition Of Your Demise, Stress

This article was first seen on To see original article, click here.

Stress is like a nagging sister. Disclaimer: not saying I have one of these or anything.

She pulls our hair, pokes us when we’re concentrating, and to reflect a bit, embarrassed us when we brought a new “date” home in high school.


The effects stress has on you both mentally and physically is killing you. 

A day in the not so distant past, I was a part of the re-stocking initiative (sound fancy?) to replace the wheels and brakes for an A320. This project was a little shy of $100,000 and had several risky obstacles to stay on budget.

One of these obstacles was dealing with a new third party to handle repairs. If you know me, any “new” third party makes me sweat. With no history, we had no true knowledge of how they did things. It was a gamble.

2 weeks pass with several updates along the way. On the 14th day of the second week we called to check up on things, you know, the nosy in your face check up. They claimed that our account manager was fired and they never received our purchase order.

I about blew a gasket.

They went on to tell our Director of Operations to just cancel the order.

Now 2 weeks in with a 2 week deadline, we were in trouble.

I began to feel nauseous, slept poor and was craving some crazy foods. I think I may have even put on 5 pounds. Or maybe it was just the mirror. Let’s go with that.

Stress has a crazy effect on our body but most of us can’t even define it. We can quickly claim we're stressed in a broad term but so what.

You need to know what it is.

So, what is stress?

I define stress as demands put onto the body but then again, that’s vague and I’m not a doctor.

A respected psychologist, Richard Lazarus defines stress as “...any event in which environmental demands, internal demands, or both tax the adaptive resources of an individual...”

Stress affects your body's ability to control its inner environment. It’s a disturbance of homeostasis. If you've seen the movie Biodome you’ll know exactly what a homeostasis disturbance is.

Your adrenals are two glands that sit on top of your kidneys. Picture a walnut if you need a visual.

They’re the pilots of your hormones. They secrete cortisol, epinephrine, and norepinephrine that regulate stress response. For this reason, the adrenals are what determine our tolerance to stress. They’re the system of our bodies most affected by stress.

Picture a pilot out partying the night before with a 12 hour transcontinental flight the next morning. Your adrenals are the pilot when burdened with stress. Out of whack.

Different types of stress

There are 3 kinds of stress worth explaining as we often times define stress in a general term.

Acute stress

Acute stress is the most common form of stress. In small doses, acute stress can be thrilling but over time it can be exhausting. A challenging workout in the morning can be beneficial and invigorating.

But if you did the same workout three times a day you might find yourself less energized. You’ll feel tired and groggy. Performing activities beyond your limits can lead to injuries.

The good news is acute stress symptoms are recognized by most people. It can be a deadline you’re looking to meet, the car door being slammed into the wall, or the loss of a large contract.

Because acute stress happens in the short term it’s less likely to manifest into extensive damage that occurs during long-term stress.

Episodic acute stress

Episodic acute stress are for those who encounter acute stress on a regular basis. They live their lives in chaos. They’re the ones who rush out the door, stub their toe, drop their coffee and are always late. They're in a rush to be late.

They can’t seem to organize their life and everything is out of order. Sound like you?

Individuals who are overwhelmed with episodic acute stress can be over aroused, short-tempered, irritable, anxious and tense. They describe themselves as constantly having nervous energy. The “Type A” personality often times falls into this stress category.

Another form of episodic acute stress is in the form of ceaseless worry, or better known as worry warts. Everything's an issue and disaster is lurking around every corner.

Chronic stress

Chronic stress is the killer. While acute stress can be thrilling, chronic stress is far from. This is the type of stress that beats on you day after day, year after year. It destroys your mind, body and soul. According to American Psychological Association:

It's the stress of poverty, of dysfunctional families, of being trapped in an unhappy marriage or in a despised job or career. It's the stress that the never-ending "troubles.”

Chronic stress comes when a person never sees a way out of a miserable situation. It's the stress of unrelenting demands and pressures for seemingly interminable periods of time. With no hope, the individual gives up searching for solutions.

The worst part about chronic stress is most people just get use to it. They live with it and forget about its presence. “People are immediately aware of acute stress because it is new; they ignore chronic stress because it is old, familiar, and sometimes, almost comfortable.”

Natural occurrence of stress

Unbelievably, stress can be well intended.

You're probably familiar the term “fight or flight.” It’s your body’s natural response to stress.

When presented with a stressful situation, we either get aggressive, or run away as fast as we can in the opposite direction. 

Just picture a grizzly bear with cubs and without cubs. With cubs, she’ll tear into anything presenting danger to her children. Without cubs a loud noise could make her run in the other direction. Or for you aviation folks, a Cessna may try to fight with a Cessna, but when challenged by a B747, she's off in the other direction.

Your natural “fight or flight” response is incredibly efficient at energy preservation. It’s what helps you survive. You begin to sweat, your muscles tense, and your hearing sharpens. You are now incredibly alert. Concentration and awareness on anything else is avoided. The nervous system gets a flood of adrenaline (epinephrine). Your adrenal cortex pumps out 30 different types hormones to help compensate for the stressful situation. Your immune system temporarily shuts down so your body can efficiently use its resources to combat the potential threat.

Our body is a magnificent feat of science. When used properly we can turn a stressful situation into a way for us to hear better, jump higher and run faster. We will either outrun or out live a potential threat. Or that's the main objective at least.

Sadly, we now do most of this from an office chair.

Modern day captivity

Today our bodies are subjected to lifestyles that create an enormous amount of sedentary stress. We didn't evolve to deal with a daily barrage of stressful situations.

Persistent low-level stress turns into chronic stress over time. Maybe you sit in your office getting yelled at by the engineering department for 8 hours a day or you get stuck in traffic... every day. These are persistent low-level stressors.

Your body interprets this as a “natural” threat and your adrenals pump accordingly. Cortisol releases glycogen stores for immediate energy. The problem is with persistent cortisol release, it requires other important mechanisms to shut down. Some of these mechanisms are immunity, digestion, endocrine function, and the list goes on. This is why the link between elevated cortisol levels and weight gain have been established.

In the natural world stress is your super human ally, while in the office world it is your greatest nemesis. It’s your killer, your achilles tendon, your greatest foe.

To understand stress is to effectively define it. In the next blog post we’ll discuss how to identify it and symptoms you should be aware of.

What does your normal day look like? From this definition, what category of stress are you in? Comment below.

10 Truths About Stress for Aviation Professionals

The aircraft maintenance and engineering department is stressful. You know it, I know it, we all know it.

Billions of dollars have been invested into new software and now what?

You have access to better probability distributions, decision analysis, and forecasting through time series and smoothing methods. Or maybe you have better linear programming applications for financial planning and production scheduling.

Aviation Professionals

And if that wasn't enough you now have inventory models through economic order quantity and inventory simulation.

But what does this all mean?

It still means that you have to rely on a human at the other end of the world to do something you can't.

This may be the supply of an aircraft part stored in Florida, a fresh test cell for your CFM56 in Europe, or the ferry transport of your B747-400 to Asia.

You see no matter what programs are available, humans are still at the forefront of every decision.

And this is when the problems occur (software isn't perfect either).

With all of the noise happening around you, plans change things happen and contingency plans are inevitable. During these times the term stress is an understatement.

The 10 Truths About Stress

Stress is bad news.

I know exactly how it feels and one thing I've promised to myself is to make sure that I control it at ALL times. As an aviation professional have you made the same promise to yourself?

Here are 10 truths about stress you may not have known:

  1. Stress has been called “the silent killer” and can lead to heart disease, high blood pressure, chest pain, and an irregular heartbeat.
  2. Stress is linked to the six leading causes of death: heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, accidents, liver cirrhosis, and suicide.
  3. Chronic stress floods the brain with powerful hormones that are meant for short-term emergency situations. Chronic exposure can damage, shrink, and kill brain cells.
  4. Stress makes the blood “stickier,” in preparation for an injury. Such a reaction, however, also increases the probability of developing a blood clot.
  5. Chronic stress increases cytokines, which produce inflammation. Exposure to constant inflammation can damage arteries and other organs.
  6. Chronic stress worsens irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a condition that irritates the large intestine and causes constipation, cramping, and bloating.
  7. Chronic stress decreases the body’s immune system’s response to infection and can affect a person’s response to immunizations.
  8. Stress can result in more headaches as a result of the body rerouting blood flow to other parts of the body.
  9. The hyper-arousal of the body’s stress response system can lead to chronic insomnia.
  10. When cells shrink due to exposure to stress hormones, they disconnect from each other, which contributes to depression.


With all you know now, is stress worth it? Not a chance.

But you're human and it's inevitable. Life and work pressures will always push your limit. You must be proactive and regulate how much you let it affect you.

Aviation professionals need to manage their stress

The primary reason to manage stress is for your health. Let's just get that clear. This is the single most important reason you should get it under control.

But there's more to stress than just your health. When you're highly stressed you're more likely to make mistakes. [TWEET THIS]

Maybe it's purchasing a wrong part or forgetting to follow-up with a vendor. Whatever it is, you have a much greater chance of screwing up then when you're level headed.

[dropshadowbox align="none" effect="lifted-both" width="autopx" height="" background_color="#f09825" border_width="1" border_color="#dddddd" ]Stress also makes you tired and your energy level sinks. This not only affects your productivity but you become a tyrant to work with.[/dropshadowbox]

When you sit back in your chair, really think hard. Think about when you're stressed and your energy level drops. How much does the lower productivity and mistakes cost?

Whatever the number is, it's still greater than if you were thinking clearly.

As an aviation professional stress is an epidemic. Did you know pilots are rated with having one of the most stressful jobs in the world?

In my opinion. I think many aviation maintenance and engineering departments have one of the most stressful jobs in the world.

Wouldn't you agree?

The point here is to manage your stress. You'll not only be more productive and increase the bottom line, you'll also be a healthier you.

As an aviation professional are you stressed? Comment below.