© Chessie Roberts 2009 used on blogspot & linkedin by permission
Do you have concerns about this economy, budget cuts, cash flow, life in general, higher demands on your productivity, resources or or performance, your next business meeting? Then you have stress
I caution you here that stress is the number one killer in the United States (possibly in the world). Nine o’clock on Monday morning is the optimum time for this to occur.
Did you know that your emotions are contagious to yourself and others? This is because thoughts are actually fluctuations of energy that are carried throughout your body by chemicals called neuropeptides. Because you brain and physiology talk to each other through these neuropeptides, your brain is constantly eavesdropping on your body and your body is constantly eavesdropping on your thoughts. Because of this eavesdropping phenomenon, your body will react to a thought before you are even aware of it. Have you ever been startled by what looked like a snake in your yard only to realize, after you jumped and screamed that it was the garden hose? Maybe a spider appeared in an unexpected place only to turn out to be a fuzz ball? That is what I am speaking about.
I had this lesson taught to me very strongly one day at my chiropractors’ office. I had come in for relief from some horrible spasms that were occurring in my lower back He and I were chatting as he was making adjustments and he asked my opinion about some subject. My reply was forming on my lips when my spasm started in full force. What my reply was to be was; “That makes my butt twitch”. Do I have to tell you I don’t say that any more? The point here is that you think it and your body does it, whether you realize it or not, whether that’s what you want it to do or not. Therefore, we need to pay attention to our selves on a more conscious and aware level. If we do that, we will know sooner when we are reaching our limits and be able to lower the stress levels in a safe and positive manner.
A lot of my clients ask me just how stress hurts us. At each end of each chromosome are things called telomeres. These act much like the aglets (or fluggle-binders for those of you who are ‘Cocktail’ fans) on the ends of shoe laces. The telomeres are thinned down by stress chemicals, making them less and less effective in their ability to protect the chromosomes and when they are gone, the chromosome is opened to damage which can not be repaired. (60 Minutes report, August, 2005)
Some of the things we can do to help lower stress are easy and don’t cost anything. (Ha, more stress relief) Deep breathing, the in through the nose, out through the mouth kind, as you let go of tension helps. You don’t need to make yourself dizzy doing it, just two or three will help more than you realize and can be done just about anywhere. Regular breathing exchanges about 98% of your bodies a toms overt the course of a year. Conscious and aware deep breathing raises that exchange rate thus creating faster renewal which refreshes you and makes you better able to handle stress.
Since EOS is a Journey into Body, Mind, Spirit Balance, let’s break this down the same way;
DE-STRESSING YOUR BODY; make some small lifestyle changes. Walk when you don’t need to drive (that will help distress the environment too) Take the stairs instead of the elevator, make better food and beverage choices, lower your use of alcohol and nicotine; some people see them as stress relievers but in reality, they stress your body more. Set a regular sleep schedule for your self. Go to bed and get up the same time every day, even on the weekends. Be sure you are getting the deep restoring rest that satisfies your personal requirements. Balance your time between work, family, rest and play. Play is important as a stress reliever; it lets you connect with you on levels you may not be aware of. Don’t over commit, it is OK to say no when you need to. At work, take short breaks frequently. When on longer breaks, leave your desk, office/workspace or the building when you can. Prioritize tasks and delegate when you are able. Hydrate. Your body is about 75% water and if you are dehydrated, you will not perform your best and you body will be stressed. I suggest ionized water because your body can more readily absorb it therefore it is more beneficial to you.
DE-STRESSING YOUR MIND; Learn to meditate and do it daily, learn and practice correct self talk; both of these disciplines help you develop a better communication with yourself and others. Read positive and uplifting materials that are not related to your job or profession, save those for when you are in ‘business mode’. Find or make a calm quiet place, go ahead, it is OK to do that, we all need quiet time. Learn to truly like yourself with no judgment or criticism. Hydrate. Your brain id about 95% water so when it is not hydrated properly, you don’t make good choices and decisions, nor do you feel well and your brain is terribly stressed.
DE-STRESSING YOUR SPIRIT; Attend regular religious/spiritual rituals with those of like mind. This connects you to a Greater Power, pray to ask and meditate to listen, help someone else. Helping another lightens our load because we are in the ‘giving mode’ rather than in the ‘stressed out/worried mode’. Laugh with genuine humor, learn something new and creative, learn to enjoy where yourself where you are right now rather than fret over what is wrong with where you are right now. And on of the simplest yet difficult things is to be grateful, genuinely grateful for everything you can think of. An Attitude of gratitude is one of the most powerful things we have at our disposal and, I would venture to say, one of the least used. Try it, you will be amazed.
To help you identify stress I have included a list of warning signs below. Please pay attention to the paragraph under the heading. If you are not sure what your stress level is, email me for a free work sheet that will assist you in placing just where you are in your level of stress.
Bright Blessings, Chessie
Warning Signs of Stress
These indicators can be caused by other possible medical situations. If you feel that you are experiencing any of these symptoms or warning signs, please see your physician for an exam to be sure of their origin.
Changes in Your Behavior; Changes in your Thought Process;
• Nervous habits starting or coming back
• Shaking foot/leg while waiting, nail biting, pacing
• Pulling away, isolating yourself
• Eating (too much, not enough)
• Use of nicotine, alcohol or any drug
• (prescription or recreational)
• Neglecting your responsibilities
• Sleeping (too much, too little) • Difficulty or inability to concentrate
• Focusing on only the negative aspects of you life.
• Problems with memory
• Difficulty or inability to focus for any length of time
• Displaying poor judgment
• Overly anxious
• Racing thoughts
Your Physical Body; Your Emotions;
• Loss of sex drive
• More frequent occurrences in;
• Colds, respiratory problems i.e. Sinus infections, bronchitis, etc.
• Gastro-intestinal problems, frequent diarrhea, constipation, gas, cramps, nausea
• Pain in chest/upper arm
• Heart rate becomes rapid
• General aches and pains • Feeling overwhelmed
• Moodiness; irritable, can’t relax, can’t get going
• Short tempered
• Depressed, don’t care
• Feeling alone or isolated (even around others)
• Unhappy with everything/every one
Remember; “The definition of relaxing is not lying on the couch sleeping or being lazy; it is a mentally active practice that leaves the body relaxed and refreshed. It is best done in an awake state. It is a trainable exercise that gets better with practice.” The University of Michigan Health Center
Evolution of Self; Journey into Body, Mind Spirit Balance
Chessie Roberts; President, Meditation Coach