If you are regularly experiencing any of these 5 unhealthy behaviours you may have unresolved emotional pressure pushing on your subconscious.
1. Eating too much when you are not hungry even to the point of feeling physically ill. Telling yourself that you will not do it again and then you do.
2. Drinking too much even if it causes negative backlash in your relationships, work or health.
3. Doing drugs on a regular basis and that drug use begins to cause you problems personally, professionally or legally.
4. Gambling even if the amount of money you lose effects your ability to pay your bills or meet your financial plan.
5. Shopping too much, your closet is full, your credit cards are at maximum capacity and your continue to purchase things you don’t need.
If you are living with one or more of these patterns on a basis enough to cause you problems in your physical/ emotional health, relationships or work feel free to contact me for help. It often feels frightening to make the first step to get help however you will be surprised by how quickly these issues can begin to resolve.
Researchers have found evidence that the expression of physical symptoms can be connected to chronic workplace stress.
Do you experience any of the following on a regular basis?
1. Tension headaches or migraines.
2. Digestive problems like heartburn, gastric reflux, constipation, IBS.
3. Back, neck or shoulder problems.
4. Immune related issues such as being susceptible to viruses regularly.
6. Do these symptoms get worse on Sunday night?
7. When you have extended time away from work do your symptoms improve or clear up?
If you answer yes to any questions number 1-5 and yes to 6 or 7 you might be experiencing physical symptoms related to chronic work stress.
Workplace stress is often connected to emotional and physical symptoms. Could your symptoms be related to a workplace where you feel under appreciated, overworked or without any control to improve or change things?
Do you experience any of these emotional symptoms on a regular basis?
1. Depression-lack of energy, feeling of hopelessness, overall sadness.
2. Anxiety or Panic-feeling like you need to flee a situation, feeling uncomfortable in your stomach or chest, or a feeling like you are floating outside of your body.
3. Engaging in unhealthy behaviours on a regular basis or binge basis like overeating, drinking too much, gambling, shopping, exercising too much or using drugs.
4. Do these symptoms seem to get worse on a Sunday night?
5. When you have extended breaks from work do these symptoms diminish or disappear?
If you answer yes to either 1-3 and then 4 or 5, you might be experiencing work stress related symptoms.
Passion is that internal flame that inspires us to move forward in life with positive energy. The positive thoughts and feelings generated by experiencing what we are passionate about helps us temper whatever life throws at us. It is the energy that we use to dream, plan and experience our life and it makes us who we are.
I often have clients who come to see me because they are not happy in their life. When we talk about what they love to do very often it is passion that is missing. Lack of passion may have it’s roots in early childhood in a family that did not encourage, support or provide opportunities for individual experiences or expression. This pattern later continues in adulthood as focussing on the needs of others at the expense of providing emotional opportunities for yourself. Does this sound familiar?
If you have not yet identified your passion give yourself opportunities to “try out” experiences and see if anything excites you.
My own personal passion is riding horses and I was fortunate that my family gave me plenty of opportunities and support to experience this regularly.
I have been working for the last 3.5 years with a quirky, spooky horse. I recently was able to take him to a jump schooling day and it was such an amazing experience that all I can think about is doing it again! That kind of enthusiasm and satisfaction evens out negative experiences or pressures in life.
Give yourself an opportunity to say say to exploring something you are passionate about and your mind and body will thank you.
Since our mind and body are connected, what we think and feel emotionally has a direct line to our physical health.
The top 6 physical diseases with a link to chronic stress are:
1. Heart Disease
2. High Blood Pressure
4. IBS, Colitis, Crohns
In coming articles I will help you understand the connection and how to start managing your life differently to give your body every opportunity to stay healthy.
Our community can be a source of strength, encouragement and promote healthy behaviours or it can contribute to the chronic stress in our lives.
When we look at statistics for healthy aging around the world, which we can use as a marker for physical health, interesting connections are highlighted.
1. Having a sense of community either religious, spiritual or family oriented.
2. A healthy diet that follows either a vegetarian or more Mediterranean flare with limited animal protein.
3. An emphasis on healthy lifestyle including daily exercise.
In communities where people are routinely living into their nineties the above are common factors. Some communities are in Japan, some in Italy, Greece, the United States and Canada. It is less “where it is” and more of the community mindset.
Take a moment and reflect on your community. What can you do to enhance the health behaviours of your community?
A growing number of studies find that proximity to plants and green space improves mental health and a sense of well being.
Here are 5 ways to incorporate nature into your busy life.
1. Bring plants that make you feel centred and peaceful into your work space.
2. Take breaks throughout your day to visually connect with the outdoors even if it is a quick walk around the block or eating your lunch outside when the weather permits.
3. Stop by a park on the way home and have a stroll taking in the sights and sounds.
4. If you have a choice to have an office with a window look for a view of anything green.
5. Find a CD with birds, waves or other nature sounds to play for yourself and find a fragrance that reminds you of the outdoors.
Have you ever experienced a stressful situation that left your heart pounding and your body tense? Did the effects linger for a long while after? Or have you been going through an especially challenging emotional time and feel like you are constantly tense and uncomfortable? The solution can start with something as simple as a smile.
Researchers at the University of Kansas Department of Psychology have discovered that simply smiling a big wide smile actually reduces the body’s reaction to stress compared to a group that was exposed to stressful stimuli and held a neutral expression.
Even if you don’t feel like smiling give it a shot and see how you feel the next time you are faced with something uncomfortable.
Since our mind and body are connected what we eat or drink can impact how we feel. If you know anyone who suffers with anxiety please share my top five food/drinks to avoid.
1. Coffee. Caffeine is a drug called a sympathomimetic which means it mimics the effect of the sympathetic nervous system which feels like the fight or flight response. Many clients describe the feelings as a “panic attack”.
2. Tea. Tea has a similar composition with the active ingredient called Theophylline while a bit milder still can trigger similar effects as caffeine.
3. Milk Chocolate or Dark. Chocolate contains caffeine and can contribute to anxious panicky feelings.
4. Sugar. Sugar quickly spikes your blood sugar level and can cause you tell feel agitated, tense and out of your body and also can feel similar to some people as anxiety.
5. Energy drinks. Energy drinks are filled with caffeine and sugar and give you a double whammy.
If you have been feeling panicky, tense or anxious and eat or drink anything listed above try removing them from your diet and see how you feel.
It is well known to those who study the effects of stress that the physical environment you work and live in plays a big role in your stress level. Overcrowding, noise and temperature are contributing factors to your increased stress level.
Researchers have been exploring the link between sound and the effects on stress in hospital workers. Nurses have been primarily targeted in this research.
Imagine all of the noises that both patients and hospital employees are exposed to on a regular basis; gurneys, codes, PA messaging, sirens, call buttons, crying and screaming taking place at all hours.
These factors contribute to discomfort and a build up of tension which can effect mood, focus, job satisfaction and overall health.
In the workplace you might not be able to control or change the situation that you are in but you do have a choice over how you handle factors that feel out of your control.
Find a quiet spot to decompress on your break even if you put in earplugs or earphones that neutralize noise.
Breathe and release tension you are holding onto throughout your shift so it never has a chance to build up and create problems for you.
Treat yourself to something soothing when work is over like a warm bath, a quiet walk or a massage.
Realize that you have a choice over how the environmental conditions effect you.