I have been meditating over 15 years and still, I found myself in stressful situations, particularly when it comes to work. I was raised like most people believing that if I only get a degree and establish myself as a professional, and find a stable job, I will be in a good position to have a stress-free and joyful life.
It has not always been the case even though I am lucky to have more tools than most people. The last straw for me was when I worked for a medical billing company where I was not even doing what I was hired for. Even though the signs were there, and I was sick to my stomach most of the time, I was afraid to leave.
I believe the Universe made a decision for me and when I lost my job in October 2012. I decided to “stop playing small” and finally pursue my passion work. As a result of working in toxic work environments for several years, I developed an acute gastritis which took me a year and a half to heal. This was my wake-up call. I knew I could not go on like this. So instead I put all my trust and faith into the Universe and opened my own practice here in Boca. Can anyone relate to that?
Now, let’s look at some facts.
First of all, I want you to think and answer to yourself honestly if you are exhibiting any of the stress symptoms:
1. Behavioral: changes in eating, loss of interest in physical appearance, fidgeting, accident prone
2. Cognitive: negative thinking, racing thoughts, easily distracted
3. Cardiovascular: chest pain, dizziness, sweaty palms
4. Endocrine: join paint, excessive thirst, bloating
5. Gastrointestinal: change in appetite, constipation/diarrhea, nausea, gas pain
6. Immune system: frequent colds, mouth sores, strep throat
7. Muscular: back pain, nervous ticks, tight muscles
8. Respiratory: rapid breathing, shortness of breath
9. Skin: acne, flushed face, or pale
According to a recent American Psychological Association poll, nearly a quarter of Americans confessed to currently feeling under "extreme stress." Respondents especially blamed money, work, and the economy, as well as strained relationships. Short periods of tension can actually be beneficial to people, sharpening thinking and heightening physical response in situations where performance counts, such as business meetings or athletic competitions.
But experts are clear that when individuals are routinely under assault—over money, health woes, a daily freeway commute, whatever—a biological system that was designed to occasionally fight or flee a predator gets markedly out of balance. "The body's delicate feedback system starts to malfunction," says David Spiegel, director of the Center on Stress and Health at Stanford University.
Stress has been found to play a role in so many diseases of modern life—from asthma, depression, and migraine flares to heart attacks, cancer, and diabetes—that it likely accounts for more than half of the country's healthcare-related expenses, says George Chrousos, a distinguished visiting scientist at the National Institutes of Health. In March, Chrousos spearheaded a conference on "The Profound Impact of Stress" in Washington, D.C., to educate policymakers and the public.
(For more information please refer to http://health.usnews.com/health-news/articles/2012/09/18/hidden-risks-of-chronic-stress, a blog posted by Meryl Davids Landau, Sep. 18, 2012)
So what can we do about it? Psychologists use the term "resilience" to describe how quickly people tend to recover from emotional setbacks, whether it’s getting cut off in traffic or the loss of a job. The more resilient you are, the more you can limit the impact of stress on your health. In 1979, Suzanne Kobasa coined a term “stress hardy” which is still relevant today, as a result of the study she conducted with middle to upper level executives. In the study, executives who became ill had a strong sense of alienation and powerlessness and felt threatened by change.
On the other hand, executives who remained healthy when faced with similar stressors exhibited “stress hardy” characteristics of commitment, challenge, and control. In addition, in a later study she also found that executives who exercised and had a strong social support had less than an 8% chance of getting sick, as opposed to 93% chance to those who did not have the same attributes.
Some strategies that work:
1. Peaceful wake-up call – create a morning ritual using affirmations, intentions, and meditation
2. Yoga, meditation, relaxation
3. Affirmations (check out Louise Hay)
4. Healing breathe work with a certified practitioner
5. Mind-body checks
6. Identifying negative self-talk and distorted thinking (CBT)
7. Identify your needs and be assertive
(Also see "Stress Management Handbook" by Lori A. Leyden-Rubinstein, Ph.D.)
CALL TODAY for a complimentary consultation at 561-299-1028. Don’t wait for the right time – feel better NOW.