(Note: first published on my stressarrestman blog)
Stress management strategy #2 is another universal ‘must’ and that is to get ample sleep every night.
Opinions are divided amongst experts as to the correct amount but three or four hours a night is simply not enough. The traditional model has been eight hours of unbroken sleep every night but more recent studies show that seven hours could be enough and…
One of the latest theories from scientists is for two sleep periods a night broken by an hour or so of activity. The study emphasises that each sleep period needs to be long enough for you to reach REM sleep.
‘Cat napping’ for half an hour during the day is also useful to help give a quick recharge to your batteries and will help to combat stress but is not considered a substitute for a good night of sleep.
Getting a good night’s rest and following stress management protocols to recharge your batteries can be quite a challenge if you are jetting around the world on a grueling schedule.
The combination of time zone differences and high intensity meetings soon after landing can be quite debilitating.
That is why I have developed a powerful Rapid Relaxation MP3 for you to use as part of an effective stress management strategy. It uses hypnotic tools to help you program your mind to relax at will and will leave you feeling revitalised from the very first listen.
Only 20 minutes from beginning to end listening to this wonderful MP3 will leave you feeling on top of the world.
I invite you to download a free copy right now and start to enjoy a less stressful life. You will find it here: Rapid Relaxation MP3
We will discuss further powerful stress management protocols in later posts.
(Note: first published on my stressarrestman blog)
This post is part of 7 simple tips to effectively manage stress.
Stress management strategy #1 is a fundamental part of life that applies to every human being but is so sorely neglected amongst society today.
It is simply to eat correctly!
Your body is a finely tuned machine and deserves only the best nutrition to keep it in perfect shape. Stress and anxiety have a detrimental affect upon the body, quickly depleting vital nutrients and these need to be replaced continuously if you are to perform at your peak and keep sickness at bay.
Unfortunately it is very easy to get lost in the demands of your daily work and not allocate enough time to eat properly. And, to make things worse, when you suddenly realise you haven’t eaten you may be tempted to go and stoke up on junk food, snacks or coffee…
Later, when the carbohydrate and caffeine high burn off, you plummet down into a depressive low.
Eating properly also means taking time to sit down and eat.
It is not good practice to hurriedly grab a bite whilst rushing around trying to finish something off… or get ready for the office.
Buddhist monks are taught to chew every mouthful of food a minimum of thirty times. This gives time for the enzymes in your saliva to start digesting the food which lessens the load on your stomach.
It is also a wonderful time to reflect and relax.
Because digestive problems, including ulcers, are common amongst highly stressed, high achieving executives it would be a good idea to consider your diet and eating habits. Make a plan or consult a nutritionist to get a handle on what foods might be best for you and then make you new eating regime a habit.
The relaxation benefits are immense and when added to the other forms of relaxation you do will help you to achieve more everyday.
You know only too well that a job that is rushed is not a job well done… eating is no different.
“I cannot emphasise enough how important a good diet is with regard to your health and stress reduction…”
When you look after your diet you are on the road to less stress and better health - both of which will increase your energy and allow you to perform at your peak.
Quality multivitamin tablets taken daily can also help to ensure you are getting sufficient nutrition.
Another aspect of healthy eating that will have major benefits for your stress management is to eat regularly. Research has shown that ‘little & often’ is the way with five small meals being better than one or two big ones.
Why not take a few moments right now to consider your diet? The changes you make will enhance your stress management results.
(Note: first published on my stressarrestman blog
If you don’t have a stress management plan think again because…
The figures of stress related illness & deaths are really quite alarming and only seem to be rising.
In the UK teaching is the profession with one of the highest rates of stress related suicide. Statistics reveal that suicide rates among teachers average a third higher than the national average.
But the negative affects of stress are not limited to any one profession, they cut across all sectors of life from the self employed through teaching, the army and big business and even schoolchildren.
I was teaching a seven year old to speak English in China a few years ago and he started to have a nervous breakdown in front of me. He was a bright lad and both his parents and teachers were pushing him too hard.
Everyday, after regular school, he had extra classes which only finished around nine o’clock then he still had to finish his homework before going to bed. Weekends followed a similar pattern. He had little to no time to play or be a ‘regular kid’ - his parents didn’t think it was too much of a problem either. They took him to KFC or out for a pizza once a week as a break and had the view that he could take it easy once he had a good job and a good life.
In fact, this type of thinking is quite common in Asia where high stress & 12 hour workdays are the norm for schoolchildren.
In reality though, stress is not something to be trifled with. As Jenny Gould, executive coach and life coach with Oxford-based stress management and coaching company STP Consultancy stated recently:
“Stress is something that’s very insidious — you can deal with it for quite a long time before you then begin to find yourself burning out from it…”
Let’s take a look at just a few alarming examples of how stress can take charge of you and ruin your life:
- In 2008 Christopher Foster, a successful UK businessman facing severe financial difficulties succumbed to the enormous stress he found himself experiencing, slew his horses and dogs before murdering his family and committing suicide
- In 2011 Lloyds Bank (UK) president was hospitalised for 2 months after collapsing due to severe work pressure & 5 consecutive night without sleep…
- Paul Juljich, chairman of a multi-million dollar organic food company listed on the New Zealand stock exchange, suffered a total nervous breakdown due to stress…
He states: “I thought I had the perfect life at 40… I built a grand mansion, had a Ferrari in the driveway, a 25-yard indoor pool, tennis courts, a personal trainer, and I traveled the world free as a bird… However, he says that due to stress and making poor lifestyle choices, he lost everything. Over a period of years, I worked very hard and focused on many issues. But one day I couldn’t get out of bed. I was lying in a foetal position in total darkness thinking I’m afraid of the world and don’t want to talk to anyone… Stress was controlling me - I wasn’t controlling it!“
- Many schoolchildren suffer from so much stress they feel compelled to jump out of the window or turn to drink and drugs to get by
- A senior sales executive (name withheld for privacy reasons) I worked with told me:
“I Was Successful At My Job But My Private Life? IT WAS HELL! I hadn’t slept properly for over a year… I was alone in a foreign city, with no friends or family… I came back from the office after 10PM and sought solace in the bottle. That was the only way I could relax and perhaps get a little sleep…But even that stopped working after a while and I had to resort to sleeping tablets prescribed by a local physician. I knew I was in a bad way but there seemed no way out…”
- Carsten Schloter, the chief executive of telecoms group Swisscom, found the pressure too much and killed himself in 2013
- Zurich Insurance Group’s Chief Financial Officer Pierre Wauthier was found dead at his home in Switzerland at the end of August 2013 in what police said appeared to be a suicide. Mr Wauthier’s widow, Fabienne, is said to have accused Zurich’s top management of driving her husband “into a corner” and that the “tough management style” had placed him under intolerable pressure.
- Bank of America Merrill Lynch said it would review the working conditions for junior employees after a 21-year old intern, Moritz Erhardt, died after allegedly working 72 hours without sleep in the summer of 2013
- And in Japan where working 300 hours a month is quite common, the Japanese have a name for the phenomena whereby overstressed employees simply drop dead at their desks - it’s called Karoshi.
Think about your life for a moment, everyday you are assaulted by any number of stressors. They silently attack you, continuously building up until you are at your most susceptible and then strike viciously without warning…
If you are lucky the result may only be a sudden outburst of rage but it could be much worse.
Stress is often caused by a lack of control and a lack of support so it is imperative that you start to develop a stress management plan and implement it right away..