8 Terrific Reasons to Handle Stress Better

Here at MindPath, we don't normally focus on the negative. However, fear can be a powerful motivator for immediate change so we have brought together eight terrific reasons to handle stress better.

1) Harvard researchers estimate that 60-90% of doctors' visits are caused by stress. Stress is linked to the following illnesses: heart attacks, hypertension, diabetes, asthma, chronic pain, insomnia, allergies, headache, backache, various skins disorders, cancer, accidents, suicide, depression, immune system weakness, decreases in the number and function of white blood cells.

2) Stress is more powerful than diet in influencing cholesterol levels. Studies of medical students near exam time and accountants during tax season showed significant increases in cholesterol levels during stressful events, when there was little or no change in diet. Rosenman, Homeostasis 34 (1993)

3) Stress from loss of work hurts the heart. During several years of rising unemployment, workers in departments with the most downsizing suffered twice the normal death rate from heart attack and stroke. Chandola, British Medical Journal 332 (January, 2006)

4) More than 50% of adults have insomnia a few nights a week or more. 25% suffer from insomnia occurring most nights and lasting a month or longer. Thakur, Duke University Medical Center (2004)

5) The effects of severe stress lasts for decades. Severe stress may be a potent risk factor for stroke even 50 years after the initial trauma. In a study of 556 veterans of WWII, the rate of stroke among those who had been prisoners of war was eight times higher than among those not captured. Page and Brass, Yale Medical, Military Medicine 166 (2001)

6) Stress is expensive to business. Workplace stress is estimated to cause: 19% of absenteeism 40% of turnover 55% of EAP programs 60% of workplace accidents 30% of short and long-term disability What Stress Costs, Ravi Tangri, Oxford, (2003)

7) Stress gives toxins access to the brain. Stress appears to significantly increase the ability of pharmaceuticals to pass through the blood-brain barrier, which normally protects the brain from toxins in the bloodstream. Many of today’s medicines are developed under the assumption that they cannot cross this barrier. Hebrew University, Nature Medicine 2 (12) (1996)

8) Stress can permanently damages the hear.Common emotions such as tension, frustration, and sadness trigger frequent heart abnormalities that can lead to permanent heart damage. Study results show a direct relationship between negative emotions, an inadequate flow of blood to the heart, and increased risk of heart attack. Journal of the American Medical Association 277 (1997)

Phew! What can you do about all this?

First, understand the critical role your thought patterns play in creating stress. We teach all our clients that the mind cannot tell the difference between imagination and reality. That is why we focus on helping our clients "rewire" new positive neural pathways.

Second, relax the subconscious emotional part of the mind. If you are stressed, you can guarantee that this part of the mind is assessing the world as a dangerous place.

Third, understand that "stress makes you stupid", literally. In a state of stress, the flow of blood and oxygen to the conscious "thinking" part of the brain in the pre-frontal cortex is drastically reduced. This makes it harder to find answers. So learn some good problem-solving skills and at the same time learn to challenge negative thinking.

At MindPath, we are all about teaching, guiding and supporting our clients to handle stress better. If you are feeling overwhelmed and would like some intensive and enjoyable one-to-one time or prefer to work in a group setting, send us an email or pick up the phone.

You'll Never Guess Who's in the New Wave of Executive Coaches

All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.
— Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina)

You can always tell whether a business has a high-functioning leader or a poor-performing boss. If the staff are stressed, then you can guarantee the boss is also. This is one of the reasons that executives from Wall Street to Silicon Valley are engaging the next wave of coaches. However, according to The Financial Times, these coaches are not wearing suits or carrying suitcases.

Instead, they are more likely to be carrying a Yoga mat and wearing tights. Yoga and meditation are going mainstream, straight to the boardrooms of corporate America.

As this article in Inc points out, Google, Aetna Health Insurance, General Mills and even uber-traditional McKinsey & Company are embracing the idea that Yoga and meditation practices such as mindfulness are good for bosses, workers and the bottom line.

I love this trend. It excites me. If you want to make a difference in the world, start from the top. Water flows faster going downhill. Whatever state the boss is in, will soon trickle down to the shop-floor.

The ability to keep a cool head in a crisis is a prime attribute of any leader, whether you are "the boss of yourself" as a solo entrepreneur or as head of a multi-national corporation.

In today's cut-throat business environment, knowing how to calm your mind through Yoga and meditation is no longer seen as a weakness. Instead, it is rapidly becoming an essential weapon in any business leader's war chest.

If your staff are not as happy as they could be or if you would like to take you and your team to another level, get in touch and let's see how we can work together.

"Namaste", Rosa