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Self-awareness and self-help are key to empowerment and achieving your full potential.
Stress can be defined as the pressure put on a subject exceeding its ability to cope.
Physical and mental capabilities are outstripped by demands, triggering adverse lifestyle adjustments to compensate in other areas. One person’s stress is another person’s opportunity; insufficient stress can cause boredom and depression, whereas being pleasantly challenged ignites enthusiasm and motivation, providing optimum stimulation.
Finding the key to life-balance promotes self-actualisation and enhances well-being. Some days it feels as though we are just surviving rather than living; relying on habits, conditioning and the sheer force of emotions to get through the day. This is particularly relevant in the current economic climate. The immense pressure of working in a fast-paced environment under constant financial strain leaves the majority of us overwhelmed and susceptible to burnout. Burnout is progressive, gradually grinding you down, depleting energy reserves, dampening your spirit and inhibiting vitality. The process is exhausting and relentless, nevertheless it is preventable and balance and well-being can be restored.
Signs and symptoms include;-
Lack of demarcation between work and home life
Taking out frustrations on family and loved ones
Fatigue, despondency and despair
Constant awareness of the lack of time available
Feelings of obligation, guilt and self-blame
Anxiety, negativity and loss of perspective
Work constantly clouding thoughts and dominating conversation
Intolerance of change and uncertainty
Narrowing of focus as our brain becomes overcrowded
Reducing stress means the body is not constantly fighting to balance it’s energies therefore it can concentrate on areas that need attention. Incorporating relaxation techniques into our lifestyle improves the immune system to boost recovery and help to prevent illnesses. Relaxation demarcates certain parts of the day, therefore separates work from home life. This helps redress the balance and to switch off in order to dedicate quality time to specific areas. Relaxation decreases the rate at which parts of our DNA wear out, thus decelerating the ageing process.
Relaxation techniques are an integral part of stress inoculation therapy. It forms the initial step when working on phobic responses as well as preparing to cope with stress more effectively. Securing a relaxed state of mind makes it difficult for anxieties to invade and coexist. Relaxation aims to induce the Alpha state which is the state that we naturally pass through when falling asleep. During this altered state, breathing and heart rate slows and blood pressure decreases to a resting level. Adrenaline levels drop and endorphin levels rise to ease pain and tension. Adrenaline is produced as part of our stress response and endorphins are the body’s natural painkiller and mood enhancer.