Let’s talk about stress, baby

Most entrepreneurs and professionals downplay the effect of the various demands on their bodies. We seem to thrive on short deadlines, fulfilling last minute requests, and challenging assignments. Stress? Glorified fuel of the high achievers, is in constant supply thanks to permanent wireless access to the matrix. We deny, deny, pushing our limits until our body shuts down to its most elemental form, rendered childlike pounding our fists on the desk asking why, why and crying to the Gods to give us a break from our ambitious state and pleasing personalities…  A growing body of evidence suggests that we on average experience over 14 stressful events per week. Chronic stress caused by taking on too much has been linked to serious health issues such as depression, chocolate cravings, diabetes, heart disease even Alzheimer… so the bottom line is this, each person must find a way to reduce sources of stress on an ongoing basis, which can no longer be “cured” by a soothing massage or a few days off on a mountain top. Hence it should be accepted as a public health issue, not just a yuppie state of mind. Scientists studying work-life balance can measure the amount of stress-related hormones, cortisol and adrenalin, released following a situation we feel is out of our control. These released in high amounts over a long period of time can affect all of our systems, including nervous, circulatory, digestive, muscular and skeletal, shortening our lifespan, not to mention our moods. McGill University research teams recently published their findings about the impact of daily stressors on our health, clearly showing how stress could become the key reason we seek medical attention. On that note, I am off for a few days working on solutions for my series of articles on work-life balance at evancarmichael.com so I’d like to thank my precious clients and collaborators for providing good grounds for this study and reminding me to appreciate every day of this lifelong journey… Here’s to reaching the ideal balance of productive action and proactive rest, of living to striving and enjoying the beauty of  everyday life and relationship along the way. Some daily stress management techniques to try include enjoyable exercise, yoga, meditation, healthy alkaline foods, water, and my personal favourite, hugging your pet and your loved ones for a minimum of 20 seconds.