On his one hour commute in to work, Robert, the executive vice-president for a large global bank, noticed his stomach seemed tied up in knots. His physician had known him for a few executive coaching to help him in reducing symptoms of job stress. Robert has been treated for anxiety related hypertension and he was having tests for a potential stomach ulcer.
It wasn’t unusual for tension headaches and neck aches to grow near the end of the work day and stop him from sleeping well at night. Sometimes he would awaken in his regular time and feel completely un-rested as he pulled himself out of bed to get ready for his day. On his weekends, Robert would be diverted by his fatigue, loss of concentration, and an irritated stomach. As he started his stress management training, Robert had a tough time finding the time necessary to practice his stress management exercises.
These were provided for him on audio CD’s that he could listen to while undistracted for 20 minutes. Robert was struggling with finding 20 minutes in his heavily scheduled day. After a few weeks, Robert was convinced, by his trainer, this expenditure of time wouldn’t only let him feel better, it would probably save time.
He started to practice these relaxation strategies and to his amazement, Robert discovered that the program worked. He listened to the tapes be driven to work. At work, he found he was able to focus and to speak with his co-workers. This allowed him to receive his work done in less time. He rescued one and half an hour on many days. Robert spent the”extra” time in certain projects he enjoyed but hadn’t found the time to achieve. This gave him greater satisfaction and a feeling of control he hadn’t remembered feeling for quite a long time.
In many more weeks, Robert reported fewer headaches, better sleep, and decreased stomach issues. Eventually, his blood pressure started to respond and has been reduced to normal ranges with less drugs. Robert was convinced that stress management improved the quality of his life and enabled him to be more effective. Why is it that Executives suffer from the consequences of stress? What are the possible symptoms of anxiety? We’re all born with a primitive survival mechanism known as the “Flight/Fight Response.”
Did you know?
This historical survival responses has been inherited from centuries of development. 5,000 years ago, when a man was confronted by a threat, he could run away or stand his ground and physically struggle against his attacker. His body will automatically prepare for the actions necessary to survive. His heart beat could increase, his blood pressure would go up, his breathing would become more rapid, muscles would tense to get ready for the fight or to flee, his palms would get cool and clammy, digestion and endurance would be lowered, and the crude brain would take over reducing his ability to think clearly, instead making him more reactive to his anger or fear.
These “hard-wired” answers that are triggered when we’re threatened. The threats today are generally not as life threatening as 5,000 years ago but our sub-conscious perceptions feel that an upset client or a bad contract negotiation are as serious as a life and death confrontation. We have just one way to react to the stress of change. The speed of change has improved and adapting to change triggers the stress response. Even positive changes can be stressful.
To prove a point about how positive change and anxiety can be radically bad for your health, I would like to tell one short story. When I was growing up, I read a newspaper account of a man who suffered from great fortune! The story read that a guy had won a huge sweepstakes award. 100,000, which back in those days was lots of money! How many folks do you know who get a new job or relationship, and end up paying the purchase price of this favorable stress? Now, more than ever before in history, people are overwhelmed by the pressures of life.
Keep in mind
The pace of change as a result of new technologies and the new info that technology creates has generated overloads that we are unable to take care of in appropriate ways. In the past ten decades, people are developing symptoms of those new technologies. Eye strain, back strain, wrist/hand strain, neck problems, even increased body weight, and substance abuse raises can be connected to long hours in today’s work world of technology and computers. Who in this modern world can say that our crude reaction to stress, from millions of years of survival and adaptation, has managed to keep up with the accelerated pace of change during the last few decades? Have you developed a new survival mechanism to counter the old Flight/Fight Response? Normally, development of these systems takes nature thousands of generations to grow.
In today’s world, more people are overwhelmed with the accelerated pace of change than ever before in human history! If we can’t alter the speed of the world around us, or the folks we do business with, or the behaviours of the people we live with, or the global influences that affect us, we could become aware of those stressors and prevent becoming a victim to such changes! We do have control over how we react to these changes. Awareness is half the battle! Know how you react to stress in your own special way! Know what in your life is causing this transitional stress. Then, you must develop daily habits which effectively control the negative physical and psychological responses to stress.
You Can Return in CONTROL! You can prevent, or at least minimize, symptoms of anxiety such as: headaches, backaches, neck aches, high blood pressure, anxiety, anxiety, many stomach problems, sexual dysfunction, possibly reduce gastrointestinal problems such as allergies or some kinds of arthritis, sleeping problems, bruxism, TMJ, and other anxiety related ailments. The psychological symptoms such as: lack of concentration, withdrawal (depression), anxiety, being injury prone, memory loss, poor motivation, poor communication, poor performance, and a few learning disabilities could be linked to stress and reduced, or even eliminated, by consciousness and lifestyle changes.
Key executive employees can be given executive coaching, which may keep them from getting liabilities because of inefficiency or poor productivity. You will want to safeguard your valuable employees and prevent having to replace and then retrain key employees who may be lost or diminished as a result of stress related symptoms. Executive stress management programs are tailored to the particular demands of the executive and their precise symptoms. Programs may include a combination of approaches such as: routine relaxation techniques, improved physical exercise, and changes to the diet. These are the three elements of a lifestyle designed to promote health and symptom prevention. Though they require time and energy, they have a tendency to give back health, wellbeing, and effectiveness.
And regular relaxation can be done in various ways. These may be chosen and developed for individual taste and to fit unique styles. Some executives like stress management methods which were made from Western European heritage such as Autogenic Training phrases. Other executives may react better to styles of meditation drawn from “Eastern” traditions like yoga. No matter the historical origins of the comfort strategies they will benefit the professionals in similar ways. They reduce heart rate, lower blood pressure, slow and deepen breathing, relax muscles, send heat to the hands and feet, and increase the ability to concentrate, solve problems and improve communication.
The best results come with training. It takes 8-12 weeks of regular daily exercise for most people to get the most benefits. For me personally, I found that after 12 weeks of regular practice with Autogenic Training (20 minutes per day) that I took one and half an hour less sleep at night. I was rested and could concentrate on jobs better, allowing me to get more accomplished in exactly the exact same period of time on the job! This is not unusual. Regular physical activity not only helps with the health of the heart and may burn off calories for weight loss but it also can help you in by releasing stored muscle strain.
This muscle tension can lead to a number of problems from exhaustion, loss of attention, bad sleep, to muscles spasms that cause headaches, and neck and back aches. By working these muscles, they could unwind after the exercise period. Many mental health professional also know that regular exercise can help minimize or protect against depression. Diet and nutrition can impact your health and wellbeing.
There are lots of different philosophies on eating for the very best health. In busy times, business people will need to eat well to keep their greatest levels of performance. Eating as close to”natural” is advised. Fast foods and highly processed convenience foods aren’t the best for long-term health and wellbeing. Food additives (colours and preservatives) can cause bad reactions. American eat too fast and this unfortunate habit is spreading worldwide. Drinking alcoholic beverages for comfort can quickly move to excess and may then stress certain systems within the body. One glass of wine is probably better than no stress control, but getting reliant on drinking beer, wine, or distilled spirits isn’t a great strategy for stress control. Regarding nutrition and diet, executives who find themselves suffering from the symptoms of anxiety should think about reducing, if not removing, caffeine from their diets. Caffeine acts as a stimulant and may increase symptoms of anxiety.
Caffeine can negatively affect your sleeping patterns and lower your productivity on future days. With the growth of coffee and expresso stores in the past 15 years, we’ve noticed an increase in symptoms of anxiety. Caffeine is found in java, black teas, chocolate, sodas (many colas and some caffeine improved drinks ), and a few other products. This may be a very tough habit to change. If you wish to get rid of caffeine, and you’re a heavy user, please gradually reduce your intake by slowly replacing your caffeinated products with non-caffeinated products. I’ve worked with individuals who have removed their headaches, muscle pains, sleeping problems, stomach dis-stress, and even higher blood pressure issues by decreasing their use of caffeine. Though stress from the speed of change is inevitable, you can avoid becoming a victim. By taking the time required for these preventative actions, you may save time and boost your performance.