Leadership regularly involves stress. However stress isn’t restricted to Leaders; everybody – adults, children and even unborn infants frequently experience stress.
Chronic health problems, relationship demands, pressure at work, traffic hold-ups, meetings, project deadlines, peer-pressure, misunderstandings, all can trigger stress.
“Stress is linked to 93% of all disease”
World-renowned cell biologist and Ph D, Dr Bruce Lipton, tells us stress is linked to 93% of all disease![i] That’s an astonishing figure, and one which demands serious attention.
When you become stressed and don’t do something about it quickly, the chemicals released create the environment for inflammation in the body. Inflammation is a condition where your body attempts to protect itself and heal an injury or infection. However, chronic (long-term) inflammation harms rather than heals, because the attack on the immune system never stops.
Research by the HeartMath Insititute shows that ongoing low-grade stress can do more harm to the body than one major stressful event.
Without a healthy body, your capacity to enjoy and fully experience life is severely diminished, not to mention the discomfort and energy drain of stress upon your mind.
“What we think, matters”
We all recognise it when we experience it, but just what is stress?
“Stress can broadly be defined as the tension you feel both mentally and physically, when you perceive yourself as unable to adequately deal with a person, task, environment, situation or event.”
Whenever you perceive yourself as threatened, real or imagined – the brain can’t tell the difference between a purely virtual experience and a physical one, when you see yourself as threatened, emotionally, mentally or physically, you are going to have physiological changes in your body. And those changes are felt as stress.
And it makes no difference whether you are actively participating in a stressful experience in the moment or merely thinking about one – dealing with that difficult person last week, recalling some unpleasant past event from childhood, or imagining a possible future dilemma.
Either way, your thoughts, emotions and physiological changes will be the same.
So often we allow our minds to go over and over a distressing situation; we keep thinking and talking about a past event that upset us. And every time we do this, our brain releases the same harmful chemicals into our body.
We keep stressing ourselves!
Two monks, one quite old and the other just a youth, were walking to a neighbouring temple on the other side of a river. When they got to the river bank they found a young lady waiting who also needed to cross. The river was less than waist high at this spot so people were able to wade across if there was no boat available. The young lady was a little afraid to wade through as the waters still flowed quite quickly. So, she politely asked the monks if one of them would help her.
The old monk smiled, picked her up and gently carried her across. The younger monk was astonished – not at the ability of the old monk but because it was the rule that monks were to have no dealings with women. He had not even allowed himself to look directly at the young woman. But his companion had not just looked right at her face, he’d picked her up in his arms.
The monks walked on in silence for some time until finally, the younger one stopped and said to the other: Master, I have to ask, how is it you picked up that lady when we’ve been forbidden even look at women?
The old monk kept walking and then quietly said: I put her down on the other side but you are still carrying her.
“Let it go”
We do this often with the hurts and disappointments that cause us stress. We continue to carry them long after the moment is over, keeping them alive in our minds and maintaining low levels of toxic chemistry in our system.
Fortunately, we have something called Consciousness, which is our ability to be ‘aware’. And when we become aware we can choose to let go whatever is not helpful or healthful. You will not only have more energy, you’ll also allow your brain to think more clearly.
I help clients more easily release themselves from stress and reclaim their power. If this is something you want, let’s talk and explore if working together is a good fit. I’d love to hear from you.
You can read more on stress and how it can become a habit HERE