Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Stress “ a friend or an enemy?” # 4


Mistake #4: Suppressing Your Feelings

In October  of 2010, a man came to see me in my office practice who said his neck and back were giving him some trouble and he had difficulties with his sleep.  

He told me that he had gone through some recent stress, but didn't reveal any more detail than that.

After doing a coaching and energetic assessment, I decided that he  needed to release the tension in the muscles on either side of his spine and at the same time the pressure inside his head.   so I worked with him with visualization and affirmation tools and I suggested to see a Shiatsu practicioner in order  to release it.

In the philosophy of some natural therapies, such as Shiatsu, if a person has been keeping their feelings or stresses bottled up inside, their body may become tense on part of their middle or upper back. (It is interesting how your body can reflect a picture of your emotions.)

At the end of the session, when I asked him how he was feeling, he told me that as Iwe were working erergeticly on that middle section on his back, he suddenly felt this strong feeling of frustration and anger come up out of nowhere. It was as if all that emotional tension that he had kept to himself was coming to the surface. A few minutes later those feelings just disappeared completely and he felt very calm and peaceful.

He then went on to tell me that he had recently been through a difficult relationship break-up and that he kept at lot of his frustration bottled up because he found it difficult to talk about his feelings.

Realize that your body is a walking diary of your life's events. Your body holds all your tensions and feelings that aren’t expressed or released. Keeping your feelings locked up inside is like putting more and more air into a balloon - eventually the pressure of the air will somehow have to force it's way out.


Whether it be in your business or personal life - how you deal with your emotions will affect your behaviour, your mood and how patiently you interact with your customers, clients, colleagues, and friends.

Everything in life needs space to let go so that they can grow.

Practice expressing your feelings each day in one of three ways:

1. Talk to people about your feelings. Find someone who can listen without trying to tell you what to do.

2. Talk to yourself. No, it doesn't mean that you are crazy - but sometimes just talking out loud in front of a mirror can help to clarify, and express, how you feel and can clear your head.

3. Write it down in a letter. Not on the computer - but a hand written letter.

Writing it out can be a powerful way of releasing emotions by expressing your feelings without worrying about saying the wrong thing to someone. At the end of your letter, re-read it and then tear it up. This is not a diary to be kept - it is only a way to get your feelings out.

Getting your feelings out by talking, writing or other means, can help clarify what your thoughts and bring your challenges into perspective. Withheld emotions tend make problems feel a lot big than they may actually be.



Thursday, 5 June 2014

Stress “A friend or an enemy? #3”


Mistake #3: Setting Unrealistic Time Frames

We all have deadlines to meet of one type or another.

Setting tight time frames can motivate you to really push yourself to bring out your best.

On the other hand, working to tight time frames can be anxiety producing and draining to the point of making you feel unwell.

Take this one lady, for example, whom I worked with in my Coaching  practice…

At the time she was about 28 years old and was responsible for the safety and wellbeing of several hundred truck drivers - their rest times, their truck loads, their capacity to be safe drivers etc.

She had to manage their shifts, pick-up & delivery times, rest points, as well as trouble shoot if anything went wrong.

For one person, she had a virtually impossible workload and a huge responsibility.

She loved being under pressure because she enjoyed that feeling of adrenaline and being busy which helped her think faster and get more done.

However, she got to the stage where she wasn't getting restful sleep, she would wake in the middle of the night and be throwing up because of the stress. She was experiencing headaches daily and felt tired and irritable all the time.

After a year of enduring this, she came to see me for some help.

I remember that her body was so tense that she couldn't bear to have her shoulders touched. She had buried so much tension into her system that it was now breaking down and she was on the verge of falling apart

There was no bug or virus that had caused all these problems in her -it was an accumulation of many months of ongoing built-up stress and tension. My task was to help restore some balance to her life.

So, instead of focusing solely on repairing her body's health, we discussed her lifestyle and work-style and started to make some changes.

Amongst the coping strategies that we talked about, which included; ways she could unwind at night, getting better food to eat, breathing techniques, etc. (to learn the exact same strategies I taught her,  we also looked at how she could stop living her life as if she was always in a rush by changing her work projects so they were manageable.

Within 3 weeks of working together, her headaches subsided and, although she was still under stress and pressure, she wasn't waking in the night, she was keeping her dinner in her stomach, and she became a much more pleasant person.

The key to her success was to stop putting herself under unrealistic pressure to perform. Instead she set targets and time frames that were realistic without working 16 hours a day.

Stop and look at the stress in your own life that relates to being late, getting work finished, getting all the tasks done by the end of your day.


Are you setting unrealistic expectations and deadlines that put you 'on-the-go' all day everyday?

If so, then realise that at that consistent pace, your body will eventually break down.

Take action while you still have the choice - reduce the amount of deadlines you live under or extend them to be more realistic.

Try these 4 steps:

a. Look at what you have to do in your day and write down the key goals - make sure you include the deadline for each – but make it a realistic deadline.

b. For each goal, write down the list of actions you need in order to reach it. Also, allocate the right time frame that each action will take to complete.

c. Put together a master plan that schedules all the tasks of all the goals.

I. Make a global plan: From start to finish of each goal, schedule into your diary when each step needs to be completed.

II. Make a local plan: A weekly, and daily, plan of what tasks need to be completed.

d. Identify if your goals/targets are, in fact, achievable given the time you have available. If they aren't, then you are setting yourself up for stress and tension, so you will need to either adjust your time frames or reduce your workload to ensure that you are not working yourself too hard to try and accomplish something that is unreachable.


To be continued…