The impact of stress accumulates, and, beyond the ongoing, regular stress that comes from living in our high-impact culture, specific life events can really knock us for a loop. Even happy changes can cause bumps in the road, which we register both physically and emotionally. While we can’t eliminate stress from our lives, we can learn where our hot spots are and how to best reduce and manage the stress we do experience.
You won’t be scored at the end, but answer true or false to the following questions, and elaborate a bit on those that feel especially relevant.
T /F 1. I set the pace for the day by beginning with peaceful thinking either through reading an inspiring passage, saying a prayer or acknowledging the gift of a fresh, new day.
T /F 2. Throughout the day I live in the moment. I don’t brood about a past event or fret about the future.
T /F 3. Each day I do something physical even if it’s just a walk around the...
“My candle burns at both ends/it will not last the night.” —Edna St. Vincent Millay
Burnout resists simple definition because it affects so many aspects of an individual’s life. In their book, Beyond Burnout, authors David Welch, Donald Medeiros and George Tate, describe burnout as a condition that affects us physically, intellectually, emotionally, socially and spiritually.
One of the first physical symptoms of burnout is fatigue. Intellectually, there may be a loss of creativity and sharpness in problem solving; cynicism may replace enthusiasm. Emotionally, the loss of dreams and expectations can result in feelings of helplessness and depression. In the social realm, isolation overtakes feeling of involvement, and spiritually, the person experiencing burnout may feel a lack of meaning or purposelessness to her life.
According to a recent study, one in three Americans is expected to burn out on the job in the near future and, in the two years preceding...
Another day, another deadline. You gulp caffeine and forge ahead, like the steadfast worker you are. A good soldier never gives up the fight, right?
Only if you view work as a battleground.
There’s a decisive difference between soldiering on, gamely shouldering the workload you’re assigned, and becoming a workplace warrior. Soldiers take orders; warriors take responsibility. While it’s wise to be a team player and complete projects to the best of your ability, even executives can push the envelope so severely that instead of helping the company, they’re hurting themselves.
Continually operating in overdrive can lead to physical, mental, or emotional harm. According to the Mayo Clinic, the following signs of burnout are cause for concern:
When it comes attracting clients, coaches may be tempted to tell people what we do and assume what they need. A better (and more coach-like) approach is to LISTEN – what are the needs, frustrations and wants of your ideal client? What’s the conversation in their heads, then use their words. If a client is thinking: I’m sick and tired of feeling tired, our marketing message is “Are you sick and tired of feeling tired?”
Another “key” to reaching our ideal clients is to be mindful. How can you be aware of what you are thinking, feeling, saying, doing and being in any given moment? Are you clear about your values and 100% aligned with your purpose (or do you doubt, compare, fear when it comes to new customers/clients)?
Five simple steps to expand your awareness:
Most of us run our lives on a handful of systems. Between our cellphones, our planners and our e-mail inboxes, we have organized ourselves and our time. And if you ever doubt the importance of these systems, recall your panic the last time you lost your planner.
Yet as important as these systems are, most of us don’t take advantage of what systems can do to improve our businesses. Systems are simply ways of automating or structuring processes so that they can occur systematically without so much thought or attention—and by more than just one person, so that the business can continue to run if the owner takes a vacation.
Figuring Out What to Systematize
For most of us, there are dozens of similar repetitive tasks, large and small, in our businesses or jobs that could be systematized. To identify where you can apply systems, step back from your enterprise and try to look at it objectively. Ask yourself questions such as below:
Where are your frustrations? This is an...
The body holds much of the information we need to function at our best, but too often we ignore its messages and plow ahead with what our minds tell us. Perhaps because we’re not taught from early on to pay attention to internal messages as well as external demands, we frequently ignore our body’s communications.
So we take another extra-strength aspirin rather than investigating what’s causing our head to ache. We use more caffeine or sugar to give us a lift when we feel tired, rather than hearing our body’s message about needing rest or recognizing our fatigue as an early symptom of burnout we’d do well to heed. A look at our pets may be all the message we need about the value of naps.
We fail to take into account the thousand little messages communicated to us by how we’re holding ourselves: the mouth that’s pinched and tight rather than relaxed. The fact that our shoulders are up around our ears, the knot of tension in our stomach as we...
With the Enron and other scandal opening our eyes to corruption at the corporate level, the importance of ethics and integrity in business is at the forefront of America’s awareness. We hear the words “ethics” and “integrity” a lot, but what, exactly, do they mean?
Ethics are a set of principles of right conduct. Integrity is the strict adherence to this set of principles, which does not waiver depending on the circumstances. For businesses and individuals to operate at their fullest potential, both ethics and integrity need to be solidly in place.
“I would go so far as to predict that most new businesses and entrepreneurs who do not have a solid ethical foundation will fail within five years,” writes Peter Koestenbaum, author of The Philosophic Consultant. “Conversely, those who do behave ethically will thrive, both financially and in other ways. Every conscientious businessperson should make it a priority to explore what ethical...
Are your decisions based on urgent demands for your immediate attention?
Do you find that your intuition is speaking but you’re not listening?
Would you like to take action based on your mind, body, heart, and intuition?
Let’s looks at these five assumptions.
Awareness helps us to make thoughtful decisions based on our inner wisdom from a deep understanding of our life’s purpose.
Contemplation and discovery:
As we learn to wait, watch and be guided by the wisdom from each moment, we are more comfortable with the unknown.
Contemplation and discovery:
According to a 2014 article in Time magazine, mindfulness meditation is becoming popular among people who would not normally consider meditation. Jon Kabat-Zinn, founder of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, defines mindfulness as “moment-to-moment, non-judgmental awareness.”
Yet, meditation or other formal practices are not the only reliable pathways to fulfillment. We can also use life as it is occurring to expand self-awareness.
Use the 7 Simple Practices to Expand Awareness and Fulfillment to discover everyday practices to generate the benefits mindfulness. Set your intention to become more aware of what you think, feel and do. Pay attention. Make choices based on present moment awareness. Observe and gently put in the correction.
The practice of gratitude as a tool for happiness has been in the mainstream for years. Long-term studies support gratitude’s effectiveness, suggesting that a positive, appreciative attitude contributes to greater success in work, greater health, peak performance in sports and business, a higher sense of well-being, and a faster rate of recovery from surgery.
But while we may acknowledge gratitude’s many benefits, it still can be difficult to sustain. So many of us are trained to notice what is broken, undone or lacking in our lives. And for gratitude to meet its full healing potential in our lives, it needs to become more than just a Thanksgiving word. We have to learn a new way of looking at things, a new habit. And that can take some time.
That’s why practicing gratitude makes so much sense. When we practice giving thanks for all we have, instead of complaining about what we lack, we give ourselves the chance to see all of life as an...