The 1 Key to Fixing Your—and Your Team’s—Stress

Stress causes weight gain. It leads to sleep challenges. Stress results in illnesses from minor to devastating. Chronic stress.

This one hack is free, it’s simple and it can be the key to your long-term health and “new normal” sanity.

I counsel our concierge and corporate clients to fix their stress first (and not to add more cardio and dieting). The TOP reason they can’t lose weight is their chronic stress —it leads to lifestyle choices like snacking, losing sleep and exercise, fretting, and simply making choices you wouldn’t if you didn’t experience all of this stress.

There is ample research that shows us that lifestyle choices are the source of your health and wellness woes.  This is challenging, because we can’t SEE the effects because they are taking place under our skin AND it’s EASIER to fall prey to the media self-talk “more cardio and fewer calories are the answer”.

Stress sets up a chain of “events” inside your body that can ultimately lead to serious illness.

A common and well-researched “fix” when you experience the onset of a stressful minute (or twelve!) is to breathe, pause and observe. Practicing these strategies may sound simple; try it—it is tough to JUST OBSERVE what is happening to your body from head to toe and to simply RECOGNIZE that you’re in this space of discomfort.

Yet this beautiful action alone won’t “fix” your stress. (See below what will!)  It will, however, bring you closer toward a mindfulness practice. My Mindfulness 101 Experience for our corporate clients helps to frame each minute in your day within a context of calm (versus chronic stress) throughout your day. Learn more about our “New Normal” Experiences for corporate teams! The calmer you are, the more you will “respond” rather than “react” when inevitable stress develops. One is much easier on your heart and brain. Guess which one? 😉

heart and brain holding hands

As much of the American workforce is considering—or already shifting—their move back into the office, America’s mental health challenges are, concurrently, at an all time high.  Twice as many Americans are reporting anxiety and chronic stress now as in 2019 before the Pandemic.

Our own Alexandria Wellness survey showed even our community is experiencing “return to office dread”. They are feeling this way despite the fact that we began practicing our best stress resilience practices as soon as the Stay at Home Orders took place. Yes, even our community is struggling to celebrate the “new normal”.

So, what about your community? How do you think your team is responding?

  • Do they need guidance learning how to respond and not react to workplace stress?
  • Would they benefit from learning simple hacks to calm their stress?
  • Will you consider giving them the gift they will keep for the rest of their lives?

If you answered “Yes” to even one question, it would behoove you to consider a corporate wellness program. You can start small and slow. The investment in your team in a thoughtful and meaningful way will pay off in unimaginable ways. Find out more about our Corporate Wellness Program now!

So how can you help your team (and you) with this “new normal” workplace challenge?  You re-frame. Re-frame the way you interpret your stress. From a snarky email and a new project that will keep you away from your family, to personal life frustrations and challenges, re-framing the circumstance can be your key.

Our self-talk fuels our stress and we feed it every day. The brain catches-on quickly (because it is programmed to “go negative”) and it starts to repeat these thoughts subconsciously without you even putting any effort into it. Every millisecond the brain thinks what it does because you are telling it to.

The worst byproduct is that these thoughts become the default.

You become what you think. Period. Your thoughts are the key to your health.

Yet, we can CHANGE the channel of how our brain tells its story.

You can re-frame.

Join me in my challenge to address the “busy badge of honor” to which we’ve all fallen prey. These beliefs and thoughts you’re possibly telling yourself below are a great place to start:

  • “I am so busy!”
  • “I don’t have enough hours in the day.”
  • “Why is THIS (fill in the blank) happening TO me.”
  • “I need to work longer and harder to show I’m working.”

The first step is to collect your stories you are telling yourself and make a personal inventory of the stories—or one liners—you are “self-talking”. This practice can take weeks, months and years.  After all, you have accumulated these stories in your head for so long. It will take time to recognize these stories are not helping you, they are hurting you and your physical health.

Next, you can re-frame and change the language of your “victimhood”. Change your old way of thinking thoughts that cause you—and are the root of—stress, to those that are more thoughtful and inspired by wellness.

  • “I have so much stress” can be traded for something that says “I’m a healthy person who got off course.”
  • “I need to work longer since I’m working remotely, and I need to prove myself” can be re-framed to “Maybe working longer and harder isn’t what I need right now.”

This skill, like so many we develop during our journey to gain holistic wellness, takes time and patience. Investing time, energy and resources in your wellness will pay off for you and your team’s health and wellness. Learn more about my Corporate Wellness Program and how you and your team can reframe your self-talk into game changers for your health, wellness and longevity!

 

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