Feeling burned out by all the stress in your life? There are several ways to boost your mental and physical resources during times of great change and stress. With just a little effort you can be in a much better position to “ride the storm” and to make the right decision with a calm mind.
- Body movement: Are you feeling fatigued from long sessions in the office or in conference rooms? The first reaction is often a workout out in the gym or a ten kilometre run. Initially you might feel good by all those “happy hormones” or endorphins being emitted by the body. But at the same time you are flooding your body with a stress hormone called cortisol of which you already might have more than enough. The more cortisol in your system, the more your adrenal glands on the kidneys become fatigued. Try body arts that relax you both mentally and physically and bring your entire body metabolism into balance. Yoga, taiji, qi gong, pilates and meditation are ancient proven methods that work. But even a gentle walk in nature and jogging at a gentle pace (with pauses inbetween) will help bring down your stress level.
- What food do you eat? Too much sugar and salts in processed foods is wreaking havoc on our bodies. White sugars rob the body of phosphates which are vitally important in almost every intracellular reaction. Too much salt interferes with the natural absorption of water in our body, causing constipation, accumulation of toxins and higher blood pressure. You can’t go wrong with a good mixture of fresh seasonal vegetables and fruit. The supplement spirulina is loaded with beta carotene, iron, magnesium and other trace materials which your body really needs during times of stress.
- Healing rituals: When everything around us appears to be in disarray or collapse a ritual can restore balance and sense of belonging and connection. It could be a religious prayer, the lighting of a candle, a meditation or any other regularly performed daily action at a certain time or place of the day. Rituals have been part of human life and social interaction since the dawn of mankind but we seem to have forgotten the significance of them in the rat-race of modern times.
- Friends and family: A typical symptom of burnout caused by stress is the withdrawal from social interaction. We are social animals and need to talk and interact with our fellow human beings, who give us important feedback, empathy, sense of meaning and comfort. Sharing and volunteering your help for a non-profit organisation, church, neighborhood initiative or any other group that serves a higher purpose often brings you “back to earth”.
- If you can learn to ride the storm, change can positively enrich your life in many ways. The challenge lies in dealing with those defining moments of transition from a position of strength and power.
More information in my book: “Yield and Overcome” http://goo.gl/iry4y