Tag Archives: work

Time out is crucial for your health

Most people living in an urbanized environment live highly stressful lives, spending most of their lifetime in closed indoor environments or on noisy streets. It is crucial for health and well-being to reconnect with nature and the natural rhythm of the universe.

Sprint and recovery

An integrated sprint and recovery system that integrates work and recuperation time spent outdoors in nature, should be built into our daily routine.

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In order to function as human beings we need lazy time for rest, recovery, creative play and the digestion of the countless distractions vying for our attention round the clock.  There is a huge amount of scientific evidence showing that stress factors such as high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat and high cortisol stress hormone levels begin to fall as soon as we focus our attention on the rustling of leaves in a green forest or hear the sound of ocean waves gently washing to shore.

Natural light is crucial for your body metabolism

Natural sunlight affects our bodies in many ways.  It is a catalyst for the secretion of hormones such as serotonin and melatonin. Melatonin is an important antioxidant and can neutralize some agents that damage cells and DNA that are believed to be a contributing cause of some cancers.

Indoor toxins may threaten your health

When we spend most of our lives indoors we also expose ourselves to countless indoor toxins that come in the form of mold, dust mites, fabrics and chemical compounds.

After going through a period of massive job and personal stress that left me badly fatigued, grumpy and in poor health, I went on my first pilgrimage hike in northwestern Spain some ten years ago. It changed my life and since then I’ve taken time out every year to spend between three and four weeks at a time walking in nature. I’ve interviewed numerous people from all walks of life on the Camino, who have confirmed my own observations that walking is a wonderful way of reconnecting with the universal rhythm.

Great thinkers found inspiration while walking!

During research for my new book “Deep Walking for Body, Mind and Soul”, to be published later this year by Morgan James Publishing in New York, I was surprised to discover that some of the world’s greatest writers and thinkers such as Johann Sebastian Bach, found inspiration while walking.

Henry David Thoreau wrote in his journal, “Methinks that the moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow.

The poet William Wordsworth was said to have walked as many as a 290,000 kilometers (180,000 miles) in his lifetime. This translates to an average of six and a half miles a day starting from the age of five.

Humans are hard-wired to live in the past or in the future because planning and learning from the past has been crucial to the survival of our species.

Listen to thoughts when walking

Real joy comes from those magical moments of being absolutely present and experiencing spirituality, love and peace of mind.

It is an enlightening experience to “listen” to your own thoughts when walking. Becoming aware of your thoughts is the first step toward focusing on the moment.

Take a break, savor the nature around you by opening your sense of smell to the herbs by the wayside, open your ears to the chorus of bird song and feel that cool mountain breeze caressing your face.

Nature is the best healer!

Reino Gevers – Author, Mentor and Consultant

https://www.reinogevers.com

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Filed under cancer, cortisol, energy, environment, exercise mental health, healing nature, meditation, stress, Uncategorized

Leaving the comfort zone

A few days into the New Year it appears that we are on the threshold of some major economic and political changes.  A downturn is long overdue given a cycle of uninterrupted growth for almost a decade. A continued trajectory upward defies the law of nature but most of us continue to believe that there are exceptions.

In making contingency plans, you won’t be caught by surprise. Those who choose the path of safety and comfort will fail to see the thunder storms of change on the horizon and take action only when its too late. It is the unwritten code of all life form.

An organism has the flexibility to adapt to changes in its habitat, changing its response or moving to a different environment. The species that fails to adapt to the continuous changes of the wheel of life will inevitably be doomed.

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Photo by Maik Fischer on Unsplash

The natural response of most humans in an economic environment of major change is to go into blaming mode: Its always the fault of the management, the government, foreigners or other external factors, surrendering themselves to a life of misery of what was and could have been.

But it’s the fear of the unknown that prevents most people from taking action when the writing is all over the wall.

Life appears easy in the comfort zone but a comfort zone can get very uncomfortable. Expectations are in line with what is expected. You are on automatic mode. You have the skill set on what needs to be done. But there is no magic left in the air. Staying in the treadmill of the routine is the reason why so many people lose their drive and enthusiasm.

We humans are creatures of habit and we need to train ourselves to remain adaptable to the cues of change that the universe is constantly sending us. We learn when we encounter new experience and that’s part of the magic in becoming our true self.

Be brave and adventurous. Try some New Year resolutions:

Take a path you’ve never walked before or go to places you’ve never been to. Learn a new craft, language or hobby. Meet new people that help move you out of the comfort zone. Try a different restaurant and a different dish. Wear clothing and colors that are different from your standard repertoire.

In becoming more flexible you will have less difficulty adapting to external changes that are out of your control.

Reino Gevers – Author, Mentor and Consultant

https://www.reinogevers.com

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Filed under happiness, lifestyle management, meditation, personal choice and happiness, Uncategorized, work environment, work purpose

Sprint and recovery

We live in a time where countless forces are demanding our attention. They are in reality pulling us away from our true destiny and our heart wishes. Most TV shows, the tabloids and social media feed our mind with false images and mind junk. And what you feed your mind with you become.

We so easily lose focus and sense of purpose when these external forces distract us. Moreover it depletes your mental and physical energy to the point where you are constantly exhausted. Don’t let it come to that.

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In my previous blog I discussed some of the reasons why most New Year Resolutions fail. The major reason is procrastination and procrastination comes from the lack of drive caused by exhaustion and over-exposure of the mind to distracting clutter.

There is a Chinese saying that the empty space between the spokes of a wheel are more important than the spokes themselves. The recovery time after a sprint is more important than the sprint itself.

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If you are currently engaged in a project or trying to sustain your New Year Resolution then you need to set aside time each day for uninterrupted focus on what you are doing. Make sure you have a space where no one will disturb you and you won’t be distracted by  electronic media for a 90-minute sprint session. After that take a break. Do something completely different, like going for a walk, doing an exercise sequence or taking a power nap.

Its a common illusion that sitting at an office desk for eight hours a day or longer is productive. I would guess that at the most a third of the time is actually used for effective work. The same applies to meetings. Most meetings are completely useless and energy sapping.

Remember: We have all the time in the world and yet no time to lose!

Reino Gevers – Mentor for Leaders and Achievers – Your Health Matters

Awakening the Fire Within – key principles of health and success. Enrolling now will give you a 25 per cent discount.

 “Walking on Edge – A Pilgrimage to Santiago” available both in Kindle and paperback.

http://www.reinogevers.com

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Filed under corporate health, lifestyle management, longevity, mass media, meditation, psychology, Uncategorized, work environment

Who takes the blame?

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During our recent walk on the Camino in Spain we met a young guy with a big hat on a remote mountain. Miguel was selling cold drinks and water to pilgrims and at the same time giving them an arm band with wise words written on them. I got the quote: “analyze, understand and resolve.”

Words so true and important both in a personal context and how we should deal with problems and conflicts at the organizational level.

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It comes to mind that organizations in the corporate world and leaders who learn from mistakes are extremely rare. My experience: The bigger the organization the more slow and complex the decision-making process. Most managers are afraid to take the blame if something goes wrong.

It is deeply ingrained in our culture from early childhood. Admitting failure means taking the blame and living with the resulting shame and consequences. That is why so few organizations have systems in place where the potential of  learning from failure can be fully realized. The recent diesel scandal at Volkswagen is a classic example. Many of the executives and managers at top level were obviously aware that something was seriously wrong in manipulating emission requirements. But the rigid hierarchy culture at that level obviously made it very unsafe to admit and report the failure of engineers.

Failures and mistakes, especially where human interaction is involved, is inevitable. It is a by-product of a creative and experimental culture that leads to innovation. To consider them bad or avoidable is counterproductive. In fact such a culture will produce major calamities as we have seen with VW.

On a personal level we often dwell endlessly over a problem or fall into a freeze mode out of shame if we have really messed it up. We also tend to blame the situation on external factors but do the opposite when assessing the mistakes of others.

Here are some problem solving tips:

  • Analyze the reasons that led to the problem
  • Identify several possible problem solving options and write them down. This is getting clarity in understanding why something went wrong.
  • Occupy your mind with other things like taking a walk or sleeping over it for a night
  • Prioritize your options and then take a decision that leads to resolution

Reino Gevers – Mentor for Leaders and Achievers – Your Health Matters

Awakening the Fire Within – key principles of health and success. Enrolling now will give you a 25 per cent discount.

NEW RELEASE: “Walking on Edge – A Pilgrimage to Santiago” available both in Kindle and paperback.

http://www.reinogevers.com

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Filed under happiness, happiness research, lifestyle management, organisational structure, outdoor coaching, psychology, raised consciousness, work environment, work purpose

Flying cars and plastic hearts

Could anyone have predicted in the world of 1997 the profound effects that social media and the digital revolution would have on the world of today? Then think ahead of what our world might look like in two decades.

flying carsSome years from now it will be quite normal to have flying electric cars as a mode of transportation. Food might be grown in greenhouses in city skyscrapers and human organs and body parts produced by 4D technology.

Technological revolutions always have cataclysmic effects on whole industry sectors with winners and losers on both ends. But it also changes society on many levels, the way we live, our relationships and state of mind.

Is it something to embrace or something to be afraid of? Depending on your mindset it could be either of the two, depending on your willingness to adapt. Do you accept the inevitability of certain changes as an opportunity or do you prefer to reject anything that you perceive as a threat to the status quo?

The point is that it is an inevitability of life that nothing remains static and that change is part of life like the seasonal changes of the year. Life is an a constant state of flux and evolution. Those species that accept the change and adapt to the new situation the fastest are the ones that survive.

We humans are very much animals of habit.  How we exercise, the foods we eat, where we work or live and in what relationships we remain committed to, is mostly determined by habit. Even if we know on a rational level that some of those habits are not doing us any good.

The choice is simple: Do you bear with the pain in an increasingly difficult comfort zone of the status quo or do you take on the pain that comes with change and adaption to new circumstances?

Embracing change is embracing opportunity of growth,  constant learning, self-development and evolution of human spirit. So lets go for it!

Reino Gevers – Mentor for Leaders and Achievers – Your Health Matters

Awakening the Fire Within – key principles of health and success. Enrolling now will give you a 25 per cent discount.

NEW RELEASE: “Walking on Edge – A Pilgrimage to Santiago” available both in Kindle and paperback.

http://www.reinogevers.com

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Filed under happiness, Job satisfaction, life vision, lifestyle management, mental-health, raised consciousness, work environment

Is “stress” a myth?

ImageIf we feel and look around us we so often find ourselves “driven” by forces out of our control that we perceive as stressful. We find ourselves under pressure, in a constant state of hectic activity with no time to relax. More and more people are succumbing to these pressures with a burnout, depression or other psychological disorders.

 

Not a day goes by without some publication, giving us some tip on how to deal with the stresses of modern life.

 

In psychological terms stress is defined as a psychological and physical response of the body in reaction to changing conditions. These conditions may be real or perceived and has a powerful effect on mental functioning.

 

The last point is particularly poignant. Is having stress all in the mind? A lot of recent medical research is focusing on just this question. Some people obviously manage to deal much better with change than others.

 

Why do some people really take off when they are under pressure, finding in themselves enormous stamina and creative flow while others doing the same work under the same conditions suffer from chronic exhaustion and end up having a burnout.

 

I think its time to put some things into perspective. Compared to previous generations and compared to much of humanity in the so-called Third World, we in the industrialised West live a pretty comfortable life – at least in material terms. In order to get something to eat, we merely take a drive down to the next supermarket where we have a choice of foods that no other generation ever experienced. We have warm homes in winter with central heating and in the warmer areas air conditioning in summer. We have a life expectancy that is much higher on average than that of our great-grandparents.

 

Would you really want to go back in time to the Middle Ages when people lived in constant fear of dying in warfare, from famine or disease. The wealthiest king or queen did not have the choice and comforts of life that the average person enjoys today. So what has gone wrong? Why are we so under stress?

 

Today’s stress is primarily not about physical but about emotional and social survival.

 

When we are under stress, our sympathetic nervous system initiates a “fight or flight” reaction, restricting blood flow, raising blood pressure, releasing adrenaline and the stress hormone cortisol, slowing body functions so that all energy can be used to fight the stressor. After the perceived danger has passed, the parasympathetic system takes over, decreasing heartbeat and relaxing blood vessels.

 

In our modern world our stress response is activated so frequently that the nervous system doesn’t have a chance to return to normal, resulting in a state of chronic stress. There is a chronic imbalance between activity and relaxation. It is very often the same type of stress over a long period of time that takes its toll.

 

In my consultancy for many different types of business on corporate health issues, there appear to be several common denominators that cause negative stress among employees, leading to growing absenteeism from burnout or depression:

Here are the most common:

 

  • Management that fails to communicate to its employees that they are really valued as fellow human beings. Simple acts of courtesy fall by the wayside with employees merely seen as “a human resource” costing xxxx number of dollars or euros a month.

  • Performance is measured merely in individual output with social skills such as team play not being taken into consideration.

  • Total control with little or no freedom in utilising personal skills or creativity

  • Round the clock availability via email or cell phone, even during vacation time

  • Finding no meaning, vision or real perspective in the job one is doing

  • No time allowed or taken for real breaks where colleagues can communicate with each other

  • No time for relaxation or physical exercise during work time

 

People don’t just go to work to earn money. It is the place where they spend the largest portion of their lives, where they interact with fellow human beings, seek meaning in their lives and find the challenges that make them grow and become fully human. Companies that really understand this and train their managers to lead people rather than machines will inevitably lead the field, even in highly competitive market segments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More information on the Five Elements in my book “Yield and Overcome”http://goo.gl/TXSgw0

 

 

 

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