One thing I’ve learned is that you can’t give from an empty cup. Being distracted, moody, anxious and edgy doesn’t benefit our personal health, or our relationships.
If you find yourself exhausted all the time, snapping at those around you, feeling guilty; edgy; frustrated then you’re probably suffering from what Psychology Today has dubbed Public Enemy #1 – Chronic Stress.
Stress is itself a positive hormone that regulates the body’s homeostasis, and when it’s functioning properly it is balanced with positive feeling hormones that help you come down from a stress situation (the flight-or-fight response).
If you’re suffering from chronic stress you:
- find yourself forgetting things easily
- are constantly distracted
- have a tendency to overreact emotionally
- might have problems with digestion
- could be suffering from ulcers, IBS and even food allergies
- might be struggling with weight gain and find yourself unable to shake off the extra kilos no matter what you’re doing,
- fall into bed feeling exhausted but then find you’re too wired to actually fall asleep
- find yourself walking into a room and promptly forgetting what you went in there for
- find yourself driving somewhere and have no memory of the journey
- find yourself reading the same line over and over again in a report and can’t remember what it says.
Chronic stress negatively impacts not only your physical health, but your mental and emotional health too. Chronic stress is currently costing the Australian economy approximately $14.81 billion a year in stress related absenteeism. The cost to employers is about $10.11 billion a year. According to statistics, 14% of young Australians experience anxiety disorders, 6% experience depressive disorders and one in seven Australians will experience depression in their lifetime.
Chronic stress can actually create free radicals (unattached oxygen molecules) that attack the brain cells, much in the same way as oxygen rusts metal. Studies show that when you’re stressed, electrical signals in your brain associated with factual memories weaken whilst the areas associated with emotions strengthen, which can be why you find yourself close to tears when you lose your keys just when you need to leave the house, or have an outburst of rage when you’re cut off in traffic.
New studies are also showing that stress halts the production of new brain cells by lowering the level of brain-derived neurotrophic factor, a protein vital in keeping existing brain cells healthy and stimulating new brain cell formation. Low levels of BDNF are linked with depression, OCD, schizophrenia, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
So now that you know all the nasties associated with chronic stress, I’m sure you’ll agree that you really can’t afford not to take time out for your wellbeing. You’ll be happy to hear that there is a very simple solution to the problem. Short of selling up and going on a permanent vacation in the Caribbean, meditation is a simple solution that can help you manage day-to-day stress without cutting into large portions of your time. Research shows that meditation increased levels of positive emotion, life satisfaction, boosts your immune function and reduces your pain and inflammation in the body.
Meditation also affects the parts of the brain that help increase memory and improve your attention, with actual physical thickening of the pre-frontal cortex in the areas related to introspection and attention, the hippocampus which is related to memory and thought in the frontal area. Brain volume is significantly increase in areas regulating emotions, positive emotions and self-control.
- boosts your social life by increasing social connection and emotional intelligence.
- helps you become more compassionate
- makes you feel less lonely.
- improves your self-control
- improves productivity by increase you focus and attention
- improves your ability to multitask
- improves your memory
- improves your ability to be creative and think outside the body.
Six-week Meditation for Beginners Course
I’m running a six week meditation course specifically for female who are looking for ways to be more productive in their life, who want to be more present with their families and friends, and who want to take care of their health so they can continue making their dreams a reality without burning out!
In this simple six-week course you will learn:
- how to use mindfulness to manage your stress
- the benefits to be gained from regular meditation
- how to identify your core values and how to live a life in alignment with these values (this also reduces stress-levels!)
- the importance of loving kindness and forgiveness in your life
- alternatives to meditation and how you can implement this in your daily life
- relaxation techniques to use in your day-to-day
You will be taken through a number of meditations, and techniques so you can identify what works best for you and your lifestyle, get the support you need to integrate these techniques into your routine, and the opportunity to link up with like-minded girl bosses equally invested in their health and wellbeing.
Dates: 18 August, 25 August, 1 September, 8 September, 15 September, 22 September
Time: 6pm to 7.30pm
Location: Centro Innovative Health Clinic, 953 Wellington Street, West Perth.