AAGHH – deadlines, appointments, school runs, family commitments, work pressures. To do lists increasing, days flying by and the year diminishing. When you think about everything you have to do in your week, how do you feel? Cool, calm and collected or stressed, anxious, overwhelmed or totally frazzled?
The pressures of our fast paced world, the way we do business in our technological driven world has created new challenges and constant change. You only have to take a look around to see the effects.
It has been estimated that in any given 12 month period, 20 per cent of Australians will have experienced a mental health condition, which costs business billions every year, and society even more, yet not easily measurable.
Stress and anxiety increase your levels of the hormones adrenaline and cortisol, within your body. In excess, they dampen your immune system, leaving you exhausted and reducing your capacity to think clearly. This tends to fuel more of the same. Not a great result.
So, what can you do to combat the detrimental effects of an overload of stress in today’s busy world? There are the obvious solutions; having time off, getting a massage, exercising regularly, getting a good night’s sleep, or taking a holiday. All of the above help shift your focus, move your energy and allow you to ‘feel’ better. When you change the way you feel, your brain releases different chemicals and hormones, and because you feel better, everything else improves.
If you can’t escape to your own deserted island, I have a simple solution for you in the form of a ‘Happy Healthy Mind Tonic.’ This is one tonic that can be taken in liberal doses, preferably several times a day! You will boost your levels of dopamine and oxytocin, negate the effects of adrenaline and cortisol, enhance your health and be better equipped to thrive in a fast paced world. Here are the three ingredients:-
- STOP and Breathe (Try not to breathe! – it doesn’t work very well does it?)
Next time you are feeling stressed, stop what you are doing or thinking about. Focus on your breath for one minute. Think of someone you love or something that you are grateful for. This helps produce the hormone oxytocin, which reverses the effects of adrenalin and cortisol. When you feel calmer you will be able to function more effectively, producing a better outcome, and your nervous system gets a much needed rest!
- Record your successes
Remember what it was like when you were at school and you got a gold star or praise from a teacher? It felt good didn’t it? Neuro-Scientific research has shown that when you regularly record your successes, you increase your self esteem and confidence. You ‘feel’ better. Start a habit of writing down three successes on a daily basis. It doesn’t matter if they are big or small successes as your brain can’t distinguish between size!
- Become your best fan!
You brain is hard-wired to seek reward. When you celebrate your successes, acknowledge your wins, big or small, your brain will send you a dose of dopamine, the ‘happy’ hormone. You can have a wild celebration inside your head if it isn’t appropriate to jump around wildly in your workplace!
Here are cheers to your daily Happy Healthy Mind Tonic.
Mandy Napier BSC, dubbed ‘The Mindset Alchemist,’ is a Mind and Performance Coach, Author, Speaker and a Master Practitioner and Trainer of NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming). She is the author of ‘Creating Healthy Life Habits’ and a unique 90-day online coaching program, ‘New Mind New You New Life.’ Subscribe to her free ‘Mindset Matters’ for powerful mind tools and action strategies @ www.mindsetforsuccess.com.au