Has chronic stress become so normal that your focus is on life-ing over live-ing? A blog post by Lisa van Reeuwyk Reeuwyk of Bloom Business Development

Is chronic stress writing your life story?

In addition to what feels like a never-ending to-do list, there is an increasing amount of urgency around almost everything. From tasks, communication and responding to requests on your time, energy and resources, somehow all this technology has only added to the complexity of work and life. To quote Dr. Joe Dispenza, “No organism in nature is design to withstand long term stress.”

As a Certified Mindfulness Workplace Facilitator with 15 years experience working with leaders, executives and business owners as a Certified Life, Executive3 & Business Coach, I decided to blog this month about how something I work with every day. It’s so simple, it almost seems impossible in its ability decrease chronic stress.

Have you accepted chronic stress as the norm?

Chronic stress has become so commonplace that we no longer see it as a problem we can fix.

According to The American institute of Stress, 80% of workers feel stress on the job, nearly half say they need help in learning how to manage stress and 42% say their coworkers need such help. 25% have felt like screaming or shouting because of job stress, 10% are concerned about an individual at work they fear could become violent.

At my corporate lunch & learns and workshops, I commonly ask participants to rate their level on workplace stress on the feedback form, and can support their findings.

Three ways to ease chronic stress

Chronic stress is a complex issue that needs to be addressed at an individual level. Slowing down your pace and being in the present moment is a proven winner. 

1. Start where you’re at

The conditioning to make big moves and massive change is toxic and denies the evidence based research around change and healthy habits. You read more on this in my blog post on habits here. A marathon is run one step at a time, and getting in the habit of putting on your runners when you want to start a habit of running can make the difference in crossing the finish line. Yes, putting on shoes is a great place to start if you want to move your body and spend more time in nature to decrease your stress levels. Be honest with what your needs and desires are and start as small as you can.

I’m a huge fan of Dr. BJ Fogg and his work around tiny habits. So much so it’s a regular part of my coaching work as my clients create new habits that support their even bigger dreams.

TRY THIS: When you attach a new habit to an existing one, you multiply your chances of success.

2. Practice self kindness

If beating yourself up worked, wouldn’t your life be pretty much perfect by now? I may not know you, but I do know that when people show more kindness to themselves, they have more kindness for others. Practicing self kindness fosters greater harmony and less chronic stress.

TRY THIS: Start paying attention to your inner dialogue, some people refer to it as their inner critic. For every “put down”, counter it with a “put up”. Journaling can be a great support tool for this.

3. Be here now

Mindfulness is the awareness that arise from being present with what arises in the present moment, non-judgementally and intentionally. We are so often living multi-dimensionally with a part of our mind in the past, present and future and this plays a key role in chronic stress.

TRY THIS: Place your attention somewhere in your body, like your feet, seat or hands and simple notice how that part of your body feels. Notice the sensations around it like temperature or the surface it’s in contact with. When your mind wanders (it will), simply notice that i’ts wandering and bring your attention back, with kindness.

There is only your way

Remember that there is no wrong way to do this work, only your way where you continually return to yourself and your needs. Just like when you’re in a boat and you change course by one degree, the longer you stay on that path the further you’ll move away from the one you are currently on.

If you’re experiencing chronic stress or want to support your team with resources, tools and support, know that making the changes may feel hard, but is absolutely worth it. Please reach out for a consult to see if I can support you or your organization to work, live and play with less stress, more fun.

Here is to living with greater ease, more prosperity and way more fun.

Keep going, keep growing,

Lisa van Reeuwyk