Health is about balance

Transcript of the Feature Health Matters on Radio X  from 30 September 2013

Hi, I’m Tom Meyers, Stress Coach and welcome to another episode of Health Matters here on Radio X.

We’re already in week 3 of Health Matters where I take a closer look at the S word that has become one of the biggest challenges to our health and wellbeing STRESS.

I can’t stress enough ‘pun intended’ how important it is to take stress more seriously and to really come to understand what it is how it influences our health and what you can do about it.

To underline that importance here are some facts and figures:

  • 75 – 90 percent of all doctors visits are for stress related problems
  • 1.1 million people in Belgium take anti depressant drugs
  • 13.5 million boxes of sleeping pills are being sold in Belgium alone in a year.
  • Work absence due to burnout is on the rise and it is currently estimated that 1 in 4 employees are at risk of burnout

All signs that we’re not coping… That our stress system is out of balance as the demand we put on our body is outweighing it’s resources.

In Health Matters I want to share with you my insights into this threat to our health, social lives and economy.

So far I’ve shared with you that stress is biological in nature, that it is a survival mechanism evolved for the survival of our prehistoric ancestors that lived as hunters and that this  mechanism hasn’t changed significantly since.

That It is great for acute physical threats but as the kind of challenges we face have changed especially in the last 50 years to more social and mental stressors we’re also experiencing the limitations of this system as we know it to a degree that it becomes a life threatening stressor in itself.

Health is about balance. Stress is there to help maintain that balance through providing stability in the face of change.

However challenge the system too much or too often and the result is wear and tear and just like putting two sumo wrestlers on a children’s seesaw in time it will break and that breaking point is for each and every one of us very different.

Symptoms of a stress response in peril are: physical complaints like neck, shoulder or back pain, digestive problems, cardiovascular problems, headaches, insomnia, increased anxiety, depression and burn-out.

But did you know it also has an negative effect on your  memory, creativity and problem solving abilities?

Remember stress makes you more primitive and reactive,…

You don’t want to think what you’re going to do when that car comes driving down in your direction at high speed… you want to get out of the way immediately.

Other signs of stress are changes in mood, short-temperedness, self-obsession and aggressive and irrational behavior and interestingly to know with these behavioral changes is that the stressed person in question doesn’t realize he or she’s behaving differently… however colleagues or loved ones do and they are mostly on the receiving end… and thus their stress system is being triggered and… well I think you get the picture

Tom please stop for a minute … what you’re holding up isn’t a nice picture…

No it isn’t… but it is, what is happening and hence the importance of taking stress seriously and to choose to make changes in lifestyle to reset your bodies stability through change process or what is referred to as ALLOSTASIS.

How? by practicing at least 3 times a day for three minutes  the slow conscious breathing exercise with positive feeling  as described in the previous weeks of health matters.

But why stop there whenever you’ve done something like cleaning, or you’ve done the dishes, written an article or a radio feature.

Take a moment and congratulate yourself with a sensory joyous experience.

So with absolute joy I’ll make sure this feature goes on to the website radiox.eu so you can listen to it again and please share it with your dear ones, friends and colleagues…

I’m Tom Meyers have great week, … and I’ll see you again next Monday for another episode of Health Matters here on Radio X.

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