Feeling guilty to take a break?

Transcript of the Feature Health Matters on Radio X  from 28 October 2013

I’m Tom Meyers, Stress Coach and welcome to another episode of Health Matters here on Radio X. In Health Matters I take a closer look at the S word that has become one of the biggest challenges to our health and wellbeing STRESS.

Have you been practicing the recommended Reaset breathing exercise? …This is the question I ask clients and one client perplexed me with her answer.

It wasn’t because she said NO.

For a simple breathing exercise it takes some people rather a long time before they put it into their daily routine and usually must hit the bottom a few times before they get it that they have no choice.

Thus the NO didn’t come as a surprise but when we started to talk about why not lay visible the state of our society and that dear listener shocked me.

So imagine this conversation.

  • T: Did you practice your breathing exercise?
  • C: No, I haven’t had the time.
  • T: No time?
  • C: At work its from the moment I enter to when I leave full on. I don’t even have time to have lunch. Some days and if I have lunch it’s in front of my computer.
  • T: Do you have colleagues that smoke?
  • C: Yes
  • T: Do they smoke at their desk?
  • C: No that’s not allowed.
  • T: Do they go outside to take a break?
  • C: Yes
  • T: So your colleague smokers do go out to smoke several times a day? They have time for that?
  • C: Yes, it seems.
  • T: Why don’t you go outside with them to take some fresh air?
  • C: Oh no I can’t do that. What would they think? They think I’m lazy just going out for a break.
  • T: So going out for a smoke which is known to be bad for your health is ok – I believe it is even a right – and for you to go out to breathe fresh air which is good for your health, increases creativity and productivity that is not accepted. You feel that others will judge you as lazy and you yourself agree through your feeling of guilt that taking a break now and then in other words that health promoting behaviour is not acceptable?

A long pause followed by both of us.

Do you recognise it?

This is the state of the society we live in. This person can be you?

I’ve told this story many times and every time it is recognised as being so. You feel guilty to take a break to do nothing. You feel guilty to allow your body to reaset itself and accept it as self-evident as a right to practice unhealthy behaviour.

How has it come this far? How come that we’re living in a world where we strayed away from our most essential needs and from our nature? When did we stray from health? From focussing on health and health behaviour?

Ask yourself? and when you suffer from stress then I ask you also to reflect upon your values? What do you consider important? Listen to your heart for a change and why not start a dialogue with your partner or colleagues. Lets start a movement of change. This doesn’t mean change things radically. A little change of here and there goes a long way. Like a Time-Out 3 times a day for 3 minutes of conscious breathing with positive feeling it can make an enormous difference in your health and wellbeing.

I’m Tom Meyers stress coach and here to help you to help yourself.

If you like to contribute, leave feedback or listen to a previous episode then visit the website radiox.eu where you’ll find a link to Health Matters or visit my website tommeyers.be

Next week I’ll talk about insomnia but don’t let that keep you awake 😉

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