Why is talking about stress so important

Transcript of the Feature Health Matters on Radio X  from 25 November 2013

I’m Tom Meyers, Stress Coach and welcome to episode 11 of Health Matters here on Radio X. Belgium’s 1st and only commercial English-speaking radio station for Brussels and beyond.

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

Why is talking about stress so important you might ask. We know we’re stressed, that our society is creating a to do list with no end and that due to the economic recession we need to do more with less resources.

But here is why… we are making ourselves sick, depressed, fearful, self-centred and are running ourselves down.

In Belgium alone

60% of the workforce complains of stress1.1 million antidepressant are being taken every day on top of that 600.000 sleeping pils. 1 in 4 employees is at risk of burnout and more then 9 million working days are lost due to stress alone. To top it all 75 to 90% of all illnesses and accidents are related to stress.

What do these figures say? They say we’re not coping? Our society is in conflict with our biology.

Stress is not the problem. Stress as the autonomic response your body starts-up to protect you. Its a survival response that unfortunately hasn’t had an update since prehistoric times and reacts with a physical response even though the stressor is an email a phone ringing or an anticipated meeting with your boss. You can blame stress as much as you want but it won’t change anything as it is part of who you are and what you are made of.

Can you point the finger at society well you can but will it change anything?

What you can do is start to be more mindful that you have a body and that it can’t be taken for granted. The body has its limits unlike your mind which can win every marathon pure by your imagination.

Ask yourself what is health? Start talks with your partner, family, friends and colleagues about what health means and what you need to stay healthy.

Look at how you spend your day, week, month. Do you still have time for yourself or is every moment booked up with things to do, people to see…

Do all activities you do give you energy or does it take it away? Some obligations are unavoidable but not all. Those that are unavoidable… how can you make them as pleasant as possible. Positive thoughts and intentions are a very good start when dealing with stress.

Make yourself a Health prescription. Address it to yourself and to your body.  and write down 5 firm decisions that you can implement in your day to promote health behaviour. If you need some inspiration then listen again to the previous episodes of Health Matters that you can find on the website radiox.eu

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Next week i’ll talk about how to recognises when  stress has you in its grip.

I’m Tom Meyers Stress Coach for body and mind and contributor of thought to a more joyful and healthy way of living. Would you like to get in touch with me then visit the website tommeyers.be

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