The great English writer, poet and philosopher, G. K. Chesterton said …

“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.”

At this time of the year with Thanks Giving being celebrated in North America and the festive season for many around the world being only a month away, life is hectic.

With a hectic life style for so many people come added responsibility, and survey after survey tells us that personal stress can be at a peak at this time of the year for the majority of the population.… Continue reading

Enough is Enough

From time to time in our lives we can become so enthralled with the doing, that the being somehow disappears. Maybe this has happened to you also at sometime in your life when you were on a pathway moving forward at speed with no deviation.

In 1997 our coaching, mentoring and consulting business was growing in leaps in and bounds. We started our private client business in Brisbane in 1991 and there we were, six years on,with clients in seven countries and working around the clock. We loved it!

We lived in our magical dream home on the Gold Coast… Continue reading

The Puzzle of Internal and External Stress

In 1936 the pioneering Hungarian endocrinologist Dr Hans Selye started to share with the world community his findings of experimental work he was doing on what he called,stress. He went onto explain that stress was … “the non-specific response of the body to any demand for change.” When he spoke about stress at conferences around the world, certain languages did not have a word for stress at the time and had to create a new word for this concept.

“Stress, like Einstein’s theory of relativity, is a scientific concept which has suffered from the mixed blessing of being… Continue reading

The Stress of Negative Thinking

Yesterday I heard a very interesting interview with Lucinda Brogden a Commissioner on the Australian Mental Health Commission who was reporting on world-wide findings from an international Suicide Conference she had recently attended in Singapore.

She reported on a study of millennials in a progressive Asian country where there was a strong work ethic in their society. The individuals she reported on had all checked into a special needs centre as they were so stressed, they felt suicidal. Everyone felt compelled to check their smart phone 10 times on average each night during sleeping.

When asked why they felt so… Continue reading

Urban Myths and Stress

Certain behaviours that family, friends or colleagues have suggested to you as key ways to de-stress, may actually be creating more stress in your life. Check out what science has found out to be the truth about these urban myths.

  1. Enrolling Your Best Friend to Support you to De-Stress

Research has found that when males seek support from a male friend to talk through stressful matters that it may reduce their cortisol levels and hence help them to de-stress. It has been shown that in females, cortisol levels may increase with increased social support (Kirschbaum, et al1995; Shirtcliff et al,… Continue reading

Sleep, Weight, Cortisol and Stress

Most of my working life I have only needed four hours sleep a night with a ten or twelve hour catch up sleep every so often to keep me in balance.

As I commented two weeks ago I slept for four hours a night because my view of sleep was that it was a wasteful activity. Sleeping too long was something that robbed me of time and made my days shorter. I had so much to do and I have always been extremely passionate about my work.

As quality research continues to be published about the ill effects on our… Continue reading

Email Stress

Email has changed the way we do business. Long gone are the days when ‘snail mail’ arrived at your home or office, and in time, the letters were answered according to their level of importance and urgency.

The literature is now rich in studies regarding employees constantly reporting the stress that email is creating in the workplace.

A study in 2012 by Professor Tom Jackson from Loughborough University in the UK explored the physiological and psychological impact of email on employees at a UK government agency, using blood pressure, heart rate and cortisol levels and paper-based diaries as outcome measurement… Continue reading

Hack Your Brain to Harness Stress

At the Stress Management Institute we believe that using specific tools and strategies you can often harness “bad stress”, and change it, to create “good stress” that can enhance your life and your health.

Recently I read an article that runs parallel with the way we think about stress. My summary follows.

Prof Ian Robertson, Chair of Psychology at Trinity College Dublin, and founder of the Universities Institute of Neuroscience, and author of The Stress Test: How Pressure Can Make You Stronger and Sharper, said… “Channelling stress into a positive energy can radically improve performance and creativity, making people… Continue reading

Stress and Your Brain Activity

Feeling overwhelmed, sleeping poorly and recognising you are isolating yourself is a recipe for becoming stressed out.

Being over worked can cause chronic stress and this can affect your brain size, how it works and how it functions.

When you are stressed your brain reacts by activating the Hypothalamus – Pituitary – Adrenal (HPA) Axis which is the endocrine pathway from your brain to the adrenal glands which are located at the top of each kidney. The hormones secreted control your body’s reaction to stress. The hormone cortisol is released which primes your body for quick action.

Chronic stress creates… Continue reading

De-stress With Your Dog

Miho Nagasawa from Azabu University in Japan has recently reported that their research confirms that the bond between dogs and owners is similar to the bond of a mother and new baby.

The researchers have found that just by looking at each other, humans and dogs experience a spike in the “Happy Hormone” or “Bonding Hormone”, oxytocin. It’s the same hormone that surges in mothers and babies when they exchange looks, and has a role in maternal bonding and creating trust.

To find out what the hormone did, the researchers watched 30 owners play with their dogs for half an… Continue reading

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