Friday, 4 June 2010

Stress

Today I attended a short session on stress. According to the facilitator, Darren Lang, 90% of the reasons we visit our doctors are related to stress.
90%.
I've always known that stress has a big impact on the quality of my life, my ability to fight illness, or bad moods, even fight pounds. But 90%? WOW. It really makes you rethink where you are at, and what you are going to do differently!
Recently I had the priviledge of hearing John Izzo speak. John Izzo spoke about making room in our lives for things that feed our souls. He reminded us that we need to know ourselves and what brings us happiness, and to invite more of that into our lives.
John Izzo talked about organizations being more cost effective when they are willing to embrace spirit: the spirit of respect, of compassion, and of dignity. That these things sustain an organization, build collaboration and are even more important when things are tough.
He challenged us to ask each day:
  1. Did you play today?
  2. Did you do something with someone else today?
  3. Did you learn something today?
  4. Did you do something for yourself today?
  5. Were you mindful of what drained you?
  6. Were you mindful of what energized you?
  7. Were you a drainer of others' energy?
  8. Were you an energizer around other people?
I think we have a lot to learn about stress, as organizations. but most importantly, as individuals. You see, in the end, it is all about choice. How I choose to respond to the stress in my life, how I choose to balance my life and manage my stress, whether or not I choose to allow someone else to 'make me' angry or to 'push my buttons, all of those come down to my own circle of influence, my ability to choose.
Robert Frost, in his famous poem, "The Road Not Taken," wrote, "Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-/I took the one less traveled by,/And that has made all the difference."
I'm working on finding the roads that have the positive road signs where I am responsible for my choices and I am responsible for the road I take.
Right now I like my road.
By the way, walking down a path like this, is pretty good for stress busting, too!

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