I hear people say that they are under enormous pressure, stressed, and even depressed. Mostly, they aren't. They just aren't managing their work/home life balance correctly and as a result their brain is looking for ways to help them by working overtime.
We all need pressure - pressure keeps us at our best, our brain likes to work at problems, likes to be moving, likes to discover new things. If we don't have a little bit of pressure in our lives, we would soon become bored.
The problem is that pressure can build up on us if we don't take time out to relax or to do something to help our brain. When pressure builds up, we start to say to ourselves that we are stressed, so we become stressed. I love the quote "If you think that you are stressed then you are."
If we stay stressed for too long you may become depressed which is a low mood.
So, what are the signs that you aren't getting the balance right? For most people it is tightness and sore muscles across their back and shoulders. This is due to the muscles constantly being tight from the flight-or-flight response.
Then you might get 'busier' to take your mind off the fact that your brain is continually in overdrive, you can't sit still, you bury yourself in your work, you become focussed on yourself rather than what’s around you. All the things that you shouldn’t be doing!
You might also start to have sleep problems; you may start to eat lots of sugary or processed foods & drinks to keep your energy levels up. Your coffee intake will likely rise also.
If you do not do something at this point, your brain will automatically start to look for ways to help you – your brain will always look at the negative rather than the positive while it searches for the answer.
At this point you need to take back control, you control your conscious brain but need to work harder to control your sub-conscious brain. If you don't, the consequences can be devastating.
The next few posts will focus on simple things that you can do to keep a balanced lifestyle and what to do if you are starting to become stressed.
Until then, relax!