Are You Stressed To Kill?

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Mar 27, 2024 by Sean Luce

A highly respected sales manager, who led his team to some outstanding years, recently came apart at the seams. This year, he missed only one monthly sales goal and was over his annual pacing budget; but in just six short months, he put on 80 pounds and had a psychological meltdown. What happened? Part of the problem is that he spent more and more time at work, sometimes up to 80 hours a week. Is this what it takes to be a successful manager? If so, we're in trouble as an industry.

How can you create a balance in your life and not end up the same way? Here are some tips that are not hard to execute, but they do take some willpower. Remember that change is not a sometime thing; it's an all-the-time thing. Dr.Robert Orenstein, author of The Psychology of Consciousness, says it takes 21-28 days to create new neurological pathways in your brain. If you decide to take these tips to heart, give them at least 21-28 days to take effect - then determine whether they're making a difference in your life.

Exercise: On January 1, 1989, I weighed 45 pounds more than I do today. I decided to lose five pounds a month for nine months to get down to my desired ideal weight. Note: I did not lose 30 lbs. in 30 days, which some weight-loss clinics encourage. I wanted to change my metabolism so that my weight would be accepted both physically and mentally. I've kept off that weight since. Part of this weight loss came from exercising. For the past several years, I have been running every morning as well as training in martial arts. The most important parts of a exercise program are frequency (three to four days per week, minimum) and consistency (doing it for at least 21-28 days). Keep your heart rate between 60 to 80 percent of your target heart rate during exercise periods of 25 minutes. (Check with your doctor and your trainer for your target rate.)

Nutrition: Do you have to starve yourself to lose weight? Nope. In some cases, losing weight might be easier than you think. Do you eat breakfast? Most people don't - they may think they don't have time to eat breakfast.  However, your body needs the most energy in the morning. Old but good advice: Eat like a king in the morning, like a prince at lunch, and like a pauper at dinner. American eating is exactly the opposite. Our biggest meal is at dinner and, for many of us, after 8 p.m. What does your body do with extra protein at night? It's stored as fat! One more thing: How often do you eat? Our body wasn't designed for three full meals a day. Our metabolism is very similar to that of cows, which graze during the day.

Dennis Burchill, general sales manager for VerStandig Broadcasting in Harrison, VA, was
diagnosed with diabetes and was forced to examine and change his diet. "Out with the big meals loaded
with carbs, and in with smaller meals more often - six times a day," he says. "I ate fewer carbs and less
sugar, more fruits and veggies. What a difference this has made on my workday! My energy level is much more even throughout the day. I'm more productive during the day, and that has definitely reduced my stress level. I also find I have a lot more energy when I get home after work."

Deep Breathing: Deep, diaphragmatic breathing can lower your blood pressure and calm you in high-stress
moments. Nothing soothes the body more than breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth. We were designed to breathe through our noses, not our mouths. Breathing in through the mouth brings large quantities of air into the upper lobes of our lungs. Breathing in through your nose and expanding your diaphragm brings air to the lower lobes of your lungs, engages the largest quantities of oxygenrich
blood, and kicks it up to your brain 60 seconds later (this is where we get the term "head rush"). The next time you're having a long day at the office, put on your headphones with some Mozart or Bach for five to 10 minutes, and do some deep, diaphragmatic breathing. It can change your life and keep you energized at any time of the day.

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