I want to ask you a question.
Are you confused like most people are today by all the supplements and pills you’re supposed to take? And they’ve all got difficult names to pronounce and remember. It’s really hard to know when enough is enough.
You’re not alone.
As many women do, I slowly but surely gained weight over the years. It kind of creeps onto you so slow that you don’t really notice, right! I was close to reach the fat level on the BMI scale and my clothes were getting smaller and smaller. Or was it me getting bigger? Yes I believe it was, I was 87kg. All of a sudden my wardrobe was flooded by too small items. Perfectly good ones that I liked so did not throw them away. They just kept lying there – as a bad conscience for me and to my husband’s despair. I am a squirrel – he is not!
Anyway, in late August -15 I was planning my upcoming trip to USA. I was booked to speak at the Swedish American Chamber of Commerce in San Fransisco and I was looking for clothes to wear at this occasion. That was a wakeup call for me! If I was to stand in front of the audience, I didn’t want to feel big and having to keep my belly in all the time. So I had to do something, right?
More interesting information from the stress survey coming up. When you are stressed out you usually know because of different symptoms or feelings. I listed a few in my stress survey and asked which of these people would feel when stressed out. They were allowed to choose as many as they wanted from the list, so the total is much more than 100%.
Guess what was the most common answer?
If you said sleep disturbance you were right. 70 % claimed they had problems with their sleep. I am not surprised, since stress keeps us awake at night with all the questions and worry about whatever is floating around in the brain. Also the high levels of stress hormones in the body affects the sleep negatively. So bad sleep is induced from 2 ways and it is an early sign. If we can be much more observant on when sleep deteriorates a lot was won. Also it would be good if we can be more careful about our sleep – it is so vital for a good life that you should do everything in your power to make your sleep perfect. It is so very important to keep the sleep in good shape because our sleep is the “cleaning system”, doing housecleaning in the brain during nights so to speak.
In this blog post I will continue to pick the gold out of the stress survey I recently had out there. I am so grateful for people answering and I can see in the answers that they spoke right out of their hearts.
I thought I can answer a few of them here – or at least discuss around them. Some of these issues are not solvable in the easy way but they certainly need to be discussed.
This first one is of that kind:
What can I do when the stress is not caused by me, but someone else puts me in a situation of stress? Oh my, this is a common question. I can’t control my situation! It is out of my control! My boss puts all the problems on my shoulders! My spouse puts me in this situation!
Do you know what part of life is most common to generate stress? In the online survey I recently had going I found the answer. What would you have guessed? Work? Family? Money?
I had 6 alternatives to choose from, Work Related, Health Issues, Financial, Family Related, Other Relationships and Other. I asked the participants to rank them.
The answer is that all 21 persons who answered this question had different ranks BUT when you add them all up they were all even. None of the reasons for stress is sticking its head out. I tried to figure out what this tells us.
Well, I can tell that all parts of life can cause stress and I can also tell that in stress management it is not one-size-fits-all because the causes are so different.
Daily I get questions about stress. Why am I feeling like this? What can I do about that? I feel my heart beat – is that dangerous? How can I get out of this stressful situation? What would you do, Dr Annika? What is stress – really? And it goes on like this………
Of course I don’t have the answers to ALL these questions. But some I can answer or reflect around and help the person feel a bit relieved. Some of the questions only the person who asks has the answer to. What I can do is to guide them towards their own answer, which is what coaching is all about.
How many times in a day do you use an internet connected device? That is a very hard question to answer – since most of us use them all the time. They are at our side around the clock, whether we work or not. We don’t use them X amount of time, they have become part of us.
So what? Is that a problem? Yes and no!
The other day I was asked, in a Facebook comment, how to avoid disturbed sleep when caused by overload. At first I was going to answer – “by looking over your sleeping habits” – but no, that is starting in the wrong end. That is treating a symptom but the “disease” is still there.
You have to start by looking at what is bugging you, what is stressing you out, right!? And to do that you need to look at the big picture.
Do you remember what metaphor I use for looking at your whole situation? I suggest you take a virtual helicopter ride over your life. You can fly around yourself and you can go down and hoover over specific areas where you see specific challenges. It can give you a good picture of the whole situation. This is what I do with all my private clients and it is just as thought-provoking every time. What will show up? Often issues that the client did not predict.
This is going to make some of you laugh out loud. That is what I did when I realized this. You know, I had a belief about something and I didn’t feel I had the time to look into it. Everyone else talked good about it so I reckon it is a good thing. But I thought it was out of my reach – and this has been going on my whole adult life. Because I heard about this all the way back when the Beatles did this. But it all seemed so oriental and so hard.
Until a month ago.
Last Sunday we hosted our yearly Waffles Party. Yes, you heard me right – our yearly Waffles Party. It is a party to which we invite all our friends, relatives and closer work associates and we serve waffles with jam and whipped cream – that’s all – except coffee and tea too of course.
Around 60 guests found this a good idea and they came to the party. Most people ate 3 waffles each and with some simple math that adds up to around 180 waffles. That is an enormous amount of waffles! Waffles are baked in a special machine. They take each about 4 minutes to bake and we had 5 machines. Basic mathematics count to 15 waffles an hour in one machine – 5 machines make 75 waffles an hour. If you are superefficient! And you are not …….. no-one can be superefficient for so long in such a stressful situation. So, how is this possible to manage in a couple of hours on a Sunday afternoon – and survive without getting totally stressed out?
The super-power word is PLANNING!