Have you ever wondered about the effect your lifestyle is having on your health?
In my experience there are seven main syndromes of a corporate lifestyle which are detrimental to your mental and physical health (and the two are very much inter-linked).
Today, I’ve identified what these are and how you can make positive changes to overcome these.
Little Known Fact: stress comes from both external (third party) and internal (our own thought processes) sources. We cannot control the former, but we can control the latter. Your reactions should be the focus when reducing stress.
Detriment to your health: stress is associated with higher risk of heart disease, cancer, eating disorders, weight gain, depression, panic attacks, migraines, diabetes, asthma, Alzheimer's disease, need I go on…
How to reduce your stress:
Limit exposure to external factors - remove, delegate and leave more time
Change your attitude to stress - understand you control your reaction to triggers
Deep breathing - try in for 4, hold for 4, and out for 6. Repeat five times
Meditation and mindfulness practices (even a few minutes a day)
Little Known Fact: anxiety is a result of fear (subconscious or subconscious) and it is often difficult to identify the cause. Anxiety increases as you become anxious about being anxious.
Detriment to your health: high blood pressure, heart disease, migraine, diabetes, thyroid problems, bowel disorders, respiratory disorders, chronic pain.
How to reduce your anxiety:
Look for patterns and try to understand the root cause
Reduce the demands on yourself by clearing your To Do List and schedule
Meditation and mindfulness practices
3. Lack of sleep
Little known fact: the American Psychological Association identified sleep as one of the key ways to minimise stress. Contrary to media hype, only 4% of the population can function on less than five hours sleep. Lack of sleep reduces your focus, ability to control your appetite and affects your immunity.
Detriment to your health: heartburn, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, musculoskeletal disorders, kidney disease, mental health problems, neurological disorders, respiratory problems, fertility and thyroid disease
How to maximise sleep benefits:
Keep to a regular schedule, and use naps rather than lie-ins to catch up
Have a bedtime routine - cooler temperature, dimmed lights, no screens
Cut caffeine after 2pm as it can stay in your system for 8-10 hours
4. Poor diet and cravings
Little known fact: Stress and lack of sleep affects the body’s ability to monitor appetite and encourages cravings for sugary and fatty foods. The best diet for you is completely dependent on your body type so you need to experiment with foods and supplements that make you feel satisfied and energised without bloating or sugar highs.
Detriment to your health: inability to focus, weight gain, lack of energy, issues sleeping, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, osteoporosis, cancer.
How to improve your diet:
If you do one thing, cut out sugar as much as possible
Keep a food diary to identify how much you’re eating & emotional eating patterns
Find a diet that is sustainable for you and leaves you energised
Drink enough water - it’s easy to confuse hunger with thirst
5. Increased alcohol (or other substances) intake
Little known fact: alcohol use is the world’s number one risk factor for ill health and premature death. Alcohol abuse can permanently change the brain and nerve connections in your brain as well as affect all your vital organs. Alcoholism costs the US economy about US$2.10 per drink (US$259bn per year).
Detriment to your health: liver disease, pancreatitis, cancer, ulcers and gastrointestinal problems, immune system dysfunction, brain damage, malnourishment, osteoporosis, cancer, mental health issues.
How to reduce your alcohol/substance abuse:
Increase non-drinking hobbies and use these to socialise
Identify and work on the root cause behind drinking - stress, relationship issues etc
Drink sparkling water or fresh fruit mocktails on a night out
6. Relationship issues
Little known fact: financial issues are the number one cause of arguments between couples. Couples who spend more time on social media/work phones are more likely to break-up. This highlights the essential difference between being physically present and fully present with your partner.
Detriment to your health: increased risk of developing heart problems, all the detriments linked to stress above.
How to improve your relationships:
Focus on being present in your relationship and conscious listening
Schedule time together and make it a priority (with a no work email policy)
Communicate on a regular basis rather than letting issues build up
Understand each other’s Love Language (from the Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman)
7. Lack of time
Little known fact: being busy has become symbolic of status and success for many. We haven’t physically evolved to catch up with the demands being placed on our time, leading to an increased reliance on artificial substances (caffeine, sugar etc.) to provide the energy to do so.
Detriment to your health: all those related to lack of sleep (see above), poor diet (see above), increased stress (see above), lack of time for self-care leading to increased chance of mental health issues.
How to manage your time:
Make a list of all the current demands on your time and remove things that are not essential, healthful or enjoyable
Schedule in down-time and self care that is restorative (not screen time!). Try walking, exercise, trips to the salon, listening to or playing music etc.
Give yourself a block of time each week to do whatever you want to
***Working with me*** Hypnotherapy: curious to uncover the subconscious beliefs and patterns holding you back? Want to gain clarity on relationship issues with romantic partners, family or friends? Book a 30-minute free hypnotherapy consultationhere. Equus coaching: curious to uncover what is holding you back from success in your career or personal life? Equus coaching is a unique personal development experience that delivers results, fast. Reply to this email to book your session or ask for more details. Retreats: visit my website to find out full details of my upcoming retreats in the UK (Middle East Autumn dates to be released soon). Find out more here! "Kat's Equus session was a beautifully unique experience. From the start you are fully immersed in the task at hand. This level of presence in the moment allows you to access a 3rd person view of your decision making process. With this view, Kat guides a line of questionning to facilitate self-reflection in a gentle manner. I recommend the experience to anyone who'd like to explore their behaviour in a cheerful setting or who has an affinity for animals" A.J. Lee, Finance Professional turned Meditation Teacher, Dubai