This week I was invited to speak on a webinar about the importance investing in your wellbeing. My mission is to empower as many people as possible to feel incredible in their personal and professional life, so of course I jumped at the chance.
More often than not we pay little or no attention to our wellbeing, because we cope with the challenges day to day life throws at us. That’s what we’ve been taught to do, that’s what we’re rewarded for and it just ends up being what we do. We find it easier to look after everyone else our partner, children, family, friends, colleagues and we even put clients ahead of our own needs. Wellbeing is often viewed as fluffy, a nice to have or a reward and it is none of those things, wellbeing is absolutely essential to your health and happiness.
So if you are coping, what’s the problem? Well, firstly it’s not a healthy way to live – it’s noisy, exhausting, unenjoyable and secondly, stress and negative emotions trapped in the body can have long last impacts on our health mentally and physically.
During the global pandemic, it’s no surprise that people’s wellbeing is deteriorating, nothing like the speed and magnitude of a change we’ve experienced to cause additional pressures. The normal routines of daily life, which are often the pins that hold everything together when we’re under pressure, have been removed at such speed from not just one, but all areas of our life. It is a lot to deal with for the most resilient of us. Events that can really cause our stress buckets to be full can also be personal events, the loss of someone we love, loss of a job, financial security, a problem at work for example.
What lockdown has really highlighted is that in the main we are generally unaware of our own wellbeing unless we are at tipping point. We are either unaware of, or ignore the signs of stress and the impact on our mental and physical health. So much of what we do is on autopilot or because of the expectations placed on us by others.
So what is going on in our mind and body at times when we are stressed? The amygdala is part of the most primitive part of our brain and it is the source of most of our emotional reactions. One of it’s many purposes is to protect us to keep us alive. It’s constantly looking out for perceived threats. It’s fast acting and responds quickly and it has the ability to override everything else, including our immune system, by sending a signal to dump a load of chemicals like adrenaline and cortisol to get us out of dangerous life threatening situation. You will have probably heard of it called fight or flight.
This part of our brain responds to perceived threats the same way it would as our predecessors, cavemen and women, responded to a saber tooth tiger. Whilst appropriate in that situation, today’s threats may be an email we receive, a person we see, something we read on social media or the news (particularly now with the global pandemic). These are our threats today and living in a 365 day 24/7 culture these threats are right in front of our face everyday. I heard it referred to the chemistry of fear, which describes is perfectly.
So as long as we’re on the treadmill and ‘coping’, we pretty much think we are ok and our focus is keeping on running leaving, little space for us to look at what actually is going on for us. We think we’ll be fine and either the build up of stress and anxiety is too much or a big life changing event comes up and it tips us over the edge.
Yet, we are not made to have these chemicals dumped in our body throughout the day and everyday. So even if you’re someone who has a high tolerance level for pressure and stress and you are ‘coping’, the repeated activation of the stress response takes a toll on your mind body with long lasting effects physically and mentally.
Everything starts with you. You already know there are benefits in investing in your wellbeing but only you can prioritise it. How often have you told yourself, or do you hear these words come from your mouth…….’I don’t have time’. Only you can prioritise it. It’s not selfish, it’s not self indulgent and it’s not a reward. If you say you don’t have time, you are saying, your mental and physical health is not a priority.
By taking care of you, you become the best version of you for all those around you, your family, friends, colleagues and clients. So start today and prioritise you.
I would love it if you joined my free Facebook Group called the Incredible You Lounge – click here to join.
I offer wellbeing coaching sessions which focus on problems that are getting in the way of you living your life feeling calm and energised. Through using a variety of fast, effective and content free techniques tailored to you, we get rid of the stuff that is getting in the way of you turning up how you want to turn up. I work with you to create a more positive, empowering mindset so you can live your daily life feeling calmer and more energised. Get in touch for a free, confidential chat if you want to find out more about making changes to help improve your wellbeing. Call me on 02921 690140 or email – firstname.lastname@example.org.