Since childhood I’ve always had a strong interest and desire to learn more about the esoteric; life “beyond the veil” and eastern mysticism, but as you do, you get older and “get a proper job” and things that you once held dear can fall by the way side. I still kept a glimpse on these interests by way of indulging in Harry Potter, Star Wars etc but only so far as was “socially acceptable”.

God forbid I should actually tell someone that I ACTUALLY believed in magic and other realms!!

The Path to the Academy

Anyway, fast forward a few decades and by 2016 the urge (or the force) had become too strong and coupled with a bout of ill health, I once again felt drawn to the “dark side” – or at least towards studying complementary/holistic therapies etc. It was also at this time that I met the fantastic Sarah Seed – a modern day Dalai Lama – and set off on the path to true self discovery. Stuff what other people thought, I was in my element!

In 2016/7, suffering from burn out, I closed my virtual assistant business, looked after myself, mind body and soul and opened The Wellness Academy to share all I had learnt about therapies to help you recover from and/or prevent burnt out and stress.

I love to share the tools and techniques for being a healthy you with a healthy business.

What does (holistic) HEALTH mean?

To me, health incorporates mind, body and soul. It’s holistic. If one is out of balance the other two are also affected. I also think business needs to be added to the mix if you’re self employed as if this is suffering, so do you and vice versa! And the biggest cause of illness is business is STRESS.

In this post we could look at how we can use the mind body and soul to combat stress.

We could look at meditation, affirmations, nutrition and exercise but instead of mind, body and soul – MBS – we’re going to be looking at NBS (a useful acronym which also happen to be my initials). 🙂

How does STRESS affect business?

First, let’s look at some stats.

According to hse.gov.uk, in 2015, 11.7m days were lost as a result of stress. It accounted for 45% of all absences. And this is just the figures for EMPLOYED people. Goodness knows what the stats on self-employed would be.

As self-employed business owners, we can’t afford to be ill.

So how can we avoid stress and it’s consequential debilitating affects?

Identify the symptoms and causes of stress

Stress can manifest itself in a number of ways – none of them good!

  • Headaches
  • Constipation
  • Weight gain (linked to rise in cortisol, which can cause us to store fat)
  • Anger
  • Sadness
  • Tiredness
  • Lethargy
  • Apathy

Combat stress with NBS

The biggest cause of stress is the inability say NO (the first N in NBS).

We take on too much and over-burden ourselves so as not to upset others. But what if we said NO more often? If we said no to one thing, what other thing could we say YES to? How about saying YES to yourself for a change?

The biggest aspect in our lives that we need to say NO to is NEGATIVITY (the 2nd N in NBS)

But first we need to know where it occurs?

Negativity can come from anywhere, anyone or anything. It can be your friends, family, clients, systems, clutter …

There are a number of strategies to deal with negativity: acceptance, reduction, deletion.

Can you reduce how often you see negative people? Can you cut them out of your life/business altogether? If it’s something you REALLY have to put up with can you just accept it as it is and resolve to not let it drain your energy?

And also learn to fill yourself up with positivity to counter-act the negative influences. Remember, it is said that we are the product of the 5 people we spend the most time with. So find your tribe and influence your vibe!

Creating Boundaries to reduce stress and increase Breathing space

When we learn to say no to people, places and things we are in effect setting BOUNDARIES (the first B in NBS)

Boundaries are basically what we will and won’t accept. Just like we have contracts with clients and customers, boundaries are contracts with ourselves. So starting today decide what you will and won’t tolerate in your life and business to help reduce negative influences and your stress levels.

Boundaries also create BREATHING space (the 2nd B in NBS)

On the subject of breathing, in 2008, Linda Stone, conducted research which resulted in her coining the terms email apnea and screen apnea.

“Screen apnea is the temporary cessation of breath or shallow breathing while sitting in front of a screen, whether a computer, a mobile device or a television”

Are you doing it now? How deeply are you breathing? Are you unconsciously holding your breath? Stop. Breathe!

You can read more about this phenomenon and it’s affect on our nervous system in the highly recommended (by me) book “Manage your day to day: Build your routine, find your focus & sharpen your creative mind”

So to reduce your stress levels, do take time out of your day to partake in some breathing exercises. You can find some video exercises, including laughter yoga in the Academy Member’s Area.

Slamming your hands on your desk can be a sign of frustration but in kinesiology terms it is also a great way of releasing negativity. It does make you feel better doesn’t it – not as good as slapping someone though 🙂

The ultimate in stress-relief; self-care

I could write a whole separate blog post on self-care but ultimatley we’ve already covered the ultimate in self-care – protecting our energy from negative forces.

You can listen to a podcast I did with Kelly Rose for Shine Your Light on the subject of protecting your energy here.

But I really want the S in NBS to stand for SUPPORT

Please do find your tribe. People you can turn to for support when you’re up against it. Whatever “it” may be. Friends, colleagues, partners, suppliers ..make sure they are on your side.

I also want S to stand for SUCCESS. But only if it’s SUCCESS on YOUR TERMS – not what others want or think success should look like.

If you’re striving for success and it feels too stressful, stop and ask yourself whether that’s the type of success you REALLY WANT!

So don’t get stressed – think NBS (me) 😉

N – No to Negativity

B – Boundaries for Breathing space

S – Support for Success