One of our favorite quotes from India’s sacred scriptures comes from the Katho Upanishad: “By standing still, we overtake those who are running.

Contentment: A Way to True Happiness
by Robert A. Johnson, Jerry M. Ruhl 

Unlike depression and anxiety, stress in the work place is something many of us can openly empathize with and talk about in a throw away manner after a days work. It is becoming a social norm that work induced stress is part of the job and ‘pushing yourself’ has become a duty, rather than a choice.

Ben Jacobson, a co-founder of Conifer Research, told The Wall Street Journal ‘No one wants to be seen as the slowest moving object in the solar system. You have to keep up with the Joneses – literally’. What we are really telling ourselves with this thought process is money, status and material possessions are more important than our health and happiness.

In short periods of time intense focus created by stress and the fight or flight mechanism can be used productively. Daily stress is different, it is not only difficult to manage but it has a negative ripple effect on our health and relationships, which in turn can lead to more serious problems such as depression and addiction.

My simple secret to dealing with stress in the workplace is by developing a better relationship with your mind, body and soul. Here are eight steps to help you make that change and lessen the stress in your life.

  1. Listen to your unique body – notice what stimulates stress for you and question why you are allowing yourself to meet that situation time and time again.
  2. Cut down on drinking – A little catch twenty-two but the nights before a big day at work should involve a clean evening. Find new ways to relax and swap them for that glass of wine!
  3. Practice mindfulness and meditation – It is really important that you take time for you. Start your day by spending a couple of minutes after you wake up deep breathing and increase this over time. YouTube also has wonderful, easy to follow meditation videos you can listen to in bed on your smart phone.
  4. Eat healthy – It’s easy to eat complex foods when you’re under stress as you think it will give you more time to deal with what you are stressed over but putting processed foods in your mouth will only increase the negative balance in your body and make it harder to manage the stress.
  5. Spend more time doing the things you enjoy – Don’t agree to doing things you don’t want to do! This is really important as pressure from peers and family can make you feel guilty if they invite you to something and you want to say no. It is not selfish to put yourself first. Develop your boundaries and treat yourself when you make time for you in the evenings and weekends.
  6. Exercise – If you really feel like you don’t have time to go to the gym, try a 20-minute run or an exercise class on the fitness channels. Twenty jumping jacks in the kitchen or bathroom at work when no one is looking can also increase your serotonin levels and temporarily combat stress!
  7. Learn something new outside your work environment – This will take your mind off your work related topics and make you feel good about yourself.
  8. Follow your heart – If you don’t wake up looking forward to your job because of the amount of stress it is causing you, think about finding a new profession that is more suited to your soul nature. Changing careers can be hard but a difficult career move will always be easier than a life of work induced stress.

Tasks at work should be enjoyable, challenge you and be a learning experience. Learn to enjoy your working life as much as your play time by following my simple secret and live, love and dream your way to your new stress free life.

Nurse The Soul

Anxiety influences how we are in the world. It can be recognized in our uncomfortable feelings, physical symptoms, thoughts and high-energy out of control behavior patterns. Sometimes a vicious cycle can occur and it can begin to cloud judgment and have an effect on lives on a daily basis.

Not only can anxiety aggravate our health, it can damage our happiness, lifestyle and relationships. It is important for people suffering with anxiety to look at the underlying issues as well as learn ways to cope in the here and now.

Below are Nurse The Soul’s 10 natural ways to overcome anxiety in just 5 minutes!

  1. Progressive Relaxation – Squeeze, Release, Repeat! Focus on the muscles inside your body or take a cloth into your hand and watch your hand as you repeat this exercise.
  2. Draw – Close your eyes and imagine a peaceful place, then make it come to life in front of your eyes.
  3. Body Scan – Think of every part of your body one by one, taking a breath for every part you focus on.
  4. Binaural Beats – Listen to binaural beats (this only works using headphones).
  5. Mental Image – Visualize what you want to happen to you with your eyes closed in a comfortable position.
  6. Nature Observation – Watch a plant or an animal and notice how relaxed they are.
  7. Punch – Let your stress out into a big soft pillow.
  8. Deep breathing – Inhale through your nose, fill your chest and stomach full with air and exhale slowly out your nose.
  9. Journaling – Tell a piece of paper how you really feel.
  10. Positive Affirmations – What is it that is crippling you? If you believe you can’t do something, try telling yourself you can. Repeat the positive affirmation aloud for 5 minutes or write it down over and over again on sticky notes. Place the notes around your home and work space for a week and see how you feel after 7 days.

Don’t allow the anxiety to take over your life and start feeling in control today. Nurse The Soul is here if you need extra support and would like to talk to a professional about what you are experiencing.

Nurse The Soul

The happier we are, the more we enjoy life. Happiness makes people more sociable and altruistic, it plays a huge part in how we feel about ourselves and others and it strengthens our immune system. If our soul is happy, we are much more likely to be successful in both our personal and professional life.

The bad news is research has found 50% of our happiness is genetically determined… However, the good news is the other 50% depends on our daily lives and the way we think. Research has also found that suppressing negative thoughts and ‘positive thinking’ is more likely to decrease happiness because happiness is to do with acceptance.

So what do we do now? Nurse The Soul has tried and tested these top tips to happiness and we want to share them with you!

  1. Share your pain – Releasing negative emotions from the past cleanses your mind, body and soul. Venting emotions is also cathartic, if you can’t do this with your friends join a group you can share your feelings with or sign up to a course of psychotherapy.
  2. Be thankful – Look at the simple beauty surrounding you; things like fresh water, shadows, the way people smile when they are REALLY happy or the way they smile when they are looking at someone they love, a puppy so young it can’t run straight, sunlight touching your skin, you’ll find things you’ve never noticed before if you look close enough. It’s the little things. Why deny yourself the simpler pleasures in life?
  3. Do something selfish – What makes you feel relaxed and rewarded? Happiness depends on indulging in what make you feel good everyday in order to stimulate your reward system and reinforce the positive choices you are making. Have a bath, go for a run, read a book, watch a sunrise, play with the dog, play with a little kid and be enlightened by their free spirit, feel the grass between your toes or jump on a trampoline! Do anything that gives you a sense of pure JOY.
  4. Do something selfless – Kindness brings happiness and it’s free! Genuinely ask how someone is and mean it, walk a neighbour’s dog, give someone your seat on the tube… I can assure you they will appreciate it and you will also be blessed with good karma.
  5. Allow room for mistakes – We all make them. It’s time to accept this is just part of human nature and how we learn. My favourite way to think about this is by imagining a baby learning to walk, how many times do they fall before they take their first few steps!
  6. Stress less and nourish your body more – Breathe and take a look at Nurse The Soul’s previous posts on dealing with stress and anxiety! Treat your body like something you are looking after, stretch, exercise, eat lots of fruits and vegetables, drink a lot of water and moisturise!
  7. Patience vs Procrastination – We are not completely in control of everything and we never will be. It takes time to achieve what we really want and it can be intimidating so we can rush things or put things off all together. Acceptance and balance is the secret to success in all areas of life!
  8. Laugh – Force it if you have to! It is proven that the face you make when you laugh triggers muscle memory which automatically improves your overall mood. It’s almost impossible to laugh whilst thinking a negative thought. Laughs are also infectious for all the right reasons! If you have the ability to brighten your day as well as someone else’s with something so simple – DO IT! I bet you feel even just a little better…
  9. Love – Feel it, express it, give it and receive it! Love is limitless so embrace it and love as much as possible. Make a plan to remind someone how much you love them and how much they mean to you everyday. Opening your heart brings passion, harmony, happiness and acceptance. Love yourself first and then slowly watch the amount of love that pours into your life.
  10. Live in the moment – Last but not least, if you knew this was your last day today, what would you be doing? Now why aren’t you doing it? Think about it.

In short, show grace, acceptance, love and kindness. It’s time to start feeling happy in your soul every single day!

Nurse The Soul