Are you going through a Mid-life Crisis?

 

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4 Easy Ways to Deal with Stress

Last week, it was reported in the international media that Google’s Main Board Finance Director, 52 year old, CFO Patrick Pichette had announced that he will be giving up his multi-million dollar job in California to spend more time with his family and maybe to go back-packing around the world.

So was this a mid-life-crisis action taken on the spur of the moment or a carefully considered decision made after examining all the priorities, in conjunction with his immediate family and friends?  Was it, possibly, a moment when he saw his world before his eyes and thought of his ‘bucket list’ with all those things not yet experienced, or completed, and then thought that he might be going to run out of time with all those hopes and dreams unfulfilled?

When does it start?

Midlife crisis can happen when someone suddenly thinks they have reached a point halfway through their life and for many, it can come as a complete surprise as they had thought that life was just beginning. They can start to develop anxieties that appear to indicate that everything is going backwards – or at least not moving forwards – both in their career and personal life, and can experience mood-swings or possibly bouts of self-doubt and even depression.

This crisis usually occurs, if at all, between the ages of 35 and 50, and can sometimes last for maybe five or even ten years. The term mid-life crisis was first coined in 1965 where early analysis suggested that it could happen anywhere between the ages of 40 and 60, but it is now shown to start much earlier.

Let us look at some of the signs that could indicate whether or not you could be heading for, or currently experiencing, your own mid-life crisis. Continue reading

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Be Stress Free: Self Mastery Can Improve Your Life

In the words of Leonard da Vinci “One can have no smaller or greater mastery than mastery of oneself”.

Self mastery is the ability to recognize, understand and manage the different aspects of your personality, and in so doing, to create a higher quality of life experience. It is the ability to make the most out of your physical, mental and spiritual health and below are some areas of your life which will help you on your path towards developing effective self-mastery.

Vision: All self-mastery starts with you: the roadmap that you will create to take you to where you want to be. You need to be self-disciplined and committed to your vision and to always keep it in the forefront of your mind. Write your aims down, and share them with others, so that you will be accountable to yourself. Continue reading

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Author of Show Stress Who’s Boss! says, ‘Distracted Driving Can Get You Killed!’

It is so easy to do.  You are driving along quite happily, the road is clear, the sun is shining and you are almost on auto-pilot.  You think of a message to send to someone and so you pick up your phone and start texting.  You know that you are taking your eye off the road and you know you shouldn’t be texting but there is not much traffic around, so why not?

Sound familiar?  Can you really say that you have never done this before?  Maybe you are one of the few who can put their hands on their heart and say ‘never’ but there are many others who would quietly put up their hands and admit to this one. Continue reading

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Stress at Work and Best Practice in Stress Management

There are many myths and misconceptions about stress, so I thought that I would write a summary for you.

Q:  Is stress is good for me?     A:  No! Pressure is good for you but stress is not.

Q: What is the difference between pressure and stress?   A: Pressure motivates and is within your control and you can usually manage it.  Stress is the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressure or other types of demands placed upon them.

Q:  What causes stress?  A:  Fundamentally, it is the way that we think about a
situation rather than the situation itself, that causes stress.

Q:  What is a stress ‘carrier’?   A:  People who exhibit stress-producing behaviour but are  unaware of the impact of their conduct upon others.

Q:  What are some of the physical reactions to stress?  A:   Dry mouth, anxiety, rapid breathing, moist palms.

Q:  What are some of the symptoms of prolonged stress?  A: Sleep problems, headaches, anger, indigestion. Continue reading

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Be stress free and start your own business or not?

Last week’s blog on retirement brought in many comments with people writing to tell me that they were thinking of starting their own small business.

In 1987, I established my stress management and counselling consultancy – and for me it was the right decision.   However, being one’s own boss requires a specific mindset plus a commitment that is different from working for someone else within a corporate environment.

What it takes to start

Before embarking on a self-employed career, you need to give consideration as to whether you are really suited to what will initially be a 24 hour job.  A majority of people would rather work alongside others rather than being an entrepreneur, working all hours and having to make all the decisions.  Going ‘solo’ is not right for everyone and it is important that you find out at the early stage before you put time, effort and finance into your new career. Continue reading

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Learn How to Manage Your Anger

How many times do you feel angry but don’t know why?  How often do
you become aggressive and say things you don’t really mean, and then feel upset and guilty afterwards?  Similar events happen to most of us, at some time, and we fail to understand the reasons.

Very often, the answer has to do with excessive pressure that has caused you stress, which has turned to anger as you realise that you appear to have lost control of the situation. Then you take that anger and frustration out on others around you.  Sometimes that may be your family, or if at
work, your colleagues

Low self-esteem, in addition to stress, can also be at the heart of an angry outburst.  You may not identify this factor and it is only when you start to suffer the consequences of that low self-worth that you may start take a close look at the root cause within yourself. Continue reading

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International Women’s Day: Celebrating Women’s Power

Today, is International Women’s Day, and in looking at their website, it is interesting to see so many international events taking place, ranging from large, national conferences to small informal ‘get-togethers’.  However, the message is the same which in the words of Jude Kelly, Artistic Director is: “To celebrate the formidable power of women to make change happen, to remind us of our history, to draw attention to injustice and to enjoy each other’s company as we set out to achieve a fairer world”.

Tales from South Africa

This made me think about all the special women that I have met over the past year.  I visit South Africa at least once a year and there I work with women who are budding entrepreneurs.  These are women who have not usually received a formal education, but still want to create and grow their own businesses so that they can send their children to school, so that they can be independent and not have to sit on street corners, begging for money.  I have met women who are so completely focused in their endeavours that it puts many of us to shame.  They have a strength and determination of which many of us can only dream.  They have
no cars or large houses but their township homes in which I stay are spotlessly clean and tidy and I can only stand back in amazement at their resilience and fortitude.  Many of these women are single and don’t have the support of a man in the home and yet they survive in bringing up their children.  However, what they do lack are the marketing skills to promote their small businesses and this is what I offer to them through my 1:1 coaching programmes.  Some of the skills are specific such as helping them to write their own business cards and business plans, but other skills are those that come from encouragement and motivation. Continue reading

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Be Stress Free and Enjoy the Community Spirit

Here in London, we have just experienced our first fall of snow this winter.  It arrived with a vengeance, severely affecting airports and roads.  The day
after, I went outside into the front garden to clear the path from snow and
within half an hour, I had spoken to many of my neighbours all clearing the
snow, like me, many of whom I rarely spoke to from one month to the next.  There we were, all sharing in a joint activity, offering cups of tea and coffee to each other.  Overnight, we had become a community again because we had a common interest.  None of us could get our cars out the driveway, and we were fighting against the weather to try to clear the driveways before the ice arrived overnight. Continue reading

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How to Deal with Bullying in the Workplace and Cyber Bullying

Last week, I delivered a presentation on workplace bullying to a group of volunteers in a large retail company, in the UK.  This group have volunteered to provide a listening and sign posting service for anyone within their organisation who has been subject to workplace bullying, harassment or discrimination.  They have all been professionally trained to give guidance to any individual who feels they are at risk and their role is to
be proactive and to provide an informal route for an employee if they experience such a problem.

Bullying issues are, unfortunately, experienced around the world but not every organisation will make a commitment to provide this support to their staff and the commitment and motivation from this team is to be greatly admired.

Bullying in the Workplace

You may wonder why there is a need for such a team of people.  Well, with many managers under pressure to achieve targets and deadline, it is inevitable that the high levels of stress they have to endure is going to affect them.  Some managers under stress, may demonstrate bullying behaviour without being consciously aware of it, but that does not make it any less acceptable.

Bullying, of course, is perceived differently by everyone.  What is acceptable for one person is unacceptable to another.  What makes one person laugh, makes another
person cry.  That which may work in one culture, does not work in another.

There are many signs of bullying behaviour that are highly visible, for instance: the person who is publically humiliated by their manager or the individual who wrongly takes the credit for someone else’s work. However, there is another more insidious form of bullying behaviour that needs to be addressed: that credit for someone is so-called ‘cyber bullying’. Continue reading

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Stressed? 20 Most Frequently Asked Questions About Stress in 2011

Find out how to deal with stress

4 Proven Steps to Beat Your Stress!

By Carole Spiers

As a weekly columnist for Gulf News, I have addressed many issues relating to workplace stress.  Many readers have written to me to ask me various questions regarding the best way to manage stress, so I thought it would be a good idea to share some of these with you.

Q:  What is stress?

A:  Stress is the adverse reaction that people have to excess pressure or other types of demands placed on them.  It arises when they perceive that they are unable to cope with those demands

Q:  Is stress good for me?

A:  No.  It is often mistakenly thought that stress is good for people, when in fact, long-term stress is invariably harmful.  A certain amount of pressure can indeed motivate and can therefore be useful, but stress is never so. Continue reading

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