Dr. Marla Shapiro, Phycisian and Talk Show Host, talked about balance, work/life harmony and how to manage stress in our increasingly busy lives.
The impact of stress
We pay a heavy price for having so much stress in our lives—not only does stress increase our chances of gaining weight, smoking and drinking, it actually has a physical impact on the body and changes it as we feel stress. It decreases our immune function, increases psychological disorders, cortisol levels, vasoconstriction, and fibrinogen, a leading inflammatory markers for heart disease and stroke. It is indeed a killer and will shorten your life.
Causes of stress
The causes of stress are many—from disorganization, clutter, interruptions and lack of boundaries at work and at home, to a lack of focus, and an inability to separate work and home. So how do we go about having less stress and more balance in our lives?
Mindful over mindlessness
Dr. Shapiro believes we have the power to decide how much time we are going to invest and what we are going to invest it in. The key is to be mindful and take responsibility for the decisions we make. Instead of making excuses by saying “I don’t have time”, be honest with yourself and admit that “It’s not a priority”. So, she suggests establishing priorities and goals: What new activities do I want to try? What experience do I want? What do I want to do next in my life? What would I like to improve? Who would I like to spend time with? The most important part is to “Be SMART” with your goals and make sure they are:
Every once in a while, have a conversation with yourself to revisit your priorities and ask yourself: What is my goal? Am I achieving it? Do I need to readjust it? No matter what life throws at you, your attitude is yours to decide. The key to achieving harmony is to line up your behaviours with your values. And give yourself permission to separate work and play, find out where your support comes.
What balance brings
In balance there is comfort, you can challenge unhealthy beliefs, you can open up to others, and observe yourself to become inner directed. And if things don’t work out today, they might be better tomorrow.
By Linda Miller