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*Watch out for stress!*

Daniel Lesser

Stress can literally be a killer. Many people believe that
to be stressed you have to be at the point where you are
tearing your hair out from overwork. However, stress can be
more discreet and insidious than that and can manifest
itself in subtle ways even when your workload might appear
relatively stable.

When we ignore stress, the results can be fatal, leading to
all manner of physical or mental illnesses. These symptoms
can include chest pains, headaches, neck/shoulder pain,
stomach problems, skin problems and panic attacks.

Stress is basically the body's signalling system for us to
realise that we are doing something to experience too much
physical, mental or emotional pressure. The first of these
levels, the physical, is fairly easy to detect. If we are
not getting the right work/life balance or we are mixing our
work with too much midweek partying, our bodies will
eventually react denoting the need for more rest and less

Stress at the mental level can also be relatively easy to
detect. For example, we may experience mental stress at work
as we approach a project deadline if we fear that we may run
out of time. Sometimes this can actually be a good thing as
we often rise to the challenge and produce better work than
we would have thought possible. On an ongoing basis however,
this permanent 'adrenaline' state is not good and the mental
stress will soon manifest itself in our moods or in physical

So, if your work/life balance is fairly stable and you don't
have to work to too many deadlines, can you still be
stressed? The answer is yes! This is emotional stress and it
is just as relevant and prevalent as the other two types. So
why does this occur? The reasons for experiencing emotional
stress are usually borne out of a sense of lack. This could
be a lack of self-worth, lack of connectedness to your job
or your company, lack of meaning, lack of confidence, lack
of fulfilment or indeed lack of love in your relationship.

You feel empty inside as you go through the daily motions.
In your quiet moments you may try to distract yourself by
surfing the net, sending emails, planning your social
calendar or going shopping! We try to crowd out the empty
feelings but they just won't go away.

Don't worry, none of this means you are going mad! It simply
means that your heart wants you to do something else,
something that will bring you more fulfilment. Ever heard
the expression my heart's not in it. There is more weight in
this phrase than you could possibly realise.

If you can say that right now about your current job, then
you may be experiencing emotional stress. The answer to
relieving this stress lies in listening to your heart and
finding out what it really wants from life. It could want
something radically different from what you are doing and
the though of going there may scare the hell out of you.
However if you succumb to the fears and ignore the wishes of
your heart, you are giving a licence to the stress to get

This can explain why people often experience a 'crisis' in
the form of a serious illness or relationship meltdown. They
have ignored the stress warnings and it takes something more
serious to get them to change their situation. Do yourself a
favour and accept what your stress is trying to tell you and
act accordingly.

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