What has your year been like?  Have you, like Eva James, moved on from your toxic workplace, your bullying boss or your cripplng hours? Or are you still going home each night and telling the latest horror stories to your loved ones?  Do you see the possibility of a better future at work, or have you abandoned hope?

You do have choices

If you’re able to take time out over the festive season, you might want to think about how you can recover your balance and set off into next year in a more positive and calmer frame of mind.

If you have been thrown off balance by a big setback or some other negative experience at work, I’d advise standing back and taking stock before you do anything else. HR Director Lou, who told her story in Recover Your Balance, says “You … have to work it out. The words don’t really matter. I think it’s the fact that you’ve thought through what it is that’s so important to you. You then know when it’s not there, why it’s hurting you.”

This may seem easier said than done, and certainly, if you’ve been emotionally affected by events, you may not feel at all like doing it. But if you’ve been waking up at 3 a.m. on a regular basis worrying about work, you’re probably getting rather ragged round the edges. One frequent consequence of distressing experiences is a constant feeling of anxiety. There is a huge amount of research about the chain reactions which anxiety and fear set up in the body.

Anxiety triggers the release of adrenaline, which in turn triggers the release of steroids used by the body for healing when you’ve injured yourself. That’s fine if they are just preparing you to deal with a one-off incident (e.g. for getting out of the path of a moving truck). However, the continuous release of steroids increases stress in the body and, long term, that’s bad news. Although stress is not necessarily a primary cause of illness, research[1] shows that it does exacerbate our existing tendency towards such chronic health problems as cardiovascular disease, digestive problems, bone problems such as osteoporosis, and late-onset diabetes.

Staying in this cycle any longer than you have to comes with a health warning.  And you do have choices.

Try Recover Your Balance – online for free

If you want to get started on recovering your balance during the holiday period, you can now try Recover Your Balance – online for free.  You’ll get a complete module, some relaxation and visualisation exercises to help reduce your immediate anxiety, plus the full resources and reading list to download and keep.  You’ll also receive copies of our approximately fortnightly email newsletter to keep you going along the way.  I want to show you just how much Recover Your Balance can help, and in trying it out, the only commitment you’re making is to yourself.

So why not make this Christmas the time you choose to recover your balance and go into a new year with greater confidence and a brighter outlook?

Happy Holidays.

[1] See Nowack, K. M. (1989). Coping style, cognitive hardiness, & health status. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 12, 145-158.