Overcome Workplace Stress
Among the greatest contributors to stress is the workplace. Our quality of life is directly related to our health. When we do not feel good about work, or when we develop chronic conditions due to constant work stress, our ability to perform our jobs, our income earning potential, and our quality of life all suffer.
The British Medical Journal released the findings of the largest study ever on workplace stress. The study followed more than 10,000 British civil servants over a 14-year period, and found a possible biological explanation for why workplace stress adversely affects health.
Researchers from University College London discovered links between elevated levels of work stress and metabolic syndrome, which is associated with a group of factors – such as obesity, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol – that increase the risk of heart disease and Type II diabetes.
"Employees with chronic work stress have more than double the odds of the syndrome than those without work stress, after other factors are taken into account,” the researchers reported.
Male workers who suffered from chronic work stress were twice as likely to develop metabolic syndrome as those who said they had little workplace pressure. And women with chronic stress, though they were a small group in the study, were more likely to develop metabolic syndrome.
The researchers said it was possible that prolonged exposure to work stress affects the nervous system, and that it could reduce biological resilience, which would disturb the body’s physiological balance.
Workplace stress is a very serious long term health issue. The good news is you can do a lot to overcome this stress without changing your job or the conditions you are working under. While you cannot directly control the workplace, you can control your response to it with MindSpa
A stressful work environment can create mental loops where we go over the same issues in our head but not leading us to resolution of these issues. The result leaves us feeling anxious and agitated, making quality sleep difficult to attain. (See section on Sleep Enhancement)
Normal beta activity is associated with regular, active thinking processes while awake. Mental loops will cause our mind to remain in the high “beta” activity state. During the night we go through approximately a 90 minute sleep cycle. It is during the lighter sleep phase when beta activity can “spike” or suddenly rise, causing us to wake up. So instead of dreaming, we are so anxious it knocks us right out of the sleep cycle. This increases our anxiety and stress. It becomes a damaging, repetitive cycle of negativity. When this condition becomes chronic, it can lead to all sorts of health and psychological issues.
Using MindSpa to Effectively Manage Workplace Stress
Stress can cause our mind to move into a combination of fast, high intensity beta brainwaves. In this state, we are not so much solving problems as just thinking about them. MindSpa’s relaxation programs help to disrupt these mental loops by generating natural alpha state relaxation rhythms. Alpha is the restorative state allowing the mind and body to relax. The added benefit to the alpha state is it allows us to tap the part of our brain that helps us problem solve.
The Power Nap Process
Another excellent use for MindSpa is power napping. There is a rapidly growing body of scientific evidence demonstrating daily naps are a highly productive use of time promoting better health, mental alertness, creativity, better concentration, increases in worker and student efficiency, accuracy and output. One recent Japanese study demonstrated student test scores markedly increased with daily naps.
Protected 'power naps' prove helpful for doctors in training to fight fatigue
Quoting from a recent study from the University of Pennsylvania on the impact of lost sleep on doctors by senior study author David F. Dinges, PhD, professor of Psychology in Psychiatry and chief, Division of Sleep and Chronobiology in the Department of Psychiatry at Penn.
"Decades of research from the sleep medicine community have shown that prolonged periods of wakefulness and no sleep impact the performance and health of professionals who must be awake when much of the rest of the world sleeps, such as pilots, first responders, and medical professionals,"
"This study provides the first evidence that contrary to long held cultural beliefs within the medical community, young doctors are embracing the importance of sleep and looking for ways to increase their own performance to better treat their patients."
In addition to various health benefits, naps have an overall positive performance impact. We highly suggest making naps using MindSpa an integral part of your daily regimen.
Sleeping and Napping
The process of taking a nap while using MindSpa is distinct from sleep. Sleeping is primarily a regenerative process following a regular, 90 minute cyclic pattern of deep, dreamless sleep to light (REM) sleep. Napping is primarily a performance-based process where you remain at the edge of consciousness in a sleep-like state for a relatively short period of time. Sleeping and napping both help to enhance information processing and learning.
A “Power Nap” can be as brief as 10 minutes but generally is a 20 – 40 minute period of revitalization resulting in increased energy and productivity, and provides reduction in feelings of stress and anxiety. The effect is cumulative when practiced on a regular basis for providing both short and long-term benefits. A study by NASA’s Fatigue Countermeasures Program found that pilots who took a short nap improved their performance by 34% and their alertness by 54%.
Among the best times for power napping are when you feel a general lowering of your energy level as commonly experienced in early or mid-afternoon. Generally, one power nap during the day or early evening is quite sufficient.
With regular use, the mind will naturally attune to these alpha waves quieting and slowing down our internal dialog. When we are relaxed, we can fall asleep and stay asleep more easily. The quality of your sleep will improve ultimately resulting in a better quality of life.