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Stress to Success

by Hansa Pankhania(more info)

listed in stress, originally published in issue 287 - June 2023

 

STANDFIRST

Do you want a stress free and successful life?

Make this your best life ever by boosting your wellbeing, preventing stress and enjoying an energetic home and work life. Hansa Pankhania, author of “Stress To Success in 28 Days”, shows you how.

 

Do you want a stress free and successful life?  Make this your best life ever by boosting your wellbeing, preventing stress and enjoying an energetic home and work life. Hansa Pankhania, author of “Stress To Success in 28 Days”, shows you how.

 

What’s the link between stress, wellbeing and success? Let’s start with the concept of perfect health and wellbeing and how stress wears that down over your lifetime. Your body has to cope daily with multiple internal and external demands that erode health and wellbeing and this compromises your chances of success in life. First, imagine your perfect body, each cell at its healthiest, thriving and growing when you are born. Now imagine this being eroded over a lifetime as a result of internal and external factors.

Internal Factors

The internal psychological factors can be early childhood trauma, attachment issues or lack of unconditional love which may lead to the beliefs that you are not important, loved and worthy.

Picture every cell in your body listening to these negative messages. Anxiety creeps in, developing over the years and  disrupting the natural balance of growth by the build-up of negative emotions such as hurt, sadness, anger or guilt. On top of this, add the physical things you put in your body such as junk food laden with sugar and chemicals, plastic through food packaging, smoking, alcohol or drugs.

External Factors

Let’s look at external factors. Relationships, school, work, traffic, pollution and climate change to name just a few. Remember, every cell in your body is responding and being corroded by all this toxic matter. Now visualize what might happen to your perfect body and every cell in it. No wonder that illness, tiredness and anxiety now have crept in. For some people, it happens much quicker while for others it is a slow burn.

Self-belief, positive affirmative thinking and help to outpour emotions through writing or talking, healthy eating, exercise and spiritual activities such as meditation may delay the process, but stress happens to most of us at some point in our lives.

Coping Strategies

My book Stress To Success in 28 Days explores and offers techniques and coping strategies.

The journey to optimum wellbeing, creativity and energy levels starts by focusing on you as a person. You can start taking small steps to being stress-free and successful today, then more tomorrow and the day after. Soon you will be on a powerful and accelerated journey to health, happiness and success.

Changing habits takes time and effort. Essentially to begin your stress free, successful living journey, take a habit you already do every day and pair it with a simple new one you want to change. For example, when you have your morning cup of tea or coffee, also practise a few breathing techniques as you sip your drink. Once you have established this pattern you combine another new habit with an old one such as taking the stairs instead of the lift. This way you master the art of building new habits one after the other until you are living the life of your dreams.

My book simplifies the four main areas of stress relief, wellbeing and success, presenting simple, practical steps to help you have multiple benefits that impact on your wellbeing and lead to a successful life.

How will this Book Galvanise your Success?

Stress creeps up on us, although sometimes the signals are loud and clear - are you less efficient at work?  Do you feel overloaded, depressed and lack energy? My book outlines simple techniques to increase your resilience, lower stress levels, as well as making you sharper and more focused.

It takes you on a journey where you will find the time to prevent stress and all the consequences associated with that state. I have devised a structured 28-day programme of natural techniques which cost nothing, that will help you optimise your wellbeing so that you are bursting with energy, creativity and happiness. As you integrate these simple natural techniques into your daily life, this programme will help you:

  • Find time and space for your wellbeing despite having a busy routine;
  • Propel resilience and a sense of relaxation;
  • Learn cost free, powerful, natural coping techniques;
  • Integrate practical, easy wellbeing exercises to do in the office or at home;
  • Accelerate concentration and focus;
  • Boost creativity and productivity;
  • Enrich communication and relationships;
  • Sustain healthy work life boundaries.

The tools in this book can be used during everyday activities and throughout your lifetime to maintain a calm, productive, fulfilling and meaningful life.

The book describes 28 different exercises, chapter by chapter, that you can do standing up, sitting or lying down, when you’re in a queue, stuck in traffic or out taking a walk. These are a combination of breathing, relaxation, visualization and mindfulness techniques. If you practise these regularly, you will start to see changes instantly and they only take a few minutes each day.

The book presents helpful illustrations and a weekly summary after each chapter.

Laying the Foundation

The first chapter lays the foundation for your stress free, successful life. It also presents a questionnaire that helps to measure your ratings at the start and end after the use of the techniques presented over the 28 days.

Changing the way you Breathe

The second chapter explains how to revitalize your life by breathing properly.  According to the American Institute of Stress, “Deep breathing increases the supply of oxygen to your brain and stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which promotes a state of calmness. Breathing techniques help you feel connected to your body – it brings your awareness away from the worries in your head and quiets your mind.”

Changing the way you breathe is one of the most powerful things you can do to reduce stress levels and boost wellbeing.

Maximizing Body Potential

The third chapter discusses how to maximize your body potential by demonstrating that your body is the vehicle through which you achieve your mission in life. The body can both support you to accomplish your vision and goals and enable you to experience a variety of sensory pleasures.

For many of us, our bodies are far from centred and balanced. Instead of listening to our bodies, we ignore the signs that they are sending out to us. We use caffeine to stimulate us to be able to achieve our daily goals and we may even use alcohol or other drugs to help us switch off at the end of the day. Often these unhelpful habits are created because we are not aware of healthy alternatives.

Thinking Positively

The fourth chapter guides the reader on ‘Mastering the Mind’. By this I mean managing negative overthinking and helping people to reframe and think positively.  You may want to think of the times your mind has gone into overdrive and ruined your mood. Overthinking or being dragged down by negative thoughts is a common cause of stress. Use your mind as you would any other tool such as when you want to solve a problem, create or build something and then be able to put it down when you are done. Learn how to live in the present, let go of the past and stop worrying about the future. We spend most of our time either thinking about the future or in the past which takes you away from being here, now and this makes you less effective at work and your life in general. Through mindfulness practices you can learn to appreciate every moment and stop overthinking and catastrophising.

The Power of Relationships

The fifth chapter is about developing and empowering relationships and reducing stress from conflict and poor communication with others. You have probably met some highly successful individuals who lack social or people skills. Therefore, you’ve seen that success is not always dependent on how people relate to each other. However, even though we can operate in business without getting on well, interpersonal conflicts can take up time, energy and resources and can knock us off our course as well.

Many of us allow our moods to be dictated by whether someone has pushed our buttons or not. Many of us are unaware of how much the reactions of others are affecting us. Someone says something positive and we feel good. Someone else says something negative and we chew on it all day and it distracts us from the present moment. This is such a socially acceptable pattern that we don’t question it and often aren’t aware that we have any choice about it. The book includes techniques and tools on how to handle difficult relationships and interact meaningfully with others. These include active listening, creating a ‘bubble’ around you when you encounter aggression, releasing your need to be right and dealing with triggers.

Many techniques can be carried out either in a sitting position or lying down, which makes them as accessible as possible in the office and in everyday, busy routines.

Evidence and Research

The last chapter explores evidence and research on the subject. Although the research may be impressive, it is the implementation of these practices in your daily life that will help you see results.

By the end of the book, you will have chosen the techniques that work for you and continue to integrate it into your daily routine. This will keep you stress-free and by doing so, will make you successful as you will be calm, relaxed and have clarity of direction.

Start with one chapter the first week, then the next and so continue to ignite the power and energy that is locked within you. Then repeat the chapters and keep going until it becomes a way of life. If you face a challenging time in your life, you can return to the book to help you overcome the hurdles.

Stress Pot

Life is not straight-forward. It has many twists, turns and challenges on a personal and professional level hence there will be times when we as humans experience stress. That is a given. You may experience the immediate impact of something when it does not go as expected or you could feel the impact of the accumulation of negative energy in the form of stress over many years. The build-up can be deeply rooted, even starting in childhood.  It is like a bottle inside you filling up with layers of stress over many years which, if not emptied out, can trigger unhelpful feelings and reactions causing physical and mental illness. I call this the ‘stress pot’, which festers and bubbles away inside. Unless you empty it out and fill it with positive creative energy, it can have a detrimental effect.

It isn’t about never feeling stressed, rather how we come out of that state in the shortest possible time, using interventions which have no other negative consequences. There are other common practices, many of which have undesirable implications such as using alcohol. The techniques presented in this 28-day programme don’t have any negative consequences. They don’t cost anything and won’t require you to take much time out. They are a quick fix to the stress you are experiencing. In addition, you can use them in short, sharp bursts to propel peace of mind as well as success in life.

Top Stress-Busting Tips

Here are some of my top tips for dealing with stress:

  • Focus on the movement of your breath in your body;
  • Tune into nature. If you use public transport, notice the blue sky, the willow tree through the window. Nature is one of the best stress-busters;
  • Get up frequently – we weren’t built to sit at a desk all day;
  • Go for a walk – if you’re sluggish, make it brisk. If your mind is racing, make it slow and intentional.

The book has a foreword by Professor Derek Mowbray, chairman of  The Wellbeing Performance Group who says “The content is first rate and comprehensive taken from well-established research sources, mixed with anecdotes and stories we can all relate to.”

The book (ISBN: 978-1-914201-12-7, Sohum Publications, £12.99) is available from https://www.amazon.co.uk/STRESS-SUCCESS-Days-Programme-Wellbeing/dp/1914201124/ref=sr_1_2  and https://hansapankhania.com/book-shop/   

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About Hansa Pankhania

Hansa Pankhania is an author, wellbeing consultant, speaker and executive coach with over 20 years’ experience in the field. Although both parents came from India, she was born in Kenya as a British subject and moved to the UK at 17. Her memoir “The Best of Three Worlds” talks about being a British citizen of Indian origin growing up in Africa and then moving to this country. Her passion for stress management and wellbeing started when she researched stress for her university thesis. Although her formal training is in western psychological and organisational models, she draws on her Eastern heritage, integrating Eastern and Western influences in her programmes.

Hansa is also the author of children’s book Chakraji Children’s Relaxation Series featuring Chakraji a magical best friend who passes on natural breathing and mindfulness-based techniques to the central character, who is facing a stressful situation. The children’s books are for primary aged children.

She runs Aum Wellbeing Consultancy offering stress management, corporate resilience training, mental health courses and mindfulness to organisations nation-wide. She is currently working on another book “The Best of One World” about sustainability and wellbeing and is a sequel to her first memoir. Visit https://hansapankhania.com/ for more information.

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