Thursday Tip – Why Stress is Good for You…Really!


I hope your week has been great so far. This email was supposed to go out on Monday, but it was a holiday, and I unplugged.

The past 10 days have been action packed and lots of fun!

Last week I had the honour of speaking for two full days of sessions at the CBE Staff Association Convention in Calgary.

Over family day weekend, I was happy to relax, unplug, and go skiing with my family in Banff.

Then, yesterday, I left for a business trip in Orlando, and I’m writing this to you from the sunshine and warmth of the hotel patio. The change between -25 in Calgary, and +25 in Orlando is pretty nice!

Today I have a couple great work (and life) tips for you, plus an update (see the end of the message)

With my book launch a few weeks ago, several speaking engagements, new corporate projects, business trips, and trying to balance my time with family, stress levels are high. I’ve also been faced with much more time than normal in front of the computer. I even did an interview for an online summit while I was on a layover in Montreal airport.

Let’s face it. A busy schedule and high stress levels are “par for the course” in most corporate and executive roles.

However, being in this state typically presents a negative situation with a detrimental impact on health, happiness, and well-being for most people. I work hard to make this level of stress and commitment a positive in my life.

With this in mind, I felt it would be appropriate to share some tips from my presentations last week.

I get super energized by presenting the information that I’m most passionate and knowledgeable about, and love that I get to share my knowledge and experience with you.

These tips are from each of the half-day sessions I did last Thursday. Those topics were titled…

  • “Is Stress Making Your Pants Tight?” and
  • “If Sitting is the New Smoking…Movement is Your Medicine!”

Tip #1: Stress is Good For You!

In the “Is Stress Making Your Pants Tight” session, we covered a lot of information on the causes, coping strategies, physical, and psychological impact of stress.

A key takeaway was that stress is normal, and should be a welcome part of life. The issue for most people is that they do not have the correct strategies and coping mechanisms in place to successful manage their stress and use it to propel them forward to greater health, performance, and happiness in life.

We discussed the fact that while extremely effective when properly used, coping strategies are highly individual, and situation specific.

Some examples include:

  • Breathing exercises
  • Meditation
  • Exercise
  • Stretching/recovery
  • Listening to your favorite music
  • Reading
  • Journalling
  • Positive self-talk
  • Sleep
  • Planning/organization
  • Talking to others

Each of these (and many others) can be helpful in managing and dealing with excess stress.

My questions for you are:

  • How are you managing your stress?
  • Are the coping strategies you use healthy and effective over the long term?

Tip #2: Sitting Isn’t the Issue, and Standing Isn’t the Solution

With the boom in standing desks and workstations these days, you would think the corporate world has the sitting problem solved. Unfortunately, they are often trying to solve the wrong problem.

Sitting isn’t the issue. In fact, it’s great to do sometimes. The primary issue is PROLONGED sitting.

As “modern” humans, we sit for far too long each day. Conservative estimates are that over 70% of our waking hours are spent sitting. Yikes!

Yet, the solution isn’t to stand more. Standing for prolonged periods, particularly with poor form is only slightly better than sitting all day.

The solution is to MOVE more. The human body was designed for movement, yet we are restraining it for excessive periods of time in both sitting and standing positions.

Virtually every aspect of health can be improved with properly performed, consistent movement breaks throughout the day. You can sit at an old school steel military chair and desk for your workday, but break up your work with effective movement intervals. This would be better off than spending 8 straight hours sitting in the most expensive ergonomic chair and workstation setup.

This runs counter to common corporate “wellness” programs where people are set up with the latest and greatest gadgets so they can stay at their computers and work for longer. This approach only leads to poor health, lower productivity, and reduced results in the long term.

So, my advice to you is to MOVE well, MOVE at regular intervals, and MOVE like your life depends on it…because it does!

These are just two of the many topics we provide to help employees and companies work smarter, be healthier, and get more from work and life.

Interested in having me speak at your company? Just drop me a line, or connect me with your meeting and event planning manager.

Have a great Thursday!

Yours in Health and Happiness

Tim Borys
FRESH! Wellness Group

P.S. For those of you in Calgary and area, I’m speaking at a special event at Fitter First on Tuesday, Feb 27.

It’s your chance to hear a some great health and wellness talks, mingle with like minded people, and play around on some of Fitter’s cool fitness and active office products!

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