You’ve watched Star Trek or similar TV and movies, right? Or a horror film that starts with a walk into a newly-opened tomb? So you’ve seen this plot before: the explorers enter a derelict spaceship or Egyptian tomb or <fill in the blanks> and an alien entity enters their bodies and takes over their minds. Suddenly, our hero(ines) become obsessively focused on a new goal, to the exclusion of normal human activities, desires and goals. Scary! But just fiction, right? Well….
Maybe not. One day in late October, in the midst of a normal hectic entrepreneurial work day, I was suddenly grabbed by the throat by an urgent new goal, that appeared out of nowhere and would not let me go. My heart raced. Idea after idea blossomed in my mind, in three dimensions and five senses. Time stood still. I’ve had “brainstorms” before, of course – every entrepreneur does – but nothing like this.
Since my brain was not answering my rational commands at all, I did what any sensible person would do. I opened up a new Word file and started a brain dump. My rational mind was allowed to elbow in eventually, and started arranging chapters and structure and making lists and lists, as you have to do if you’re going to create well-crafted work to serve real entrepreneur-client needs.
And there is no greater entrepreneurial need than the energy, clear thinking and good health that come from putting a serious, no-nonsense-or-wiggle-room muzzle on stress. Stress is the underlying driver of the other major killers of our entrepreneurial success – weight gain, lack of sleep, poor eating choices and lack of daily exercise. Unrelieved stress puts you into the tunnel-vision that leads to poor business decisions. Just last week, I caught myself stressing over having to go to Facebook for some market research, and not wanting to. I practice what I preach, so I forced myself to “waste time” with a short deep-breathing session. The truth that better-quality, faster intel was available from my Time Traders group of entrepreneurs popped into my head. So the science research on better decision-making isn’t happening in a lab. It’s happening every day, in your business and mine, in the Real World. Better business decisions propel you to your desired income faster than working burnout-inevitable hours doing the wrong things, with more and more intensity.
But more income isn’t the real reason why you need to get serious about defeating stress’ impact on your life. The real reason is the calendar. All those 365 days in a typical year. All those breaths. All those precious minutes with your children, your grandbabies and your circle of essential best friends and (optional) wonderful spouse. Because the you-have-to-believe-it Truth is that you will NOT be around to enjoy this deep love and connection, you will not be the healthy and vigorous mom, dad, cousin, aunt, god-parent or grandparent who watches the youngest generation walk down the aisle to a beloved, lifetime spouse or a Dean handing out an advanced degree or the Sovereign of Norway bestowing a Nobel Prize, and dances at the celebration. Or dances at the celebration of your own wedding, degree or Nobel Prize. Not unless you stop – and I mean STOP – letting your ego trump your desire to be there for that happy future. Being there for that future needs to be your touchstone, your unalterable, passionate goal that always and ever steps in to reorient you when you lose your way.
Stress has been conclusively proven to lower your immune system’s T sentinel and B and T attack cells, the ones that detect and then go after invaders, and the NK cells that go after cancer. Lowered NK cell rates are the reason behind the oft-heard “stress is the driver of many types of cancer.” Stress pushes you to cardiovascular damage; the cortisol produced by your adrenals damages your artery walls in ways that cannot be undone. Ever. It ages your skin in ways that no $300 magic serum can cure. Higher blood pressure damages your kidneys, shortening your healthy lifespan. It shrinks your brain, opening the door to dementia. It dulls your thinking and prevents you from achieving your income goals. Stress shortens the telomeres of your chromosomes and induces the mutations and broken chromosome bonds that spell disease.
I talk about this all the time. I spent 2016 writing blogs and newspaper articles about the cures for stress. And a bunch of neurons that had never talked before suddenly connected with each other and 101 Stress Busters for Energy, Joy and Healthy Longevity burst into flame in my brain.
When I talk about stress, people figure I mean mindfulness, walking meditation, visualization, Reiki, tapping (EFT), yoga and the other Usual Suspects of self-care. This book only spends 9 of the 101 Tools on that. The rest is page after page of ways that you can significantly increase your health and wealth through creative activities. Having fun, in ways that involve creation, has an enormous impact on everything that you genuinely care about – everything from more sales and more profits, to better relationships and peace of mind, from more energy and a better sex life to more happiness in general.
There is NOTHING on earth that feels as good as creation. It is a god-like power, this ability to take nothingness and turn it into Something. Maybe it is tangible and can be held in your hands. Maybe it is sound-oriented and thus more ephemeral. But that place, that moment when you create is a sacred moment, it is an awe-inspiring moment. And that awe and joy feels like nothing on earth. We are most truly human when we are creating. Creating is our birthright as human beings – every one of us!
With a solid graduate education in biology and experience teaching college anatomy/physiology, the only “cures” I ever talk about are things with one heck of a lot of real-science study and testing. So these 101 fun things have ALL have been thoroughly tested and are proven (by JAMA and related highest-quality medical journals) to lower cortisol and blood pressure, or improve immune response. 101 Stress Busters relies on creation – adult play, if you will – to give you everything that your heart desires in the realms of work and business, health and wellness.
And it can. Give play and creation a chance, for your income and for dancing at your great-grandchildren’s birthday parties and all the other reasons of a life well-lived.
Victoria C. Leo (www.soaringdragon.biz) authors the Breaking Through Barriers series, including 101 Stress Busters. Book a free Getting Unstuck session at Victoria@soaringdragon.biz, or enjoy her entrepreneur and health videos at her YouTube channel humanbio4everyone.