Full disclosure: This post is a little about entrepreneurship, but has nothing to do with SEO or social media. I’m hoping you’ll indulge me just a bit, though. ^sbn
It’s been just over a month since I went back out on my own full time. Before I left the last gig, I knew I didn’t feel great. But it wasn’t until the last few weeks that I realized that the stress and toxicity of the situation had seeped in so slowly that I actually felt BAD.
As I was lying in savasana in one of my recent yoga classes, and as my mind started to wander (as it does, no matter how hard I try for it not to), I reflected on what has happened in the last month. Now I’ve held at least one job every day since my 16th birthday. That’s over 32 years of work experience. And not all of those jobs have been sugar and spice and everything nice. (No job ever is all the time, no matter what.) But never in my life have I been struck so hard by the body/mind/work connection until that moment in time.
Here are the things that came to me in that few minutes:
- Everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) who’s come in contact with me has said I sounded happier. One person even told me that I looked different.
- I’ve gone from having at least one migraine pretty much every week to no headache of any sort in a month.
- I was throwing up regularly, as in once or twice a week. I’ve not even felt a hint of nausea in the last month.
- As much as I love to cook, I’d pretty much stopped cooking because I was zapped at the end of the day, so my diet became a lot of highly processed foods or something I could grab at a restaurant. (The upside of that is that I have a lot of favorite restaurants with tasty options around me. The downside is that the fare is not always the healthiest.) In the last month, I’ve been able to take back control of my menu and dining habits, and my weight and well-being show it.
- I’ve gone from 4-5 hours of sleep per night due to anxiety-filled wake-ups (complete with shaking uncontrollably) nearly every hour to regularly getting 8+ hours of sleep per night (exceptions for when there are storms or other craziness).
- I rarely had the energy to workout a total of 30 minutes a day, 3-4 times per week, which I’ve read is a reasonable goal for most able-bodied adults. I’m now working out a minimum of 30 minutes per day daily with no problem.
- I was struggling to meet my goal of 4 yoga classes per month; now I’m practicing 2-3 times per week.
The body/mind/work connection highlights the give and take between our physical well-being, our mental state, and our professional performance. Research consistently emphasizes how each element significantly influences the others.
Physical health profoundly impacts work productivity and cognitive function. Regular exercise, balanced nutrition, and sufficient sleep enhance energy levels, concentration, and problem-solving abilities, fostering peak job performance. Conversely, neglecting physical wellness can lead to fatigue, reduced focus, and heightened stress, hindering overall output.
Mental well-being is a cornerstone of effective work engagement. A positive mindset, emotional resilience, and stress management skills bolster adaptability and creativity. In contrast, untreated mental health issues like anxiety or burnout can lead to decreased motivation, strained relationships with colleagues, and diminished work quality.
Lastly, the work environment significantly influences both body and mind. A supportive workplace culture that prioritizes employee well-being through flexible schedules, opportunities for skill development, and open communication can lead to increased job satisfaction and reduced stress. On the other hand, toxic work environments can have adverse effects on mental health, manifesting in physical symptoms such as headaches, nausea or insomnia.
Recognizing and nurturing the body/mind/work connection is imperative for personal and professional success. Even though I knew that cognitively for as long as I can remember, it wasn’t until I got this slap in the face that it made sense. If any of you are struggling with this, shoot me a note. I’m not an expert, but I do have two ears that hear pretty well and I’m happy to talk through things based on my experience.