The Psycho-Physiologic Executive (1 of 4) Psycho-Physiologic

The Challenges of The Business Life:

As a business professional, whether you are an intrepreneur or an entrepreneur, if your responsibility includes driving revenue for the organization, with imposed deadlines you are under a tremendous amount of stress.

Experiencing the emotional highs and lows of everyday business is life draining. Your failures bring about feelings of deprivation and self-condemnation. Your wins bring the stress of your new obligations of client fulfillment, and god forbid if you should loose one of your largest clients, and don't forget about any investors you have to answer to. It is important in such occasions to monitor your response to the stresses of the day, because the most important thing in your life is your health, once you loose it nothing else will matter.

We live in a time when American’s are under an unprecedented amount of stress. In survey after survey, with the amount of stress we, as Americans, are under it has been reported that stress is our number one health concern. More than 50% of adults in the U.S. report high stress on a daily basis. When we fail to respond constructively to stress it affects our health, business, and leadership performance.

Studies indicate that it is not stress that cause negative effects in our health, leading up to lifestyle diseases or psycho-physiologic illness, but how we respond to stress. If the chronic effects of stress are acquired by our emotional response to stress, than we can eliminate the lasting effects of stress by changing our behavior. Steps can be taken in the direction of healthful living through the study and application of principles related to emotional intelligence (EI).

In this small series (which I will post through out the next couple of days) I will take you through a few areas to get you started:
  • Psycho-physiologic relationship
  • Self-awareness; managing emotions through mindfulness
  • Social competence
  • Self motivation
The Psycho-Physiologic Relationship

To gain a perspective on the affects that stress can have on our physical health we need to understand what has been termed as ‘psycho-physiological'. Psycho-physiological is a relationship between the mind and body. Our thinking and emotional habits manifest related effects in our bodies, more specifically in our physical health. This means that a physical symptom can stem from a person's psychological problem or a physical symptom can stem from negative emotional investment; as when a person has anxiety attacks and experiences chest pains. Some people also use the term psycho-physiologic disorder when mental factors cause physical symptoms, but where there is no physical disease.

The human mind is a very powerful instrument when speaking about our physical health. The DSM II classification lists' the following under psycho-physiologic disorders:
  • Skin disorders
  • Muscular-skeletal disorders
  • Respiratory disorders
  • Cardiovascular disorders
  • Genitourinary disorders
  • Endocrine disorders
  • Chronic conjunctivitis
The Medium-term effects of chronic stress:
  • Tension or migraine headaches
  • Difficult time going to sleep
  • Upset stomach
  • Problems retaining food
  • Change in appetite
  • Tightness in chess, back, and shoulders
  • Aching jaw
  • Tight forehead
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Heart palpitations
  • Diarrhea 
  • Constipation
  • Constant low grade fever
  • cold
  • Sore throat
  • Rashes
  • Hives
  • Skin irritation
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Always tired – Fatigue
  • Excessive sweating
  • Menstrual problems
  • Missed menstrual periods
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Feelings of anxiety
  • Muscle tension
  • Muscle pain
  • Anger
  • Concentration problem
  • Depression
  • Lack of interest in food
According to The Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine, "Most of our stress and emotional suffering comes from our mind - the way we think and face a situation - and the thoughts that cause us stress are usually negative, unrealistic, and distorted. ”.

Dr. Michael Olpin stated, "...stress has a great impact on our health. 70-80% of all visits to the doctor are for stress-related and stress- induced illnesses. Stress contributes to 50% of all illnesses in the United States. The cost of job stress in the U.S. is estimated at $200 billion annually, including costs of absenteeism, lost productivity, and insurance claims. Studies conducted over the last 20 years have shown that stress contributes to a significant percent of all major illnesses, including the number one cause of death in America, cardiovascular disease. Cancer, endocrine disease, emotional disorders, and a vast array of other stress related diseases and disorders account for many visits each year to health care providers.”

Also Part of This Series:

The Psycho-Physiologic Executive (2 of 4) Mindfulness

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