Posts tagged with "clinical psychologist"

Avoid Clinical Entrepreneurial Syndrome

Whether you are running your own business as an entrepreneur – or running someone else’s business as an executive – there is an enormous amount of demand on your resources. You are likely to be playing the role of project manager, human resources liaison, accountant, and marketing specialist. You are the one who gets called on to extinguish fires as well as create new opportunities. All this and more, while remaining positive and energetic.

As enthusiastic as you may be about keeping the business afloat, it’s a fact that humans have a limited amount of resources available. When the demands upon us begin to exceed the energy levels that we have, we experience stress. This feeling is akin to a form of panic – and has a way of creeping into our daily operations. It lies under the surface of our consciousness, and slowly eats away at our resolve. In small doses, it can help us to accomplish great things. In large doses, and if left unaddressed, it can result in our physical and mental decline.

Stress Leads To Burnout

This doesn’t happen overnight. Those who are aware of the possibility of burnout may be able to feel it developing. Burnout is the eventual result of unresolved stress, and it is a warning sign from the mind and body that enough is enough. It is the point at which we decide that we can no longer perform the job functions in which we once took pride. We may begin to avoid work, produce lower quality work, or suddenly quit the job altogether.

The signs of stress which contribute to burnout include fatigue, insomnia, irritability, changes in weight, problems with digestion, becoming forgetful, and inability to concentrate. If you notice that these symptoms are becoming part of your daily experience, take it as a sign that something needs to change. If you aren’t able to change your workload in the face of stress, look into ways of changing your behaviors during your valuable time off. Failure to do so can mean the end of your venture as a successful business manager.

Avoid Burnout Through Being Proactive

As the stress that leads to burnout tends to attack us on three fronts – physical, cognitive, and emotional – the following are three ways to mitigate its negative effects.

Combat Stress on the Physical Level

The adrenaline and cortisol that the body produces in response to stress are responsible for activating our flight-or-fight response. These hormones prepare our bodies for action. When we fail to use this energy in an active way, it can turn on us and wreak havoc with our physical health. To disseminate that energy in a way that is best for the body, try engaging in similar actions as experienced in emergency situations – like going for a run or boxing it out at the gym.

Master Stress on the Cognitive Level

Much of what we interpret as being stressful depends on our perspective. What we have defined as our values and aspirations can fuel our sense of purpose, and that purpose can become an obsession. If we have tied our sense of self-esteem into our occupational achievements, we can become overwhelmed with producing results. To reduce that stress, which we experience over job demands and deadlines, we need to create a mental space where we are able to separate from those types of thoughts. Consider finding mental relief through engaging in meditation or mindfulness techniques on a daily basis. Venting that stress through consulting with a good therapist each week is another possibility.

Diminish Stress on the Emotional Level

Human beings need to have fun. When we engage in pleasurable activities, our body responds through releasing endorphins such as oxytocin, serotonin, and dopamine. Unlike the urgent feelings which stress hormones produce, these types of natural chemicals result in our feeling happy, calm, and content. Keep in mind that it is unlikely that you will be able to remove all the stress associated with running a business by having fun. But you can counteract some of it by making sure to schedule time in your busy calendar for engagement in recreational activities.

About Dr. Jeff Nalin

Dr. Jeff Nalin, Psy.D is an award-winning licensed Clinical Psychologist and the Founder and Chief Clinical Director at Paradigm Malibu Treatment Center. The center has locations in both Malibu and San Francisco.

Can Stress Help Your Workout?

By Eddie O’Connor, Ph.D., CMPC

You don’t need this article to tell you the benefits of exercise on your stress levels (but I will reinforce them anyway). Physical activity increases endorphin production in the body. Those feel-good pain-relieving hormones. And it’s good for your brain. Physical activity increases blood flow, which increases our cognitive capacity and speed. So, we think better. Focusing on exercise means we are not focusing on our stress, so there is a fantastic mental break from stress too, plus the positive meditative effect of focusing on the exercise, in the moment, as we do it. Your self-confidence likely gets a boost with the earned results of a better, healthier body.

But while exercise helps stress, can stress help you exercise? Your experience is probably going to tell you “no.” Ever been too tired to go to the gym and skip it? Ever prioritize more work or responsibility over your workout? Or be so fatigued that you’d rather zone out in front of the TV or phone, maybe eat a snack to feel better instead? Of course, you have. In fact, it is more likely that stress actually hurts your workout. Besides the decreased motivation to go, there is the real fatigue you feel even if you attend, decreasing the quality of your workout—especially if you are not recovering well with adequate sleep. There isn’t one major organ or process in the body that isn’t enhanced by sleep, or impaired without enough of it. (Get at least 8 hours to help both regulate your stress and improve your workouts.) Stress can cause muscle tension, increasing risk of injury and slowing tissue repair—which leads to longer recovery times. Stress makes it harder to lose weight and can increase food cravings. Those extra pounds don’t help us move well.

But despite these facts, I can think there is one way that stress can help get you moving.

It’s this: Notice how bad feeling stressed out feels. Rather than repeatedly numbing out, or working harder and longer in futile attempts to escape it (do you ever really catch up on everything?), notice how you feel. It’s terrible. It’s unhealthy. It turns us into not-so-nice people, crabby and irritable with others. Our performance in everything declines. And our coping strategies of snacking, sleeping less, and sedentary “resting” just make it worse.

And then realize that you have a choice. There is something you can do. It won’t feel good at first. You will be tired and sore and you might sweat a lot. But if you don’t want to be stressed, working out (or any physical activity) WILL help you. This isn’t my opinion. Its science.

So, the question is, are you willing to choose some discomfort in service of decreasing your stress and getting healthier? Stress can motivate your workout if you realize that working out is one of the most effective ways to reduce stress, and then engage exercise with your whole heart and mind to beat it.

About Eddie O’Connor

Dr. Eddie O’Connor is a Clinical and Sport Psychologist at Mary Free Bed Sports Rehabilitation in Grand Rapids, MI. He is a Fellow and Certified Mental Performance Consultant through the Association forApplied Sport Psychology—the largest organization for sport psychology consultants and professionals.  

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Tom Kersting Licensed Psychotherapist

Tom Kersting is one of the most sought-after experts in the field of mental health, families, parenting in the digital age, and over-device use. Tom holds advanced degrees including a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from St. Thomas Aquinas College, a Master’s degree in Counseling & Human Development and a second Master’s in Administration & Supervision, both from Montclair State University. Tom also holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Hypnotherapy (alternative/non-traditional) from Kona University.

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