Introduction To The Series
I was working from home the day I had my big health scare.
The day had begun like any other as I sat chatting with my family over breakfast — but that's the last memory I have of that day.
I came-to in the Emergency Department some time later convinced I'd had a stroke.
Fortunately or otherwise after a week long battery of tests, the loss of consciousness I experienced remains unexplained.
There was, however, no mystery about my general situation.
Returning home after being discharged from hospital, I felt more vulnerable than I'd ever been. I understood for the first time just how fragile a hold on life we all have.
How much I took for granted.
Looking at the middle-aged face in the mirror, I was forced to accept that I was unfit, chronically stressed and although blessed with a loving family, not particularly happy with how my life was running overall.
I made up my mind there and then to make some big changes and stop making excuses about the pressures of work or the responsibilities I carried.
Over the next twelve months I turned myself around.
I read everything I could lay my hands on about stress and the problems it could cause. I experimented with different approaches and techniques.
Gradually I re-discovered a new seam of happiness and good health and the chronic stress I'd been carrying slowly began to evaporate.
Today I'm pleased to report I'm happier and healthier than ever.
I've learnt how to manage the stress that comes with senior leadership positions more effectively. I've discovered what works for me after many different experiments using a variety of stress management methods.
So, this will be the first in a series of posts on the topic of stress management.
Each day for 31 days I'm going to be posting an article which will contain a little bit of teaching based on my experience — and a challenge — something you could do today that can make a difference to the stress you're living with right now.
Let me say from the outset that I’m not a psychologist — there are many outstanding professionals out there who can help you if you have a serious mental health disorder or other medical problem caused by stress.
What I’m offering is based on years of practical experience, which you’re going to be able to access here for free.
I know that some of my readers aren’t going to be engaged in this topic. That's OK — if you’re not interested in these posts feel free to skip past them.
My Motivation In Writing This Series
My motivation is this: to share what I've learnt in the hope it might help just one person benefit from the same life-changing and happiness creating effects that I've experienced.
If you've not done so already, pop over to the 31 Days To A Less Stressful Life homepage where you can see if there's anything you've missed.
I hope that this series will be a social one. I'll be tweeting about stress management while the challenge runs using the hashtag #31Days2Happy — maybe I'll see you there.
Please use the comments section to leave some feedback about each challenge. Tell us how you're getting on and maybe you'll encourage someone else who's hesitating to take the first step.
That’s more than enough preliminaries, let’s get stuck into the rest of the series. You can sign up so you don't miss any posts below.