The Three Top Ways to get off the Stress Train

By Dr. Meg Jordan

Stress is an all too common 21st century ailment, and the workplace is the number one stress-maker. According to the Canadian Occupational Safety, workers feel overwhelmed because "there aren't enough hours in the day," or else they say they're "in over their heads" with too many responsibilities. The feeling of being squeezed in a job that has unrealistic demands and inadequate decision-making power leaves many employees with a long list of stress symptoms, ranging from chronic headaches to gastric distress.

A nagging complaint can soon turn into a more serious stress-related disorder. In fact, stress-induced illness now ranks as the chief disability filing for workers. A half-century ago, worksite problems centered on injuries to the back and limbs. But today, in a hurry-up world of impossible deadlines and workers tied to their computers, ergonomic injury has shifted from low back to head, neck and shoulder tightness and stress headaches. If you feel that your world of work is spinning too fast and you're feeling a little out of control, you could use some help on three fronts:

First, lighten your workload. I know, easier said than done. But there is a limit to maximizing worker productivity, and if you are worried about the inherent problems with complaining to a boss about mounting demands, then consider the other avenues at your workplace for resolving the pressure: talk to your boss's boss and to your human resources department. Judd Allen, President of the Human Resources Institute, believes that performance anxieties are best handled by companies in which leaders know that well-being is critical for organizational effectiveness.

Second, shore up your ability to cope with stress. Transfer some of that perfectionism about doing a good job to a healthy attitude about your personal health habits. Start your workday with a protein breakfast and targeted supplementation of an adaptogen such as Red Reishi. Adaptogens are nature's miracles, the pre-eminent means for helping your body ward off the damaging effects of chronic stress. You can take adaptogens every day, unlike most herbs. Look for high quality, hot-water extracted Red Reishi from Japan for ultimate benefit of its phytonutrient power.

Third, move like your life depended on it. Daily exercise, at least 30 minutes a day, is one of the greatest de-stressors known. Your body needs this fail-safe means to let off steam, and your workaholic brain will finally relax.


Dr. Meg Jordan, PhD, RN, CWP, is a medical anthropologist known as the Global Medicine Hunter®. She is an integrative health specialist, international health journalist, and a professor at the California Institute of Integral Studies.

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