Tag Archives: stress

The best piece of advice I have ever been given


OK. So I am someone that likes to know things – I have lots of books, attended many courses around the world and am always fascinated to understand more about what makes our mind, body and soul healthy and happy. Yet when I stop and reflect on all the information I’ve collected so far, I think the best, most beneficial piece of advice is actually the most simplest.

Drink more water.

That’s it.

Of course I always knew that I needed to drink water yet never did. Purely because I didn’t understand why. It was during a lecture in Brighton, seven years ago, when I was studying nutritional healing that I learnt that I was made up of one hundred trillion cells and each little cell was 70% water. Like the world, which is also 70% water, our cells need a fluid environment so that they can carry out all their important, internal jobs that keep us alive, moment by moment.

I also realised during this lecture that I had not recognised the signs that my body was giving me when water resources were dwindling – headaches, constipation, irritability, hunger, pain – just some of the SOS signals that indicate that we are dehydrated and our bodies are having to use up precious water resources in the brain and large intestine.

Since that day, I feel so much more in tune with my body. I know now that when I want to eat and eat and eat it is actually my body telling me its thirsty. That any time I’m feeling cut off, alone or rigid that it’s a reflection of my cells getting too dry.

And there are days when I don’t bother, when I think, in my dehydrated state that it doesn’t matter and that my cross, rigid way of thinking is just how I am. Yet if I can summon up some personal responsibility and take a long glass of water, this dark cloud seems to immediately pass and I remember that two litres of clean, body temperature water spread throughout the day is a very small gift to my precious, hard working body.

Stress questionnaire

The Orange Grove is 100 per cent committed to reducing stress in the workplace. This survey below is a valuable tool in gaining more insight as to how stress affects each individual person. All answers are completely confidential – if you enter your name and address at the end of the questionnaire, you will be entered for one of three prizes – a two hour ultimate escape hot stone massage (in Hertfordshire – direct line from Liverpool Street/Kings Cross), a £50 Neal’s Yard voucher or one hour of on-site massage in your place of work (for up to three people). The closing date is the 15/10/2011.
Many thanks in advance.


Keeping a positive mental attitude in a manure crisis

“In 50 years every street in London will be buried under nine feet of manure”
The Times 1894

We all know the importance of having a positive mental attitude. Even as a confused, dyslexic child I knew that PMA was a good thing, PMS a bad thing. All self-advancement books, gurus and successful people cite the power of positivity; how wealth, work promotions, harmonious relationships all come from seeing the world through an open and optimistic viewpoint. Those with energy and enthusiasm stand out from the crowd, and we’re naturally attracted to their positivity. Yet I can have days when I bounce out of bed (well perhaps bounce is a little strong) and before I know it I’ve stumbled in the face of negativity be it an unwelcome email, listening to the news or talking to someone with a strong Negative Mental Attitude. Sometimes it doesn’t seem to take much to pop my balloon and this can be especially true in the office when we are surrounded by people, projects and deadlines that can make a serious dent on even the most dedicated PMAs. So perhaps the question that we should be asking is how do we hold on to positivity when we are barraged by negativity? Is it any surprise that we feel less ‘bouncy’ when surrounded by global warming, peak oil prices and a printer that keeps jamming?

Well firstly we have to acknowledge that staying in the PMA zone does take some effort on our behalf. Napoleon Hill who first came up with this concept in 1937 said, “Your mental attitude is something you can control outright and you must use self-discipline until you create a Positive Mental Attitude – your mental attitude attracts to you everything that makes you what you are.” Admittedly, activating this self discipline can be hard work if we are surrounded by challenging circumstances and work colleagues, yet when we do make an effort to focus on the positive then the negative seems to naturally fall away. This idea was reinforced by a lecture I went to this week by Roger James Hamilton, the creator of Wealth Dynamics. One of the points he made was that often we use up our resources worrying about ‘old issues’, be that global threats or personal issues when we should be looking to where we want to be in the future and focus on creating that solution. The example he used was the “great manure crisis” of 1894, which was reported by Stephen Davies in The Freeman:

19th Century cities depended on thousands of horses for their daily functioning. In 1900, London had 11,000 cabs, all horse-powered. There were also several thousand buses, each of which required 12 horses per day, a total of more than 50,000 horses. In addition, there were countless carts, drays, and wains, all working constantly to deliver the goods needed by the rapidly growing population of what was then the largest city in the world. The problem of course was that all these horses produced huge amounts of manure. A horse will on average produce between 15 and 35 pounds of manure per day. Consequently, the streets of 19th Century cities were covered by horse manure. This in turn attracted huge numbers of flies, and the dried and ground-up manure was blown everywhere.

In 1894, The Times reported that in 50 years every street in London would be buried under nine feet of manure. Not only that, but as the number of horses grew, even more land had to be devoted to producing hay to feed them (rather than producing food for people), and this had to be brought into cities and distributed by horse-drawn vehicles. It seemed that urban civilization was doomed.

Yet the issue of being suffocated by horse manure, a very real fear for our ancestors of the 1900s, naturally fell away as the world evolved and cars were introduced. Global warming is a current example that can send us from a Positive Mental Attitude to a Negative state of mind. Yet it was only forty years ago that we were preparing for global cooling and the threat this coming ice age would cause to the human race.

I’m not saying that we should ignore current issues and avoid anything that can bring us down but rather for us to hold onto our PMA, I believe that we need to make time to step out and observe the bigger picture to see where we want to go in our lives. The media and fear-mongerers among us seem to relish creating a sense of doom and dis-empowerment which, if we believe their words, can create a negative mental attitude as we stay connected to problems rather than creating solutions. As the great manure crisis showed, many things that we negatively focus on never happen. By remembering that world is constantly evolving we can empower ourselves to create a future that we want to live in, which will activate and strengthen a positive state of mind. Although there are things outside of our control, we are not powerless players in our lives – we just need a healthy dose of self discipline and a dash of courage to make the changes we want to see.

Mark Twain once said, “I have been through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened”. Many of our biggest fears inside and outside of the workplace will never materialise, so by channelling our efforts into positive thoughts people not only enjoy being around us more, but we enjoy being ourselves more.

The first blog!

Welcome to The Orange Grove Blog! This is an extension of my website where I will have the space to look at health and well-being issues that can benefit people who work in offices. Since I set up The Orange Grove in 2006, my main focus has always been on looking at the office environment as I typically see a certain type of stress that is common in office workers. This ranges from physical symptoms relating to tension in the back, neck and shoulder muscles to mental issues that can cause digestive problems as well as headaches and lethargy.

The experience of being in an unnatural environment for many hours, away from natural light and air and in close proximity with many other office workers can take it’s toll on people’s general well being and vitality. However I am certainly not saying that the for all the 10million office workers in the UK that the future is doom and gloom, far from it. With just a few small techiniques that people can do which lowers stress levels so that office workers can thrive rather than just survive. It is these sort of things that we will be discussing here.