Managing Career Stress
By Emilia Santo, MA, Licensed Massage Therapist
Holistic Health Coach


“The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problems.”
-Mohandas K. Gandhi

Human beings are by nature very productive. The sense of doing something worthwhile and accomplishment is important to homo sapiens. This nature became out of balance with the industrialization movement, when working long arduous hours in an assembly line day after day, putting two widgets together, completely removed any sense of doing something worthwhile (except for getting paid) and eradicated any sense of accomplishment.

While I know many of you are not working in assembly lines, the underlying principle in many jobs is the same. The stress comes in when the actual activities of the day are not in alignment with who you are, especially when you are so successful with them. There are policies and values dictated by others (companies, institutions) which shift and manipulate your mind set and asks you to conform to arbitrary standards and values. Stress is then felt when your true nature is cloaked by others’ expectations. A sense of insecurity grows with the importance of various societal roles. You begin to feel a lack of control, generating a web of contradictions and narrowing and constricting your true self.

According to traditional Chinese Medicine, stress is an exogenous pernicious force. It slowly and consistently creeps in with various degrees of intensity, at times totally subconsciously. The individual may actually experience physical symptoms such as heart palpitations and not be able to relate it to the stress, instead assuming a physical cause. The effect on the body is one of mutual consumption, the thoughts and emotions consume the physical body and in turn the physical body begins to show signs, which affects the thoughts and emotions.

At physical level, stress causes the entire body to go out of balance. The nervous system is always on “alert mode” in a sympathetic reaction, causing hormonal and endocrine imbalances, which of course have an effect on the circulatory system, digestive system (how many commercials do we see for anti-reflux drugs?) and the immune system.

We know how we behave when caught in this cycle. We lack energy even to do the things that we enjoy, we feel depleted and at times completely drained. We eat poorly, going for the quick energy boosts of sweets, caffeine, and cigarettes. We look to alcohol for relaxation and wind down (we deserve a break!).

The feeling of being out of control permeates all our actions, so we go into excess mode and dependency mode, saying things like “I need to have it” or “ I deserve to treat my self,” so shopping can get out of hand. (we work so hard, we deserve to treat ourselves!). We stop exercising or we overdo it (at the gym at 5 am, followed by a 9 hour day), a boot camp approach. Eventually, if the stress related to work continues to be compounded by other personal events, illness can develop. However, it is not all doom and gloom.

You can put a stop on these negative cycles and totally regain control over your work environment and your whole life. You can completely reverse these patterns of stress and the a amazing thing is that our bodies are entirely ready to adapt and go through renewal and transformation. Just think biologically: your cells of your body are always in constant regeneration, just like so many ecosystems in our planet.

When dealing with these patterns of life one has a tendency to only see via a constricted and confining lens, and one has difficulty perceiving the tremendous potential for transformation. You can stop being at odds with your work and feeling fractured in your life. Remember, also, that what is stressful for one person may or may not be for another. We need to recognize and respect our individual differences and sensitivities. You could look around and feel that others are handling things fine, but that doesn't mean that you should be feeling the same way.

It is a journey, and without the help of a guide you can miss the scenic route and miss the beautiful sunrise, given your foggy glasses. So if you identified with some or all of these stages and patterns then you can benefit from having a health coach in your life. It is time for change and for taking action imagine how good you will feel to live life to your full potential.

1) you will develop a wider and clear mental, physical and emotional states that will be able to clear the fog from your lens.
2) you will develop more energy and vitality.
3) you will be able to lay out achievable goals, with attainable deadlines and accountability.
4) you will discover your true potential and creative self.
5) you will receive professional active listening support, during your process remember friends and family are not impartial and do not have the degrees of separation.
6) you will be exposed to a broad range of knowledge in mind, body and spirit, to bring an integrative approach in the process of problem solving.
7) you will be able to maintain long lasting results in nutrition and body work.
8) you will receive an affordable and attainable service.

If you are under career stress, it is time to take control over your life. You are a unique individual, no one else is on this planet like you and your contributions in your life are important. So begin to truly live your dreams, discover your true self. Peel away the layers of self-destruction and bring balance back into your life.

Emilia Abayah Santo, MA, is a certified yoga teacher who received her training at New York’s Integral Yoga Institute. She is also a certified Holistic Health Counselor, having trained at Institute of Integrative Nutrition. Emilia is also certified as an herbologist, and a reiki practitioner. She is available for private consultations and classes. She can be contacted at Her web site is