This morning I heard a very alarming fact from the CEO of a Financial Services organisation:
The suicide rate for financial advisers in Australia is 11 times the national average.
That is a very worrying statistic, especially if you sell insurance, offer loans or mortgages or advise people on their investments. Clearly people in that industry are experiencing a large amount of stress right now due, in part, to the regulation changes that they are facing.
When I went through my period of depression I regularly felt that suicide was an attractive option. I know that might not seem a sensible thing for a fit and healthy, happily married father of two to be thinking. And I would agree, it’s not very sensible, but then stress, anxiety and depression seem to push logic and sense out of our minds. People often say that when stressed they can’t think straight.
Everyone has experienced a time when their mind is rushing so much that it seems impossible to quieten it. It runs around and around in circles, dwelling on the same old ideas everyday and if those ideas happen to be negative or upsetting then – well it can make our lives a living hell. The worst time for me was around 2 o’clock in the morning. I would wake up after a short, fitful sleep and then worry for an hour or two about the mistakes I’d made yesterday and the things I had to do tomorrow. It always felt like I only managed to get back to sleep about 5 minutes before the alarm went off!
No matter what I did I couldn’t seem to quieten my mind. In the end I found myself worrying about worrying, fretting that I wouldn’t be able to get to sleep at all and that became extremely debilitating. If you add lack of sleep to an already over stressed mind you are lighting the blue touch paper – watch out, here comes the explosion!
Fortunately for me I discovered Mindfulness and thank goodness I did otherwise I wouldn’t be here writing this. Originally I thought it was a load of rubbish and not the type of thing that I would even consider for myself. But eventually I realised that there wasn’t really any other option as I was already doing all the recommended stress management techniques to their absolute maximum.
Mindfulness is like going to the mind gym, it strengthens our mind. It teaches us how to quieten or slow our thinking down which can bring some tremendous relief. With regular practice I found I could not only stop worrying about things but I could also send myself to sleep whenever I wanted to. It does take practice to get the techniques right but within three weeks of ten minutes practice everyday, I had much more control over how, and what, I was thinking about.
If you know a financial adviser then please get them to take a look at Mindfulness and give it a go. It works for everyone who practices it, it creates wonderful relief from the worrying mind and it will help improve their sleep patterns. There are several free e-books you can download here – www.johnshack.com/pause – or you can give me a call for a chat or to book a one-on-one coaching session.