Meet Esther Nagle

From addiction, depression and unbearable workplace stress to sobriety, peace and work that I love, helping others find health and wellbeing at work!

Hello, I am Esther Nagle, I am the founder of Balance and Breathe, and I want to help you bring greater health and wellbeing into your life, to your business and to your staff

Stress and health

There are many major causes of stress, and innumerable minor causes. Stress is a complex and vital reaction in the body to a perceived threat to life or wellbeing. When the mind perceives a threat, a series of responses are triggered in the body through the sympathetic nervous system. This is the flight or fight response. This causes the heart to beat faster, the sweat glands to overproduce, the muscles to tighten, our sensory perception to heighten, and many other responses. The most significant being for our daily life is that the logical, rational part of the brain shuts down, leaving us in the control of our emotional, instinctive responses. This is why when you get stressed, you might find it hard to think straight, or might later have to apologise or atone for something you did or said.

We are not meant to spend long in this ‘flight or fight’ state. In nature, the stress response would last long enough for us to fight our attacker or flee from it, then we would be able to relax. The body would then go into the relaxed state, the parasympathetic nervous system, where we can think, we can relax, and we can breathe normally. If we don’t get this chance to relax, if the perceived stress never goes away, we stay highly stressed.

Stress in the 21st Century

Nowadays, the majority of people in the West aren’t facing immediate threats to life, yet stress is on the rise. Our minds perceive much of daily life as threats to our wellbeing, even if we don’t see it. Television, notifications, traffic, constant stimulation, news, marketing is all designed to keep us alert for threats to our wellbeing. We are facing a global epidemic of stress, and, this is affecting all parts of our lives.

In the short term, stress is vital and can be invigorating and motivating. It can help us get stuff done, inspire us to great action. But when it doesn’t end, when we never get our nervous systems back to calm, it takes an ever-increasing toll on the body.

Unchecked, stress can affect all aspects of life. Stress at home can lead to stress in the workplace and vice versa. If this stress is not eased, this will affect mental and physical wellbeing. The growing problem of stress is a ticking time bomb for us all, and we need to do what we can to ease it

How much does stress affect you and your business

As a manager of people, you are in the ideal position to bring wellbeing to the lives of your employees, and reap the benefits of it. Happy, healthy staff will work well for you and produce far better work than stressed, ill, unhappy people. You may even be feeling considerable stress yourself. How much would your life improve if you could sleep better at night?

In my yoga teacher training, and my own experience of living with, overcoming, and studying stress, I have learned many powerful strategies that can transform stress and promote resilience, wellbeing, health and improved performance

Would you like to find out how I can help you bring greater well-being to your staff and your balance sheet?

Use the button below to schedule your complimentary consultation and let’s bring health and happiness to your business!

Some of the clients I have worked with

I am fortunate to have worked with some wonderful organisations. Will your be next?

We recently worked with Esther on a Leadership programme we developed for emerging leaders from across the globe, for our client, Menzies Aviation. Recognising that stress, depression and mental health are key business challenges in every industry, we asked Esther to deliver a wellbeing session, to help our participants see how they can effectively lead themselves and others in a more holistic way.

Esther’s session was planned in accordance with the brief we gave her, but she was able to expertly adapt to suit the needs of the participants on the day. The session provided much food for thought for the participants, gave them valuable tools that they can take back to their teams and their own lives, and enabled everyone to relax and let go of tension and stress. Esther was professional while being warm, engaging and approachable and made all the participants feel at ease and safe in the space she created.

As a leadership coach and mentor, I saw an immediate change in peoples’ perceptions of wellbeing as a business priority and was impressed to hear our participants continuing discussions about wellbeing days after Esther’s session. I would never have imagined the impact that a half day session on wellbeing could have on a group of senior leaders, and I am actively seeking ways to engage Esther with other clients.

Mok O'Keefe

Founder, The Innovation Beehive

I don’t need statistics and reports to tell me of the toll that stress can take on a person’s life. My whole life has been marred by stress and poor mental health. A smoking asthmatic at 17, an alcoholic and casual drug user by 20 (although I didn’t realise until I was 40!), my coping strategies were pretty unhealthy, to say the least. for years I juggled full time studying, or full time work with being a single mother, and all the drama that can bring with it, and a ‘hidden in plain sight’ drug and alcohol problem. 

While I would have liked to think that my stress at home wasn’t carrying over into my work, with hindsight it clearly was impacting on my performance at work. Poor time keeping, erratic moods, periods of complete inability to focus, disorganisation and more – I was the poster girl for stress in the workplace.

From Breakdown to Breakthrough

The breakdown I experienced in 2013 was a long time coming. I used to joke when I returned to my Rhondda home after university that I was coming home for a breakdown then I would leave. Well, it took 12 years for the full impact of the breakdown to hit, although I was building up to it for that whole time. The day I telephoned my employer in tears to say I wouldn’t be coming back was my last day of full time employment. I trained to be a yoga teacher, got sober and developed powerful stress management techniques and haven’t looked back.

Now I get to work in a way that keeps me calm and at peace and allows me to help other people deal with the pain and effects of stress in the workplace and in their day to day lives.

My journey over the last 4 years has been a wonderful, though challenging voyage of self discovery, adventure, dreams come true and finding my purpose and path in life. I struggled through a lot to get here, but there isn’t one bit of my past I’d change. It has all led me here, down this long and winding road to the person I am today.

As a result of my experiences, I have written a book about my recovery from addiction, become a public speaker and been invited to share my wisdom at a women’s conference in India, taught opera singer Wynne Evans to breathe on Radio Wales, and journalist Zoe Williams to breathe for a piece in the Guardian. I have taught yoga in forests, on beaches, at networking meetings and addiction conferences, in offices and living rooms. I have become a radio presenter, hosting the Wellbeing Wednesday show on Rhondda Radio 106.1FM. I get to spend time with my wonderful 3 sons, I have great friends and a family who loves and supports me. And I have Yoga and inner peace. None of this would have been possible had I not brought more Yoga into my life!

I feel so blessed that I have lived the life I have, and now I am able to share the wisdom and experiences that have shaped me to help you beat stress in your life and in your business.

You may have seen or heard me in the media

In addition to numerous recovery podcasts and guest postings on various websites, I have also appeared in many national magazines, newspapers, TV and radio.

Can I help you bring health and wellbeing to your business?

If you have concerns about the health and wellbeing issues affecting your employees, I can create the perfect wellbeing program to help you and your staff tackle the problems caused by stress and other wellness issues in the workplace. Schedule your complimentary consultation call using the button below.

I look forward to talking to you.

Esther