Finding things tough at work?
Not got time to have a life, and your personal relationships are suffering?
Is money’s tight and you’re struggling to pay the bills?
Learning how to deal with stress is essential to healthy living. With the way modern living has to be there is an incredible problem being caused with the levels of stress that people are being affected by. It is estimated that on a daily basis 270,000 employees are absent from work because of stress. I doubt whether a single one of you reading this is free from stress in your life. Where you may differ from one another is some of you are dealing with it where others are now suffering from its debilitating effects.
What is stress? A reasonably good definition comes from The Health and Safety Executive who define stress as “the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressure or other types of demand placed on them”.
There is a difference between stress and pressure. We can all experience pressure on a daily basis, and in fact we need it to motivate us and enable us to perform at our best. It is when we experience too much pressure, without the opportunity to recover, that we start to experience stress. When this is repeated day after day, the impact is building in your mind and body. There is no doubts that prolonged periods of stress, including work related stress, financial or domestic worries have an adverse effect on physical and mental health and well-being.
There are many things you can do to relieve the effects of stress on your body. There are also things you can do to help your body be better able to deal with stress.
Sleep 8 hours every night
If you are only getting 4-6 hours of sleep on work nights you are stressing your body before you even get to work. You need 8 hours of good sleep every night.
Aim to exercise for at least 30 minutes four times a week
Exercise has long been shown to be a great relief for stress. When you exercise your body produces natural “feel good” chemicals that counteract stress. You feel better, your body is healthier, better able to deal with stress.
Find time to relax every day
Learn relaxation techniques such as Deep Breathing, muscle relaxation, meditation, all techniques able to bring relaxation to both your mind and body.
Spot your Stress
When stress interferes with your ability to perform in your job, manage your personal life, or adversely impacts your health, it’s time to take action. Start by paying attention to your physical and emotional health.
Signs and symptoms of excessive stress:
- Feeling anxious, irritable, or depressed
- Apathy, loss of interest in work
- Problems sleeping
- Trouble concentrating
- Muscle tension or headaches
- Stomach problems
- Social withdrawal
- Loss of sex drive
- Using alcohol or drugs to cope
Take a full lunch hour away from your desk
Just breaking your mind and body out of a stressful situation for 10 minutes can do wonders to lower your stress level. So take a break. When you come back you will be better able to deal with it than if you try to stick it out.
Make food choices that keep you going
Low blood sugar can make you feel anxious and irritable, while eating too much can make you lethargic. By eating small but frequent meals, you can help your body maintain an even level of blood sugar, keep your energy up, stay focused, and avoid mood swings. Choose healthy options.
Create a balanced schedule.
Analyze your schedule, responsibilities, and daily tasks. All work and no play is a recipe for burnout. Try to find a balance between work and family life.
Remove your negative thinking.
If you see the downside of every situation, you’ll find yourself exhausted of energy and motivation. Try to think positively about things.
Taking care of yourself doesn’t mean you have to immediately implement a total overhaul of your life. Take things one step at a time, and start making better lifestyle choices.
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I find time to relax when I’m reading a book.