We’re bombarded by stress on a daily basis, and nobody is exempt. Whether you’re late for work, sitting in traffic, trying to organise your schedule, or even just being indecisive about what to make for dinner, the fact is that stress in some shape, form or amount is truly unavoidable. Some of us may be coping with the small, daily stresses of routine while others of us may feel overwhelmed by the onslaught of a stressful situation.
No matter which category you fall in, each person must find their own ways of coping, lest they succumb to the negative outcomes of stress. When stress is allowed to build and fester unchecked, the results can lead to depression, anxiety, and a slew of physical and psychological ailments.
And remember: it applies to everyone. Managers can improve the performance of a team by creating a workplace that encourages lower stress levels, and as we previously discussed, scientists believe they have identified a psychological reason for it, related to individuals’ loss of a greater perspective.
Many stress-fighting tactics can be quick and simple. While a weekend retreat may sound like the ultimate relaxation, give some of these simple tips a try to help keep the stress at bay.
- Breathing Exercises: Take regular, 5-minute breaks throughout the day to concentrate on your breathing and posture. This helps to ‘reset’ your mind and allow for a fresh mental and physical reboot.
- Practice Mindfulness: Mindfulness is a practice of cultivating awareness. This cumulative practice enables mental clarity to notice thoughts, feelings and possibilities in the present moment. It also helps you get tuned back into your body, signaling you to what your needs are.
- Eat Well: Research continues to make a strong case for the link between lifestyle and mental health. Even if nutrition can’t be used to treat all cases of depression, it can play a positive role in preventative health.
- Reduce: The sheer volume of everything can be what causes our cup to overflow (and not in a good way). Sometimes instead of accumulating, you need to step back and reorganize and reduce. Yes, even too much of a good thing can be bad, so if you have to, don’t just reduce your tasks at hand, but consider taking out some of the extra-curriculars as well if you’re finding that you just don’t have any ‘downtime’ to destress.
- Reach Out and Connect: While you may view yourself as a ‘loner’, you absolutely need to take the time to connect with others and reach out for help if you need it. These connections can give you a fresh perspective on what’s going on while allowing you an outlet to vent off some steam.
Stress is just a part of everyone’s life. We take the good stress with the bad, but those who cope best with the negative influences in their life are better primed for handling more stress down the line. We can work to reduce our stress, but when we learn how to integrate quick stress-relieving tips into our daily life, then we are more likely to find ourselves happier in the long-run.
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Bring these suggestions, strategies and skills to your workplace. HSG offers health classes including yoga, meditation, and Tai Chi which have been shown to lower stress levels – either book a term of weekly classes, or mix and match activities to create your own unique program.