How to manage and free stress from your body and mind
We run through how to manage stress, the potential signs of stress and 5 things you can do to reduce stress in your life, starting today! If you're unsure of what stress is and how it affects our lives, be sure to check my previous article.
Stress management can be new to most people, this is because many of us seem to keep this emotion locked away. We tend to think it would be better for us and our loved ones if we do. Unfortunately, this is wrong and you could potentially be harming your health. We can manage stress with easy 3 steps.
Identify what is causing you pressure or trauma
Use the following to find out what causes you stress:
First, you need to recognise what is making you feel stressed. Try to identify the major and underlining causes - Look at starting a Stress Journal. Then go ahead and place your stress into three sections
1) Ones with a possible solution
2) Ones that will eventually become better given time
3) Ones you can’t change
Doing this will give you a better overview of what is happening in your life and what is causing you to worry.
Organise your time
It may come across weird at first but, changing the habit of the way you organise your time could put you in a better place of control, help you face tasks and reduce the some of the pressure on your shoulders.
Create a To-do List
A good way to start is to create a to-do list of all the things you need to do. List them in order of importance and focus on the most important task first.
Organise your tasks in a way that helps you complete them and makes them fun to do. Clump tasks together to help with time management. You may find it easier to mix stressful tasks in with easy tasks so you get a good mix. This will help with your stress levels.
Then look at your day and see what time in the day is the best time for you to focus on the most essential task and use time blocking, to block that into your calendar. Some people are morning people where others are night owls. Be sure to recognise which one you're.
Have mini-breaks throughout the day. Be sure to catch up with a work colleague or grab a beverage to help take your mind off work.
Take a step back and review what's going on
Could you be spreading yourself to thin? Don't cramp your work into one day. Taking on a heavy workload can add a lot of pressure onto your shoulders. By saying 'Yes' to something, but not thinking it through could increase your stress levels due to the added workload.
Could you delegate? Are there things others could be helping you with, to free up some of your time to focus on the more essential tasks. By delegating you're taking some of the pressure away from you which can reduce your stress levels.
What's your environment like? Are you working next to someone who is a foot-tapper, a complainer, or even a constant chatter? You need to work in a comfortable place, which you enjoy. These small but crucial details can be adding stress into your life. Be sure to minimise these when you see them.
What are potential signs of stress?
Many things can cause stress in our lives. The common stress activators are money, work and relationships.
Here are some symptoms of potential signs of stress:
How you could feel:
• Irritable or aggressive,
• Anxious, nervous or afraid
• Neglected or lonely
• Uninterested in life
• Lost sense of humour
How you could behave:
• Snapping at most people
• Biting your nails unconsciously
• Being unable to focus
• Eating too much or not at all
• Start smoking
• Picking at your skin
How you could be affected physically:
• Shallow breathing
• Sore eyes
• Chest pains
• Problems with sleeping
• High blood pressure
5 Things you can do to reduce stress in your life, starting today!
Avoid Bad Habits
Having bad habits like smoking or drinking can harm the body, even though they seem like a quick fix to a bigger problem, it's not the route to be taking. Switch this around and start implementing healthy habits into your life, including exercise and eating healthy food.
Take Time Out
It's important to have some 'me time' throughout the year. Relax and recharge the bodies batteries. Use this time to catch up with friends, go on holiday or exercise. In the UK, we work the longest hours compared to the whole of Europe. So you need to be making sure you take time out.
Get some well-needed sleep
Getting the right amount of sleep each night is crucial to how we feel and perform the next day. There are guidelines on how much sleep you need each night. The main point is to make sure you're not undersleeping.
What I mean by this is, look for ways in which you can make things simpler in life and at work. Time management is key here. Many people fall into the trap of wasting time but it's important to learn how time management can help you improve your life for the better.
I know this one may be hard if you're in a stressful time in your life but how you act and feel during the day plays a huge impact on the outcome of that day. You can either wake up and snooze that alarm or you can wake up ready to go full with positive energy, ready to take on life's challenges.
It's important to make sure you get professional advice if your stress becomes unmanageable. Reducing stress can sometimes be difficult or impossible. Focus on the things you can control rather than the things you cannot.
If you work for a large organisation and they happen to be making people redundant in your office, this is something you cannot change. In situations like this, be sure to focus on what you can control, like looking at new employment.
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Blogish - The Productivity Club