Even though we left the necessity of “flight-or-fight” situations behind, stress and anxiety have become major problems in our lives.
We are constantly rushing places, pushing us to perform close to our limits, neglect basic needs like eating, sleeping or social interaction.
What we rarely realise: stress is really harmful to our body.
Constantly having ‘negative stress’ (distress) can cause depression, diabetes, hair loss, heart disease, obesity, obsessive-compulsive or anxiety disorder, sexual dysfunction, tooth and gum disease, ulcers and possibly cancer claims “about.com”. What a list!
1. Focus on important stuff and get organised
Take a step back and try to have an objective look at the situation. Is it really that bad? What needs your attention first? Is everything really worth worrying about?
Make a ‘to do’ list. Once you have written all the things down you need to do, you have a much better overview over the situation. Also ticking things off really helps psychologically.
A midday nap of no more (or less) than 20 mins will give you back the strength you had in the morning.
If you don’t have 20 mins, take five at a quiet place, close your eyes and try to take yourself out of the situation entirely.
It sounds weird, but it actually helps. While you are taking your break try to concentrate on nothing else but your breathing.
Make sure to breathe into your stomach. If you are not sure put your hands on it and try to breathe towards them.
This is the way newborn babies breathe, it relaxes us immediately and the stress symptoms vanish.
4. Allow yourself to have a choice
Make sure that you always know what you are stressing yourself for so much.
Have realistic goals and always check whether all this trouble is getting you anywhere. Be as honest to yourself as you can and allow yourself to ‘give up’ when you find it’s not worth it.
5. Keep your humour
This is probably the hardest thing to do, but if you manage this, you should be able to get through anything.
If you manage to take away the threatening power some people or situations seem to have on your life by taking it with a bit of humour, you’ll find there is nothing more relieving.
6. Have a life
Keep your friends and your hobbies. Invest into your relationships.
Make sure to remind yourself of what your life should be about. Also: getting fresh perspectives on seemingly fatal situations helps incredibly.
If you try one or two of these tips, I really hope that you will feel better. They work for me…
And to prove that I will not stress myself into finding 10 stress relieving things and end with the weird number of six. 🙂
Read how Bob Brotchie can break through the stress cycle.