Stress can be a double edged sword. It affects sleep, blood pressure, mood and weight – all aspects of our lives and bodies. Stress can be the cause of many issues be they positive or negative that also happen to come in many flavours, shapes and sizes – but at the same time is a result of your actions and your environment. Let’s explain this in a simpler way.
Over a period of time you start to always feel tired and worn out. You can’t put your finger on the reason but you notice that your energy levels are down and that you just can’t sleep properly. This is a result of stress. Over time it begins to nag at you and you may find yourself struggling.
At the same time allowing yourself to get run down allows your stress levels to increase. Because you are feeling tired you don’t manage situations as well as you normally would, with the resulting impacts to your business, personal and professional lives. Getting enough rest and including coping strategies in your everyday activities are key to managing your stress levels.
What are some of the activities you can use to help alleviate stress? Many find comfort in some of the following:
- Meditation has long been recognized as a stress reducer, perhaps including yoga classes where the act of just sitting quietly and practicing deep breathing and help you manage stressful thoughts. There are a number of smartphone apps that help with focused breathing, meditation and positive thinking that can add to your arsenal against stress. You’ve already got that smartphone in your pocket or purse so let it become even more useful.
- Pets have been shown to reduce stress, sometimes through the simple act of petting, walking or talking to these amazing creatures. They reduce your tiredness and stop the energy drain you could be experiencing. They can help prevent the vicious stress circle from becoming a never ending one just through the simple act of being your best friend.
- Taking the time for things you enjoy such as music, exercise or a favourite hobby – yes, even when you don’t really feel like it can help lift the stress from your day and help clear your mind.
- Getting enough exercises on a regular basis can also keep your stress levels down. Exercise such as walking, swimming and yoga are particularly good for helping you relax and sleep better at night.
- Another thing to be managed is to make sure you get enough sleep and learn how to relax your body. How many times have you stayed up at night because you just can’t get certain things out of your mind? These are the things that you have to learn to let go off, these are your stressors.
- Helpful ways to manage stress at night time include listening to soothing music. This can be especially helpful if you have trouble falling asleep. Turn off the lights in your bedroom and listen to some soft music. Set the radio or disc player to automatically shut off after about an hour. Leave your smartphone and tablet in another room to avoid the stimulation of the blue light that these devices emit and that science has proven to have an effect on your responses.
Help your body
Help your body learn to relax by doing things like soaking in a hot bath, taking a warm shower or perhaps going for a massage. This is really effective if your stress shows up as stiff and knotted muscles.
Your goal is not to allow stress to have you running around in circles. If your stress levels are super high then look for the reason why. Then take action to minimize your levels. You may have too much on your plate at work, or you may find that you never spend any time on yourself.
Remember what’s really important: you, your business and your family all need you to stay healthy. We can’t rid our lives of stress, but we can and should find ways to manage it. How will you manage your stress and keep those levels at bay?