3 tips for healthy stress-management
You climb into bed, turn off the TV and close your eyes. Then, like clockwork, your mind starts to race. Did I send that follow-up email? Should I have done more work this weekend? Where did I leave that paper? You barely sleep.
The next morning, you wake up ten minutes past schedule and jump out of bed with your heart racing.
You're finally en-route when you realize you forgot your briefcase in the kitchen with the notes for your first meeting in it. You begin to panic and your stomach starts to ache.
Insomnia, pounding heart and stomachaches—along with headaches, increased depression, risk of heart attack, high blood pressure and high blood sugar—are just a few of the effects of stress on the body.
We all feel stressed sometimes, and that's a good thing. When your body perceives harm, it triggers a release of hormones, such as adrenaline, to prepare itself for action. Stress is an important survival instinct, but too much of it can be harmful.
What's worse than stress putting your health at risk? You could actually be addicted to it. Studies have found that because stress has not only a mental reaction but also a physical one, people can actually become addicted to the "rush" it causes.
If you often feel stressed and overwhelmed, the stakes are high. Don't wait to take action. In some instances, people may want to seek professional help to deal with their pressures, but everyone can benefit from basic stress management.
Here are three ways to start developing healthy stress-management skills today:
1. Find the source of your stress
To start managing your stress, you have to find out where it's coming from. There are many ways to do this, including self-observation through methods like keeping a stress diary. Of course, everyone has their own unique and personal sources of stress, but overwhelmingly, there are some common stressors most of us can relate to. For example, 61% of Americans report that work is a common source of stress.
2. Get productive
If work stressors get you down, time management is an important skill to utilize. It can help combat overwhelming to-do lists. Here are a few time management tips:
- Rank your tasks by importance (a supervisor can usually help with this).
- Focus on just one thing at a time to avoid distractions.
- Don't procrastinate when it comes time to do your most important or difficult tasks, accomplish those first.
- Put the phone down—you're probably loosing about 2.37 hours a day to your smartphone (apps like Moment can help you monitor your phone use and allow you to set daily limits).
3. Get connected (mind, body & soul)
Inhale to the count of 1, 2, 3. Exhale to the count of 3, 2, 1. Repeat three times. Mindful breathing, staying positive, relaxing, exercising and sleeping can all help you accept the things you cannot change—and put you in the right mindset to conquer the things that you can.
How do you de-stress? How do you stop yourself from bringing work-stress to your home? Let us know in the comments below!
Bri Burkhart, Integrated Marketing Specialist
Bri is an over-enthusiastic dog mom, pop culture fanatic and Instagram addict. She enjoys eating pizza, practicing yoga and hiking.
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