UNPLUG – Manage stress

In today’s fast moving world, we are being constantly challenged by stressors, such as work pressures, financial burdens, health issues and family obligations. Very rarely do we get a break long enough to relax and relieve the stress.

Technology has also changed the way the way we interact with each other, how we compile information, and our life styles. Change has become a constant and these changes will take place at a faster rate causing a tremendous amount of stress just to keep abreast of what’s happening.

The result of these changes will be further increased tension, pressure and worry to the extent that it has an impact on our relationships, health and our work.

Stress is in fact, a reaction which may be emotional or physical which is caused by our responses to the challenges we are facing. When we are overstressed we tend to become irritable, anxious and come under pressure. Our health suffers and we do not sleep well, start getting headaches, backaches, stomach problems etc. At work we cannot produce our best results, miss deadlines, sit late to catch up and also may have resulting problems with colleagues and bosses.

In order to keep these factors under control we need to focus on how can we relieve stress. Below are some easy stress relievers which you can try to incorporate into your life to get you started.

  • TAKE TIMEOUT: Taking a short break of about 15 minutes during work to relax and refresh pays off. You may take a short walk around the office or outside to rest your brain and refresh yourself. During the break you get an opportunity to think and sometimes your best ideas may come up suddenly. This is most effective when one is stuck during work and things are not moving forward. But the trends of today are to always be available, mobile phones in hand, ready to respond. By doing so we are not in touch with our own minds, loosing creativity and ideas in the process. As we race to always keep up, we stop our self from developing any new ideas and the quality of our work suffers. The benefits you will reap from taking timeout are deeper relaxation and more energy to think clearly and produce better results.
  • EATING RIGHT : When a person is under stress at work, one tends to turn to drinking tea, coffee, smoking cigarettes, etc to stimulate one’s brain and keep outselves going. This further aggravates the problem as it may lead to sleepless nights as well. Instead be aware and try to eat right, drink water to refresh and try to maintain a low sugar, high protein diet. Fresh fruit, vegetables and nuts all provide healthy fats that help to regulate our stress hormones and produce optimal wellness.
  • RELAXING : Develop a habit of taking time each day to focus on some activity which will help to calm you and clear your head . There are a lot of options, so choose what suits you and what you are comfortable with. You can try a simple physical activity like walking or yoga, or you can go for techniques such as meditation, deep breathing exercises or mindfulness to relax and let go of the stresses of the day. With practice you will become more proficient, stronger and be able to apply these techniques as and when required in all aspects of your life.
  • EXERCISE : Releasing endorphins in your body through regular activities or exercise is a great way to give a positive boost to your mood and help you to manage your stress levels. Studies show that people who exercise regularly gain many benefits including physical fitness, as well as a greater level of self esteem. Regular exercise has proved to reduce stress, anxiety and feelings of sadness and depression. Not only that, it also helps you to get a good night’s sleep ensuring you wake up fresh and energized the following day to continue dealing with life’s challenges.
  • WORK BOUNDARIES : The fast changing world of today is increasing pressures on the work place. The digital world is making demands that pressurize employees to be available 24 hours a day. Globalization and working across countries and time zones also have a bad impact on an employee’s time and work life balance. So, it’s up to us to establish some boundaries for ourselves. We can try to make rules so that excessive pressures do not build up in us. This could include not to check emails at home in the evening, try to avoid scheduling conference calls at odd hours, and switch your mobile to silent after 9pm etc. Doing so will help to reduce a work-life conflict situation where you may end up stressed out and unable to cope with the situation.

We should always remember that change is a part of the environment we are existing in. The pressures will continue to go up as we strive to keep pace with what is happening. So in order to succeed in life we need to develop our level of resilience and flexibility to deal with all situations as they arise. So get ready to meet life’s challenges head-on, being also able to handle things wisely and get to the other side of it with balanced judgment and inner strength.

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