Dont Run Yourself Ragged
Say no! If you are a people-pleaser it is very hard to say no when someone asks you to do something, even if your schedule is already overwhelming. I suggest that you always say let me get back to you on that then actually ask yourself:
a) Do I want to do it?
b) Do I have time to do it without making myself overwhelmed?
It is usually easier to say no when you are not face to face with someone.
Mastering How To Feel Less Stressed
As you can see, stress is something we all face. By taking notes from some of the best in the business, we hope you have a better understanding of how to feel less stressed and have actionable takeaways you can use in your everyday life.
If these stress management tactics work for people who have built billion dollar companies and thrive on a daily basis, theres no doubt they can help you achieve your goals and live a better life as well.
Cut Down On Stressors With Systems And Better Time Management
Put systems in place to minimize stress, Scott says. “In virtually all areas of life, it helps to plan ahead and these plans need not be complicated,” she writes.
Keep your desk orderly, use to-do lists, and be proactive about starting challenging projects early. Use your lunch break to de-stress by taking a brisk walk, meditating, and reflecting on the things you’re grateful for.
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Procrastination As A Contributing Factor
Heres the thing about procrastination: The negative emotions you associate with a given task dont go away when you avoid that task. They feed on themselves and grow, rapidly.
Say you put off creating a work presentation. You want to impress your boss, but youre worried about meeting their high standards.
Of course, the more you delay, the less time you have to do the work. As the deadline approaches, you dont just doubt your ability to create a successful presentation. You also feel overwhelmed about the amount of work involved, and youre stressed at the thought of not getting it done in time.
You know youve created a sticky situation for yourself, but you care more about the peace of mind that avoiding the project provides. Its this fleeting peace that generally reinforces the procrastination loop.
Ask yourself: Do you actually feel calm? Probably not. Youve likely noticed an undercurrent of anxiety rippling through your waking thoughts.
And therein lies the rub. Procrastination creates a cycle thats difficult to escape, because the temporary reward of putting something off reinforces your desire to do it again even though it creates more problems.
A procrastination habit can eventually complicate the emotional concerns that triggered it in the first place.
Over time, procrastination and the loop it tends to create can lead to:
These strategies can help you break the procrastination cycle even when its an ingrained habit.
Finding An Activity That’s Right For You
Andersen feels that exercise is accessible and valuable for everyone – it’s just about finding what’s right for you.
“Do you like music? If so, chances are you would like dancing a fun and mood-boosting form of movement,” she says. “Do you like gardening? Pottering about in the garden or taking walks in scenic surroundings also benefits your fitness levels. It may be worth looking into personal training if you are unsure what is suitable – they can help you set realistic goals and an appropriate exercise programme.”
You could also recruit a friend or partner to join you in your exploration of different forms of exercise, which is particularly good advice if you struggle with motivation. It doesn’t have to feel like a chore or an obligation. Take things at your own pace, and have some fun.
“Lockdown has changed the way we exercise, with classes and personal training available at your fingertips, without the need to spend time travelling to and from a gym,” says Andersen. “What about setting your alarm ten minutes earlier for an energising morning stretch? Or blocking your diary at lunchtime for an online class you can do at home? We all crawl before we walk, walk before we run – a step-by-step approach that helps keep motivation high and injuries at bay.”
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How Can I Feel Less Stress
There are some practical coping strategies you can use to help decrease your level of stress.
To help decrease our stress, we can first learn to change what we say to ourselves and the way we think about ourselves. This is accomplished by shifting our words and thoughts from what we call negative self-talk to positive self-talk.
The following are a few examples of how we may turn negative comments into positive ones:
Long Term Stress Management Techniques
Finding ways to increase our health helps us decrease our stress. Simple ways to do this are:
- Get more adequate sleep
- Apply positive self-talk and positive attitudes
- Talk to people you trust
- Work at managing your time
- Make an effort to relax
Make a Stress Plan
Try Progressive Muscle Relaxation Exercises
Research shows that when people do progressive muscle relaxation exercises, even just once a week, that it will significantly reduce blood pressure, pulse, and feelings of anxiety. So sit back, close your eyes, and tighten up your feet. Then relax them. Tighten up your calf muscles. Then release them. Continue until you reach your forehead. If you can add some relaxing music, so much the better.
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What To Do When Youre Going Through A Stressful Time
Some stressors get resolved relatively quickly and go away . Other stressors are ones you have to cope with for long stretches of time, such as going through a divorce or breakup, managing a difficult health diagnosis, or looking for a new job. It could even be something exciting say if youre preparing for an upcoming move or planning a wedding.
Anything that puts high demands on you can be stressful even positive things, Dr. Schiff says. On these occasions, sticking to your usual routines can be helpful.
There is some reassurance in knowing whats going to happen and when, not to mention that routines promote positive physical and mental health, Schiff says. When faced with events that are scary and largely out of our control, its important to realize what you can control.
Its also important to acknowledge the extra stress youre feeling and perhaps take your stress management up a notch.
Its also a good idea to lean on your social circle in times like these. Spending time with family or friends who make you feel good, or finding a community with whom you share interests or spiritual beliefs, reduces stress, says Alka Gupta, MD, an internal medicine and integrative medicine doctor in private practice in Washington, DC.
Breathing And Relaxation Exercises
Many people find exercises that focus on breathing and muscle relaxation to be helpful in relieving stress. The playlist below will help you to understand how stress works and start feeling better. These exercises can be done anywhere and are designed to help you feel more relaxed in general, as well as helping you feel calmer if you are becoming stressed.
This playlist is free to download, and you can also stream it using the Soundcloud website or app. You can download and listen to individual tracks if there are particular exercises that work best for you. If you’re listening to it for the first time, it’s best to start from the beginning.
To access a BSL version of this playlist, .
Find out more by checking out these 10 stress busters.
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Ways To Eliminate Stress At Work
The average business professional has 30 to 100 projects on their plate. Modern workers are interrupted seven times an hour and distracted up to 2.1 hours a day. And four out of 10 people working at large companies are experiencing a major corporate restructuring, and therefore facing uncertainly about their futures. This may be why more than 40% of adults say they lie awake at night plagued by the stressful events of the day.
“People are asking me for answers,” says Sharon Melnick, Ph.D., a business psychologist and author of just released Success Under Stress. “Everyone feels overwhelmed and overly busy.”
Is there a way to maintain steady focus throughout the day? Is it possible to do everything that needs to get done and still have energy left over after work? How do you keep cool under so many demands? Informed by 10 years of Harvard research and field-tested by more than 6,000 clients and trainees, Melnick offers the following strategies to take your work stress down a peg, before it takes over your life.
Act Rather Than React
Take A Deep Breath
If you’re feeling overwhelmed or are coming out of a tense meeting and need to clear your head, a few minutes of deep breathing will restore balance, says Melnick. Simply inhale for five seconds, hold and exhale in equal counts through the nose. “It’s like getting the calm and focus of a 90-minute yoga class in three minutes or less at your desk,” she says.
Schedule Your Day For Energy And Focus
Have A Relaxing Cup Of Tea
Have a hot cup of tea, preferably with no caffeine, Wei said. And put the smart phone away and just spend a few minutes focusing on the flavor of tea, the temperature, noticing everything about the cup.
This mindfulness practice helps you tune out other thoughts, helping you focus on something thats calming. This can be a great tactic to reduce stress at work while you can’t necessarily step away from the stressors completely, you can use a cup of tea as a signal to press pause for a moment.
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Simple Ways To Deal With Stress At Work
Research has indicated that the percentage of Americans who are stressed at work is highand its only getting higher. According to a survey of more than 2,000 full-time U.S. employees, ages 18-79, more than half of employees find themselves stressed during at least 60 percent of the workweek.
Work stress has significant health consequences that range from relatively benign to potentially serious .
While stress at work is common, finding a low-stress job is hard . A more realistic approach is to adopt effective coping strategies to reduce stress at your current job. Here are some stress management techniques you can try if you are finding it hard to cope with work stress
How To Manage And Reduce Stress
Here, we would like to start, by giving you an introduction to what stress is, what the signs of stress are, what simple steps you can take when feeling stressed and provide practical advice for preventing it, to show why we are passionate about moving towards a less stressed nation.
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Take Time For Yourself
It is always important to take time for yourself and enjoy it with the people you love. That is the exact motto of Susan Wojcicki, the CEO of YouTube.
When you spend time with the people you love and see their faces light up it melts the stress away and makes you appreciate the small things in life.
Stress will just seem like a minor problem and overcoming it will become easier than you could ever imagine.
How Exercise Relieves Stress
There’s little doubt that, when done in a way that fits your lifestyle, exercise can be an incredible stress-reliever. A large 2018 study, involving 1.2 million people, found that physically active adults experienced two days of poor mental health every month. This compared to 3.4 days for non-exercisers. The optimum benefits in the study were seen at around 45 minutes of exercise every other day – more than that wasn’t necessarily better.
There are a number of reasons why this might be. For one thing, exercise encourages the release of feelgood hormones, like serotonin, while balancing stress hormones like adrenaline. It can regulate your appetite and sleep cycles. It can also have a meditative effect, taking you out of your head and into your body.
“There’s evidence to show the more physically active you are, the more emotional well-being improves,” says Marc Holl, head of physiotherapy & clinical development lead at Nuffield Health. “The relationship between mind and body is reciprocal, so if one is neglected, it can have negative repercussions on the other.”
When you make it into a habit, the stress-relieving effects of exercise extend far beyond the exercise session itself. Regular exercise has even been shown to increase the volume of certain brain regions, with implications for brain health.
Can exercise help you feel less stressed?
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Immerse Yourself In Sensory Details
As you imagine your scene, try to involve all of your senses. What does it look like? How does it feel? What special scents are involved? Do you hear the roar of a fire, the splash of a waterfall, or the sounds of chipper birds? Make your vision so real you can even taste it!
Build Strong Positive Relationships With People Who Make You Feel Goodand Avoid Those Who Dont
Research suggests that stress builds up over time, through multiple small interactions with others. By themselves, few single incidents are intrinsically stressful. However, put them together, and the story is very different.
It is hard to avoid these micro-stressors, because they are too frequent and too pervasive. However, there are ways to address them, and the most important is to focus on your relationships with others. Research suggests that the two most important things you can do are to build strong relationships and connections with people who make you feel good, and avoid those who dont.
There is more about this in our page on Micro-Stressors.
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Make Time For Leisure Activities
Leisure activities can be a wonderful way to relieve stress. Yet, many people feel as though their lives are too busy for hobbies, games, or extra fun.
But building time for leisure into your schedule could be key to helping you feel your best. And when you feel better, you’ll perform better, which means leisure time may make your work time more efficient.
Whether you find joy in caring for a garden or you like making quilts, hobbies and leisure are key to living your best life.
Exercise Can Combat The Negative Body Responses To Chronic Stress
Being active has a positive effect on just about every system in your body. Thats especially true for your cardiovascular system and your brain, but also your immune system, metabolic system, and many more. So even if you do experience the negative effects of bad stress, theyre less likely to impact your health.
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Different Types Of Self
Self-care isn’t just about finding ways to relax. It’s about taking care of yourself mentally, physically, emotionally, socially, and spiritually. In order to care for your health and well-being, it is important to find a balance that allows you to address each of these areas. Sometimes you might need more self-care in one specific area in order to restore balance or find relief from a stressor in your life.
Accept The Things You Can’t Change
Changing a difficult situation isn’t always possible. Try to concentrate on the things you do have control over.
“If your company is going under and is making redundancies, for example, there’s nothing you can do about it,” says Professor Cooper.
“In a situation like that, you need to focus on the things that you can control, such as looking for a new job.”
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How Can We Handle Stress In Healthy Ways
Stress serves an important purposeit enables us to respond quickly to threats and avoid danger. However, lengthy exposure to stress may lead to mental health difficulties or increased physical health problems. A large body of research suggests that increased stress levels interfere with your ability to deal with physical illness. While no one can avoid all stress, you can work to handle it in healthy ways that increase your potential to recover.
There are several other methods you can use to relax or reduce stress, including: