Limit Your Smartphone Use
Using your phone to track your steps on a nice long walk, or to practice mindfulness, is all fine and goodâitâs using your phone to work after hours that thatâs a bad idea. Your mind needs recovery time after work.
So even if you canât turn your phone off completely, itâs a good idea to limit your phone after work hours, especially if you have a dedicated work phone. Try not to check work messages and emails and turn off notifications.
If youâre truly worried about something urgent coming up, allow callsâbecause if something is an actual emergency, you can trust that your colleagues will pick up the phone and not rely on unanswered texts.
How To Use Walking To Improve Your Relationships
Walking together for a half hour or an hour leads naturally to conversation, sharing, and the time it takes to finally spit out what is on your mind. My husband and I enjoy pre-dinner walks where we can decompress from the stresses of the workday, as well as plan upcoming adventures.
You can build your walking habit by walking together. This is a great way to stay motivated to keep walking. I know of couples who wouldn’t let each other “get ahead” of them in the number of volkssport walks they completed.
Walk with your children and your grandchildren. Special hours spent alone with one parent and one child can make lasting bonds and memories, especially for children who always had to share their parents with other siblings. A long walk is a perfect way to spend quality time together, not distracted by meaningless “entertainment.”
It is easy to make new friends on the trail. You will often find yourself walking with some new and interesting person, or renewing relationships with old friends. Walkers form an instant community, and you can soon meet new friends of every age. Walkers have in common the joy of walking and a willingness to go places and see what is there.
Focus On The Bright Side Of Things
Negativity is contagious and can spread quickly refuse to be that person who transmits negativity through your family, friends, and coworkers by complaining all the time. Instead, be that person who can look at the bright side of a difficult situation and keep tough times in perspective. This doesnt mean to be unrealistic and overly-positive, it means to be that person who can look adversity in the face and focus on what you can control.
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Recognising Your Stress Triggers
If you’re not sure what’s causing your stress, keep a diary and make a note of stressful episodes for two-to-four weeks. Then review it to spot the triggers.
Things you might want to write down include:
- the date, time and place of a stressful episode
- what you were doing
- a stress rating
You can use the diary to:
- work out what triggers your stress
- work out how you operate under pressure
- develop better coping mechanisms
Doctors sometimes recommend keeping a stress diary to help them diagnose stress.
What Is The Fastest Way To Relieve Stress
There are countless techniques for managing stress. Yoga, mindfulness meditation, and exercise are just a few examples of stress-relieving activities that work wonders. But in the heat of the moment, during a high-pressured job interview, for example, or a disagreement with your spouse, you cant just excuse yourself to meditate or take a long walk. In these situations, you need something more immediate and accessible.
One of the speediest and most reliable ways to stamp out stress is to engage one or more of your sensessight, sound, taste, smell, touchor through movement. Since everyone is different, youll need to do some experimenting to discover which technique works best for youbut the payoff is huge. You can stay calm, productive, and focused when you know how to quickly relieve stress.
Social interaction is your bodys most evolved and surefire strategy for regulating the nervous system. Talking face-to-face with a relaxed and caring listener can help you quickly calm down and release tension. Although you cant always have a pal to lean on in the middle of a stressful situation, maintaining a network of close relationships is vital for your mental health. Between sensory-based stress relief and good listeners, youll have your bases covered.
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Immerse Yourself In A Creative Outlet
Doing something creative that you enjoy, like cooking, baking, coloring with colored pencils or doodling, or taking pictures, can give you a break in a stressful situation. For example, cooking or baking requires focus, concentration, and physical activityespecially if you’re making bread or rolling out dough.
Book Leisure Time Into Your Schedule
Make time for yourself to do the things you love . Schedule blocks of time for fun into your calendar the same way you would for a work activity.
Whether itâs doing pilates or kickboxing, sitting down with an adult colouring book or knitting a scarf, doing an activity that is in no way related to what you do all day long at your 9 to 5 is a great escape. And it gives your mind a chance to hone abilities you donât use at work.
What do you do to switch off from work after hours? Do you have a regular routine? Share your thoughts with us at .
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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.
Say No To Toxic Relationships
Relationships can act as powerful resources for coping with stress or as prolific sources of particularly heavy levels of stress. It’s even more surprising that certain ‘friendships’ that are conflicted, negatively competitive, or otherwise lacking in trust, can actually create more stress than relationships that are unfriendly but stable.
If you find yourself in an unhealthy relationshipa romantic relationship or a friendship, working to create a healthier dynamic is a great way to minimize stress. But if that doesn’t work, learning when and how to let go may be necessary. If you’ve tried your best to improve your toxic relationships but are still finding them to be stressful, here are some tips that may help.
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Ways To Clear Your Mind Of Stress
Being an entrepreneur isnt easy. There are constant ups and downs and often it will feel like everything that could potentially go wrong is exploding in your face. There will be roadblocks, unplanned obstacles, arguments and setbacks that all contribute to one thing — stress, and lots of it.
While you cant avoid stress altogether, simply letting it build up and consume you can lead to a meltdown. A clear mind is a healthy, productive mind. Here are eight ways that you can rid your mind of stress, allowing you to remain focused on crushing any goal you set.
How To Stop Anxiety And Unwanted Thoughts
- Persistent, unwanted thoughts are common in all forms of anxiety
- With obsessive-compulsive disorder, unwanted thoughts are one of the primary symptoms
- Examples of the types of unwanted thoughts can vary considerably
- Its possible to use small, easy to implement strategies to reduce or stop unwanted thoughts
- When those smaller strategies do not work, a more comprehensive anxiety reduction strategy will be necessary
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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:
Offer Yourself Forgiveness And Compassion
Just like the forgiveness you might offer someone who wronged you, self-forgiveness allows you to let go of past events and move forward.
So, instead of giving yourself a hard time, tell yourself its all right:
Waiting to do that project didnt turn out so well, but its OK to make mistakes. Now I know what not to do next time.
Self-compassion can also go a long way toward easing the harsh criticism and self-blame that tend to trail in procrastinations wake.
Instead of focusing on how you messed up , offer yourself some words of comfort.
If it helps, consider what you might say to a friend:
- It sounds like youre struggling right now, but I can tell youre doing your best.
- That assignment sounds really stressful. I know you want to do the best work possible, but its just a first draft, right? You can always improve on it later if your team has any suggestions.
Dont you deserve that same kindness?
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Fighting The Thoughts Brings Them Back Harder
There are many important things to realize about these unwanted thoughts. First and foremost, these thoughts mean nothing about who you are. Everyone has the occasional weird thought once in a while. The reason you have them more often is because your anxiety brings them back. Think of anxiety like a disease – it wants you to experience anxiety more, so it brings the thought back into your mind to cause you that anxiety. Anxiety also changes the way your brain works so that it’s harder to have positive thoughts, which also pushes these unwanted thoughts back into your mind.
Another important fact about these thoughts is that studies have shown time and time again that the more you try not to think about something, the more you think about it. It’s a phenomenon known as thought suppression. Your brain doesn’t want you to forget anything, so when you try to forget something it reminds you about it more than if you didn’t care about the thought at all. So every time you try not to have the thought, you actually increase the likelihood of having it again.
Finally, compulsions also make these unwanted thoughts worse. Behaviors that you do to stop the thoughts end up reinforcing them, because it acknowledges that they’re something that causes fear. That’s why it’s so important that you try to break the compulsions in addition to the obsessions.
Monitoring Your Own Reaction
So many of these unwanted thoughts are the result of the way you respond to them. When you feel shame or get upset at yourself for having them, you give them much more power and they’re more likely to affect your happiness and your mind.
You have to be careful, and try your best not to react this way. Force yourself as best you can to be “okay” with the fact that these thoughts occur. Remember, they’re just anxiety and they don’t mean anything. Once you cure your anxiety disorder the thoughts will go away. Until then, they’re just an inconvenience and nothing you should concern yourself with, no matter how fearful the thoughts are.
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Procrastination And Emotional Regulation
Research suggests that procrastination often relates to your mood and emotional mindset.
In other words, procrastination doesnt happen because youre lazy and unproductive or dont know how to do something . It happens because you dread the emotional distress you foresee.
Maybe you already experienced this irritation and frustration firsthand and dont want a repeat. But you could also have some preconceived ideas about how awful and difficult that chore or assignment will turn out to be.
Either way, you set the task aside, promising yourself to handle it later when you feel better able to manage those feelings.
Sometimes, its easy to see where the distress comes from:
- You put off a quick phone call to schedule your dental check-up, because youre certain you have a cavity or two and feel anxious about facing an afternoon of drilling.
- You avoid calling your sister after an argument, because you know you need to admit you were wrong and apologize.
You might have a harder time pinning down other sources of emotional distress, especially when they relate to ongoing or deeper-seated sources of emotional turmoil.
Learn To Avoid Procrastination
Another way to take control of your stress is to stay on top of your priorities and stop procrastinating.
Procrastination can lead you to act reactively, leaving you scrambling to catch up. This can cause stress, which negatively affects your health and sleep quality .
Get in the habit of making a to-do list organized by priority. Give yourself realistic deadlines and work your way down the list.
Work on the things that need to get done today and give yourself chunks of uninterrupted time, as switching between tasks or multitasking can be stressful itself.
Prioritize what needs to get done and make time for it. Staying on top of your to-do list can help ward off procrastination-related stress.
Yoga has become a popular method of stress relief and exercise among all age groups.
While yoga styles differ, most share a common goal to join your body and mind.
Yoga primarily does this by increasing body and breath awareness.
Some studies have examined yogas effect on mental health. Overall, research has found that yoga can enhance mood and may even be as effective as antidepressant drugs at treating depression and anxiety .
However, many of these studies are limited, and there are still questions about how yoga works to achieve stress reduction.
In general, the benefit of yoga for stress and anxiety seems to be related to its effect on your nervous system and stress response.
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A Sense Of Calm Offers Us Strength And Resilience Amid The Chaos Of Life
Life throws chaos at us on a regular basiswhether its our finances, our relationships, or our health. In the work world, around 50 percent of people are burned out in industries like health care, banking, and nonprofits, and employers spend $300 billion per year on workplace-related stress.
In response, we just keep on pushing through, surviving on adrenaline. We overschedule ourselves we drink another coffee we respond to one more email. If we stay amped up all the time, we think, well eventually be able to get things done.
But all that does is burn us out, drain our productivity, and lead to exhaustion.
Theres another waya calmer way. Cultivating a more restful, relaxed state of mind doesnt mean well drown under all our responsibilities. Instead, research suggests it will bring us greater attention, energy, and creativity to tackle them. And science also points to simple ways we can tap into that calm state of mind to be more resilient in our chaotic lives.