Life can be stressful, between bills, work, keeping on top of household chores. It can all add up and make us stressed. While stress doesn’t sound awful, it can actually be a terrible detriment to our health. Causing our mood to plummet, increasing risk of cardiovascular disease or stroke and make us irritable. It’s important to take time to yourself, if only 5 minutes, to clear the mind and relieve the pressures of life. Not only will it make you feel better but can even extend your life expectancy. If you work from home, you can be particularly prone to stress due to that feeling of never, truly getting away from your job. Taking a break to yourself is very important. It’s important that you create a clear separation between your working area and even make yourself a break out area with its own “rules”.
The Effects of Stress
When you feel stress, the hormones released are the same ones that cause our “fight or flight” reflex. Increasing your breathing, making your heart work harder and making our body feel tense. Should you feel stress over a long period of time, you’re more likely to experience tension headaches, increased blood pressure and even your internal organs will react differently. An increase in stomach acid, interruption of your digestion system and extra glucose in your bloodstream will eventually lead to heartburn, stomach problems and high risk of type 2 diabetes.
Good stress management takes time, finding a solution that works for you immediately while also working to remove the ongoing stress in your life. Feeling like you are losing control can be a key contributing factor to stress, so take back control. This could mean working with your current employers to better manage your time or seeking help from others in the workplace if you have a long list of tasks to complete.
Exercise can go a long way to helping with stress, it diverts focus, so you aren’t constantly ruminating on things out of your control. It also helps to calm you down, helping you tackle problems with a different attitude.
Connect with Others
Building a decent support network goes a long way to tackling stress as those around you can share the workload or help you approach difficulties in a new light. Humans are social creatures by nature, meaning we get a nice boost of positive hormones when around those we share strong connections with.
Take Some Time to Yourself
While we may get a nice positive boost from being around our loved ones, it’s also important to take time to yourself. Just a few nights a week spent focusing on your own well-being is enough to keep you on the right path to happiness.
Ditch the Unhealthy Habits
When you are stressed it can be easy to turn to an escape, like drinking or smoking. However, in the long-term, these new habits can create long-term health problems, attacking our vital organs and increasing risk of cancers. Avoid turning to potential “short-term solutions” for a brief buzz and work on removing the causes of stress instead.
Creating a Break-Out Area
You should have access to an area at home or work where you can take 5 minutes to yourself to relax or calm down if you are experiencing stress. The focus should be around comfort, cosy chairs and soft furnishings go a long way. You can also include access to calming activities, such as a bookshelf of your favourite reads, stress balls or fidget toys or even space to meditate or nap.
Consider creating an “outside indoors” space – set up a hammock, flood the area with natural light, fill with calming noises from outside (waves crashing, wind blowing through trees) and install some artificial turf. Artificial grass in place of carpet feels great under your feet and it’s quite relaxing running your toes through the grass. It’s also very easy to install and simple to maintain – visit this website if you’d like more information.
Sometimes the things that make us stressed are out of our control. Being able to tackle stressful situations in a new light can help you avoid quickly burning yourself out. Focus instead on areas within your control, whether it’s looking for a new job or increasing the time you take to yourself. Life is much more enjoyable when we can employ a positive outlook, and no-one should have to suffer the long-term effects of stress.
Are you ready to relax?