words Al Woods
Are you finding yourself feeling rushed, panicked or under pressure more regularly these days? Stress can be much more than a worrisome issue in your head. In the short term, it can affect your memory and concentration, causing poor performance at work and a lack of organization in your day-to-day life.
Its longer-term implications are still more worrying – links have been made between stress and skin and hair conditions, anxiety and depression, gastric issues, sexual dysfunction, heart disease and stroke and other problems besides. So, what can you do to rid yourself of the stress and pressure with which you’re currently struggling?
You’re not helping anyone by keeping your problems to yourself. If you don’t air your concerns, small issues can grow into insurmountable obstacles in your head. Voicing your problems may help you to rationalize them and work towards solutions, and will show others that you are willing to accept help. Whether you speak to a friend, a colleague or a therapist, communicating your causes for concern may open up a variety of options you didn’t know even existed. For example, if you politely tell your boss that your workload is getting out of control, you might be surprised at the solutions they offer. They may not have even realized how much you’ve been lumbered with, and might be happy to pass some of it over to another employee who is twiddling their thumbs.
Resolving Satellite Problems
Perhaps you can’t currently do anything about the main issue that is causing you stress, but what other things could you remove from your to-do list? If you constantly fret about one thing, other problems can easily build up and add to the pressure. For example, are money stresses nagging in the background? It’s now possible to explore your options regarding personal loans, the management of credit card debt or financial preparations for your next big step in less than 60 seconds. Once the majority of your mental in-tray has been dealt with, you’ll be able to focus on the bigger issues with a clearer head.
Taking a Break
Vacations or long weekends are great for blowing away the cobwebs and taking a look at your problems from a distance. Of course, there’s not always time for that. Instead, think about how you can briefly remove yourself from all the pressure in a way that fits in with your schedule. Why not turn your phone off for the weekend? Allow yourself twenty minutes per day to read a book or listen to music without distractions? Go for a run at lunchtime?
Investing in Your Health
Eating well and exercising can do a great deal for your state of mind. Getting your heart rate up for a few minutes per day will prompt the release of endorphins, or happy hormones, which combat stress and depression and help you to sleep. Reducing the sugar and caffeine in your diet will also help you to relax in your down time. In taking care of your body, you’ll also be faced with fewer health scares throughout your life, leaving you one less thing to worry about.
Improving Your Environment
There are many different influencing factors in your surrounding environment. First, look at the things around you. How clean is your space? Do you like how it looks? How it smells? If not, why not improve it? Ask yourself how physically comfortable you are. Does your chair give you a bad back? Are you too warm? Too cold? Are there distracting noises going on in the background? Make changes if you discover something you don’t like. Move from your physical surroundings to your wider life. Think about the things you do, the places you go and the people you spend most of your time with. Are any of these things needlessly contributing to your stress levels? If so, why not make a few adjustments?