Stress has become the norm. It’s something we expect from our careers and it’s something we fight against, instead of manage.
70 percent of us experience symptoms which are at their base level – irritability, anger or fatigue, feeling overwhelmed, muscle tension, teeth grinding and changes in sleeping habits. Long-term stress obviously has much more severe health consequences.
Dr. Charles F. Stroebel reported long ago that we experience approximately 30 “heart hassles” a day. He defines these as “irritating, frustrating, or distressing mini-crises.” They include incidences such as disappointments, delays, ambiguities, annoyances, disagreements and conflicts with others, to name a few. They are a vexation to the spirit and they metaphorically drive us insane. Doing nothing about our stress, is problematic. So, follow these scientifically backed methods to manage your stress
This recommendation stems from The Mental Capital and Wellbeing report issued by a U.K. Government think-tank. The scientifically based, five-step process includes: connecting (invest time in developing relationships with family, friends, colleagues and neighbors); being active (step outside, do sports or hobbies, or just take a daily stroll or run); being curious (notice the beauty of everyday moments and appreciate them); learning (try something new, rediscover an old interest, fix a bike or cook your favorite food); giving (help anyone in your network; thank someone). Just starting with one and working your way up is an option.
The Quieting Reflex is a 6-second exercise developed by Stroebel. It’s a quick and easy tool that can be used at any time, with your eyes open and without anyone noticing. As soon as you become aware that you are becoming tense, or annoyed, smile inwardly. The smile stimulates a release of endorphins to counteract the stress hormones. Then breathe in slowly and tell yourself “Alert Mind”; exhale slowly and tell yourself “Calm Body.” This counteracts the stressful thoughts that accompany a tense or annoying incident. End with a nice, slow breath. If practiced regularly, it will make you adept at interrupting the stress cycle as soon as you feel it occurring. Give it a try.
The daily commute to and from work is a source of stress for many people. A driving music survey discovered that those who tune into rock music while commuting are more inclined to experience road rage, while those who tune into classical music stay relaxed and focused. Research shows that listening to Mozart lowers blood pressure. Music profoundly affects our body and our mind. It’s one of the most easily available remedies for stress.
Leila is PCA’s Head Editor and Researcher. She holds a 1st class Law with Business degree and became a published author at 25. Former crime investigator turned business journalist. On a mission to show businesses that presenteeism is a thing of the past. Everything seems impossible until it’s done. Typically found working from a white beach in South-East Asia embracing rapidly changing technology.