You’ve put in the hard work and gotten your business off the ground. It’s not the biggest corporation in the world, but you’re doing what you’ve dreamed of. It’s exactly what you want to be doing.
So why are you so stressed out?
This isn't the healthy stress; the one that shows up before a big meeting and protects you, providing the necessary focus and motivation to succeed. This is the harmful one; the kind that causes emotional, mental, and physical pain and can results in a long list of additional problems.
Instead of dealing with a decrease in work production, depression and digestive problems, de-stress your life with these tips.
Meditate – The Mayo Clinic says meditation is a type of mind-body complementary medicine. The goal is to create a state of deep relaxation that decreases our pulse rate, metabolism, and blood pressure.
This counters the natural ‘fight or flight’ characteristic otherwise known as an ‘adrenaline rush’ that results in faster breathing and increased blood flow to the muscles. Something as easy as taking a few deep breathes can reduce tension.
Exercise – Not everyone fits into the phrase ‘rest and relaxation’. For some, getting up and moving your body is necessary to fight stress. That can be as simple as taking a long walk to ‘clear your head’ or a 20-minute aerobic workout.
Exercise is proven to reduce stress hormones and stimulate the production of endorphins, chemicals in the brain that are natural painkillers and mood elevators.
Figure out your triggers – Determining what’s wrong is always a good way to solve a problem. So what is making you stressed and how do you react to it? Once you know that, create a list and work on eliminating the issues. Those that remain, you can work on changing your reactions and finding better balance.
Stay organized - Searching for your cell phone; trying to find a document, recalling whether a certain bill was paid on time, and planning to re-route your dive home to pick up dry cleaning.
These are all possible triggers for stress that can be solved with a little organization. After you've cleared the clutter, there are hundreds of ways to stay organized. Get a system that works for you to ensure you'll always know where you car keys are.
Unplug – 75 percent of workers access social media while at work. That leads to stressing about possible updates and the compulsion to check in only increases your stress level. Ignoring social networks and turning off your smartphone can clear the mind of worry.
De-stress your life by setting certain times of the day where the device will remain off - at lunch, on the drive to and from work or late at night.
Avoid multitasking – You’re usually busy enough with your own tasks. Adding on someone else’s is a recipe for short-term lousiness and possible long-term health issues. Instead of getting more done, your productivity can go down as much as 40% as your brain switches between tasks. Avoid an adrenaline rush, enhance your mental clarity and focus on one thing at a time.
Busier isn't always better – Being busy is a disease. Literally dis – ease, since you’re never at ease when you’re busy. For the past half-century, innovations designed to make life faster and simpler have done exactly the opposite.
We’re constantly connected and therefore busy. Battle this by creating cushions in your schedule. Be mindful how you’re filling your schedule and de-stress your life by allowing extra time transporting between point A and point B. Then be sure not to waste that extra time with more work!
Do something you enjoy – Something as simple as a balloon in a box can make a child happy for hours. We encourage them to use their imagination and make something out of nothing. Yet this is a trait we seem to relinquish with age.
Whether it’s taking a nap, eating some chocolate, knitting, or talking to your best friend; make time for the things that make you happy.
Listen to music –“Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof.” ‘Happy’ by Pharrell Williams was a monumental success, selling over 12 million copies worldwide because of its lighthearted tone making you want to dance.
The power of music and can quickly alleviate a stressful situation. Studies have shown that listening to music reduces anxiety and stress in hospital patients before surgery, relieves depression in elderly people, and boosts quality of life in cancer patients.
It can lower your heart rate and blood pressure, flooding your brain with a feel-good neurochemicals like dopamine. So load up your favorite tune and de-stress your life!
Progressive Muscle Relaxation – Developed in the 1920s by physician Edmund Jacobson and recommended to patients suffering from anxiety disorders and depression, the goal of this technique is total muscle relaxation. Start from a comfortable position and assume a passive attitude. Tune out all thoughts and focus on your breathing.
When you’re ready tighten the muscles in your feet, then relax them. Slowly move your way up your body – thighs, hip, stomach, back, shoulders, arms, jaw, eyes, and forehead. You may notice little change the first time you try it, but with practice and increased control comes calm and a refreshed feeling.
These are just a few examples. Share with us your favorite ways to de-stress your life in the comments below.