Mapping your way out of stress
We seem to be living in tumultuous times. If you don’t take a moment out of the ‘rat race’ it can consume you.
If you feel like you are running around on a hamster wheel or wonder when the light is going to be seen at the end of this future tunnel — then please read on…
Practical steps to take:
You cannot be fully productive if you are running on empty. There are a few things you can do immediately that will relieve you of any immediate pressure.
- Drink lots of water
- Fresh air
- Write out a plan or strategy
- Take frequent small breaks
Now, let’s take a closer look…
It is very important to breathe correctly. Most of us do what is called ‘shallow’ breathing. When you breathe properly, you are breathing into your diaphragm and better still, to really oxygenate your body (which will make you feel more awake and alive) — take a deep breath into your stomach. Let your stomach fill up so that you look like you are pregnant. Whilst you are breathing in — count to 5. Hold it for 5 and then release it to the count of 5. Do this 3 times. If you can do this every hour it can help immensely to keep you awake and in tune with your self.Here is some more information with regards to breathwork:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breathwork
Drink lots of pure, clean water. This will flush out unwanted toxins in your body and keep you flowing. You will be able to have more clarity of thought and the health benefits of drinking water are too numerous to go into. Suffice to say that you have nothing to lose and everything to gain in doing this.Too much coffee intake can do more harm than good, so instead of reaching for the java juice — have a glass of water.
We were not meant to be crammed in doors all day, especially if you work in a shop or office. Go outside, when you can, even if it is for a minute or two and do the breathing exercise.
Even better, whenever you can, take a stroll in a forest or on the beach (if you don’t have access to any of those — go find yourself a tree to sit under). It does wonders for the body and mind.
Exercise and Stretching
I know those of you who are most stressed probably feel you don’t have time for this step. But even if it is for a couple of minutes — something is better than nothing.
Get up and stretch — if you know a few yoga stretch moves then do that. If you feel too embarrassed to do it in front of your colleagues then go to the bathroom and stretch.
Stretching releases built up energy and allows it to flow through your body in a balanced way instead of accumulating and being stagnant. You will feel brighter and more alive.
You should take at least 30 minutes of daily exercise. Go for a walk on your lunch break. You need to plan for exercise, especially for those of you on a strict schedule. If you plan for it, you will allow it to happen. There is always time for something important.
If you are stressed out, the likelihood is that you have far too much on your mind. One of the best techniques for de-cluttering the internal mind chatter is to get it out of your head and onto a whiteboard or diary/notebook.
This way you can see what needs to be done. You can prioritize it and then you can start to implement it. When you do this, it will give you a sense of relief because you will not be stressing over things that you might have forgotten. All you need to do is consult the board or notebook and then tick it off once it is done.
This really helps to keep your sanity and a clear vision of what needs to be done and in what order of importance. You will truly start to see the light at the end of the tunnel if you do this.
You were never meant to be glued to a computer screen or meant to be shut up in any environment, so, when you can — get up and take a break. Go walk around the office or walk to the water cooler (don’t forget to have a cup!) and back.
Even little breaks can mean greater success. They can lessen your chance of developing migraines and headaches and they can lessen your stress when you take a break from a problem.
Sometimes even taking a break can allow you time and space to sort out a problem that you would not have done if you were never removed from it.
Life is for living not stressing
Finally, I would like to end off by saying — life is for living and not stressing out. What can be done — do. What can’t be done should not be stressed over. Worry never solved a problem but clear thinking and planning has. Shelve the worry and create a space for solution by following the above steps.
Please share with us any tips and tricks you have learnt or discovered about relieving stress.
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