Work stress is a fact of life. As is financial stress, relationship stress, parental stress, health concerns stress . . . the list goes on and on! On any given day you face traffic congestion, a messy house, unruly children – and the news on the TV? Forget about it. Whatever and whenever stresses build up, you need to keep in mind some basic recovery methods to release that pent up tension that stress induces. Here are a few things I try to keep in mind when the world starts to spin off its axis:
- Exercise. Aerobic exercise has many stress-relieving benefits. It improves your mood, helps you achieve a better night of sleep, improves your mental alertness and makes you feel more fit and more confident. Exercise can help lower your blood pressure and helps you maintain your weight. Chronic stress is a killer. So make it a priority to get moderate to strenuous exercise workouts throughout your week.
- Posture. Mother always said to keep your back straight. Funny, but research has shown that correct posture is important in delivering speeches and boosting confidence. So stand tall.
- The Quick Chill Out. Stress builds like a pressure cooker. So you need to slow things down when you feel the stresses of daily life. Get in the habit of taking small breaks throughout your workday – make a cup of tea, watch a funny video – 5 minute breaks allow you to slow things down and mindfully think about how you can be your most productive self and how to plan out your next moves.
- Go to the Park. Do you wonder why new technology campuses have so much green space and how natural designers are making open spaces? Research has shown that parkland settings significantly reduce anxiety and stress, so get outside and take a walk in the park.
- Put on a Happy Face. Smiling reduces stress. Research has shown that smiling lowers heart rates, which in turn lowers stress. I don’t know about you, but smiling just makes me feel good. And feeling good goes a long, long way to reducing stress.