In my last post, I explained that stress is pretty much unavoidable in our fast-paced lives, but can lead to pretty devastating consequences, particularly if left unaddressed to develop into a chronic condition. And many of us are subject to workplace stress, but could take some precautions to lessen our stress levels and return to some degree of normalcy in our lives. In case you missed Part 1, you can check it out here.
I had mentioned that when addressing stress in our lives, we had to look at 3 different areas–1) Physical Health; 2) Mental Health; and 3) Sense of Purpose. In Part 1, I gave you tips to address your Physical Health, which consisted of De-Stressing Your Body. Again, if you missed it, you can access it here. Let’s take a look at some things that will help you deal with stress as it relates to your Mental Health…
2) De-Stress Your Mind–If I asked you the question “What is stress?”, how would you answer? Well, to some it may mean not having enough time…others may say deadlines…while still others might say traffic, over-extending yourself, or having to deal with idiots! So what do all these answers have in common? That many of us believe that stress is something that happens to us. However, in reality, stress is simply how we deal with these external factors.
At some point in our lives, we’ve heard about the fight or flight response. This is a function of our autonomic nervous system. Simply put, stress is triggered by a thought or belief that we are in danger. When this situation occurs, our body starts producing adrenaline and cortisol to help get us out of danger ASAP.
This is a very important point that bears repeating–stress begins in our mind as a thought or belief. So in order to counter these thought processes and to neutralize stress, we need to engage in more happy, positive, gratitude-based thoughts in order to decrease the triggers that lead to our stress responses. Here are 3 tips to help put you on the right path to decreasing stress…
- Learn how to say “no!”–It’s no secret that being overworked, overbooked, and overcommitted will lead to stress. We often say “yes” out of fear of not being liked. But being able to say “no” will be your greatest act of stress relief. Simply explain that you are overextended and must say “no.” Be polite, but firm. This includes saying “no” to your superiors as well, if you just explain that taking on extra responsibilities will mean the quality of your work may drop. You must be able to negotiate priorities.
- Encourage a culture of gratitude–It is almost inevitable that things may not always go as planned. In order to lessen the amount of stress you may experience when things go awry, try to focus on what’s great in your life as opposed to the negative aspects. Start a gratitude journal–every morning when you wake up (or at night before going to bed), write down 3 things that you are grateful for. This can be someone such as a family member or friend, a positive experience that you had that day (or the previous day), your health, etc. This will get you in the habit of seeing the good side of life and all the positive things that you have going for you.
- Meditate on a regular basis–Some research studies state that getting into the habit of meditating–even if only for 5 minutes a day–may just actually help to lower blood pressure and help us to suppress the thoughts that can trigger stress. If you get stressed at work take a deep breath, find a quiet spot, and meditate for 5 minutes.
If you feel like your body is starting to break down because of workplace stressors, then call my office at once at (302)691-9055 or visit my website at www.wildermanphysicaltherapy.com to schedule your FREE 30 minute consultation to see how Physical Therapy can help relieve those nagging issues that are affecting your work and home life. Don’t delay–schedule now!