What are your stress indicators?
Is it a sore neck, aching back, headaches, quick temper, nail biting, excessive sweating, sleeplessness, constantly worrying?
Maybe you’re just mighty crabby most of the time?
These are just a few ways your body is yelling at you!
Work and family are the two domains from which most adults get satisfaction in life; equally they are the common sources of stressful experiences. With today’s general work force requiring that little bit extra, more contract and part-time work, fly in fly out work - work is increasingly the source of much of distress.
Research has found that occupational stress research is consistently showing that specific acute work-related stressful experiences contribute to ‘depression’. More importantly perhaps, enduring occupational stress can also contribute to psychological disorders.
Other sources of stress include our environment such as pollens, traffic - even too much rain and dreary weather! We also have to cope with social stressors such as finances, disagreements and loss. Physiological stress can be adolescent growth, pregnancy, breastfeeding, menopause, lack of exercise and poor nutrition.
Increasingly, information overload is a stressor – so hang in there with me on this one!
Importantly, stress comes from your thoughts! Your thoughts dictate when to turn on the "emergency response unit" and you react under a fight or flight type response. In other words, your feelings determine your thoughts and control your behaviour.
We all know that a healthy amount of stress spurs us into action and we can achieve great results – stress can be good!
Unfortunately however, when it remains unchecked for long periods, we can suffer disastrous effects for ourselves and subsequently, our loved ones. It is quite likely the "Spillover Effect" of your mood from stressors at work will “spillover” to your home life, so here are my 10 killer ways to overcome stress.
1. Find your element
Are you working in a job you love? Does the time whittle away and doesn't feel like work. Find your passion - It’s worth investigating.
2. You’ve heard this one before but BREATHE!
Yes, BREATHE! The impact of deep breathing has a significant impact on our immune system. Shallow, small breathes empties out too much carbon dioxide and upsets the body’s balance of gases. This can prolong feelings of anxiety by exacerbating physical symptoms of stress. Taking a good deep breath, holding it and exhaling can do the world of good.
3. Get that check-up
Visit your Doctor for an overall well-being check or see a Naturopath for a top quality multi vitamin. That’s one less thing to stress over to check any nagging ailments are leading to something serious.
4. Try journalling moments of severe anxiety
Ask yourself what triggered that anxiety? Was it a person, a specific task, too many tasks or a memory? Address it and importantly, change your approach!
5. Laugh... Find your inner jester
Easier said than done? Try coughing first then see if you can turn it into a laughing sound. (If you have colleagues, they may think you've really lost the plot - or may well just join in!) Furthermore, by adjusting your physiology from stooped to upright, your mind can very well believe you are calmer
6. Ssssstttrrrrrrreettttttccccccchhhhhhhhh! (and make it a long stretch)
If exercise doesn’t fit your agenda - stretching and toning activities can. Stretching in the comfort and privacy of your home can prepare you for that well needed aerobic exercise that releases natural chemicals to combat stress. You’ll find plenty of ideas and tips from an online search.
You can significantly reduce stress with something powerful - your imagination! It is difficult to will yourself into a calm state, but you can certainly imagine it. Think sad thoughts, you will be unhappy. If you think anxious thoughts – you become tense. Refocus on positive, healing images. Predict that you will be calm, assertive or relaxed. Try picturing yourself in a moment of exhilaration you once had – recall those senses and imagine yourself in that right now.
8. The Power of Silence, Meditation or Prayer
Even just a few minutes a day can make a difference! When we meditate, our mind naturally begins to relax and "sink" into deeper levels of rest. Unlike sleep, this unique rest allows the mind to settle into quieter states of awareness. From this point of deep rest, healing begins.
9. Recognise and eliminate reoccurring distressing thoughts
Most of your conscious life you’re engaging in self-talk which is your internal thought language. What sort of useless, debilitating self-talk are you allowing? “I can’t do... ”, “I’m not smart enough”, I’m not much of a....” is sure to create stressful symptoms. Commit to only ten minutes per day to write down some of your self-talk and take steps to creating some mantras to post up on your mirror, attach to the dog lead or that pop out of your wallet.
10. Confide in a good listener
It helps to talk with a friend, partner, family member or Counsellor. Sometimes an expert outside your circle can relieve your pressure cooker by offloading to someone. You may well achieve clarity towards a turning point using their prompts to get you back on track, not to mention tools for managing stress.
So what are you taking away from this article?
Answer: Too many reasons not to live in constant anxiety and stress about work.
If you’d pick even at least one of your favourites from above – you’re doing yourself a favour.
You were born uniquely with incredible talents. Subsequent experiences/education are the foundation of contributing to this world doing what you love so...
GO FOR IT - IT IS NEVER TOO LATE TO BEGIN!
If you would like further assistance or support in adopting any of the above 10 Killer Ideas, contact
Joanne Wilson from TheConfidante Counselling on the Sunshine Coast:
M: 0499 991 884
Joanne will be your Confidante, enabling you to speak freely in complete confidence and serenity. An integrated approach tailored to your specific needs will be utilised.