5 Stress Hacks You Didn’t Know About That Can

Everyone feels stressed sometimes. Maybe you had a rough day at work, or you’re going through some financial difficulties due to circumstances outside of your control. Stress can negatively impact your mental health, as well as your physical health.

If you’re having a hard time coping with stress in your life right now, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ve compiled 5 helpful stress hacks you probably didn’t know about!

1.    Do Tense and Release Exercises

Stress tends to manifest in certain areas of your body, especially your neck and shoulders. You might not be aware of it, but you’re probably carrying a whole lot of tension in these parts of your body. We tend to hold our emotions in under stress, either trying not to address it or not wanting to upset someone else – this constricts the red blood cells and the muscles so you feel ‘achy.’

Thankfully, a quick 15-minute tense-and-release exercise can help you loosen up and relax a bit. Starting with your toes (or you can start with your hands) and working your way up to your neck and face, tense and release your muscles, really focusing on the relaxation you feel. Once practiced, it will be like Pavlov’s dog, where you muscle-memory will kick in and relaxation will be automatic. It’s a an easy routine to establish.

2.    Go For Plenty of Walks

This is great advice for those who get stressed out at work from having to sit so much. Walking not only relieves stress and clears your head, but it has also been proven to improve sleep and inspire creative ideas. If you don’t have time to walk for thirty minutes or an hour, try taking three 10-minute walks throughout your work day. This is a great way, also, to take a brain break to increase your productivity.

3.    Listen to Music

The power of music is pretty amazing, as it engages our whole brain. Listening to calming music is a fantastic stress reliever, and it can even put you in a better mood. Lo-fi music has actually been proven to help people focus more efficiently on their work, especially those who suffer from mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety, and ADHD. You can listen to Pharrell’s song, Happy, as a great mood-lifter, along with dancing or movement.

4.    Focus on Your Breathing

You might have heard this one before, but that’s only because it’s such helpful advice! Our breathing patterns tend to change drastically when we’re excited, stressed, or scared. Focusing on your breathing and doing so, in a calm way, can promote relaxation. Listen to the sound of your breath, with your eyes closed, to relax your brain and body, along with boosting your energy. This is a great exercise to try when you’re sitting at your work desk.

5.    Start Journaling

Even if you haven’t kept a journal since junior high school, you can always get back into it! Recording your thoughts and keeping track of your feelings is a great way to relieve stress. Write about your day in your journal each night when you get home from work. That way, anything stressful that might have happened during the day is out of your mind and on the page. You can also set your goals and recognize accomplishments, or gratitudes, which can relax any stress you may feel in the moment.

Coaching Tip:

Managing stress is not easy, as it is an automatic response but, with time and effort, you can master these stress management tips, You will, then, be able to handle any stressors that you face with more ease and live a calmer, less chaotic life.

 

 

If you’re struggling with stress, don’t delay in getting help as it can overtake your life and lead to emotional and physical symptoms. Visit our website to learn about our programs and services. Mastering these can start today!

 

 

7 Ways to Turn Worry into Excitement about Getting Things Done

Everybody worries sometimes. Right now, you’ve probably even got a few worries on your mind: you might be thinking about a relationship or a situation at work that you’re struggling with; maybe you’re worried about your health or whether or not you’re going to have enough money to pay the bills at the end of the month; or you might be worried about the future for you and your family or the state of the world today.

Whatever the case, worry happens whether we intend for it to or not. This becomes a problem, though, when worry starts to take over your life, as it can creep up on your without realizing.

So, what is the goal? Is stopping worrying enough to put you on an even keel, or are you hoping for something…more? What if, instead of worrying, you could become excited, then use this excitement to get more done?

Let’s look at seven ways to achieve this:

Be Here Now

Worry has a way of trapping you anywhere but here. Either you’re worried about something which happened long ago, or you’re caught up in fretting about something still to come.  Neither is going to get you anywhere. To stop worrying, you need to focus on the present. What interests you right now? What do you have control of today, versus tomorrow?

Realize This Gets You Nowhere Fast

Worrying stops you cold. In fact, most procrastination is caused by worrying. With this in mind, why are you wasting your time and energy on worrying? Sometimes just recognizing what a waste worry is, will be enough to derail it altogether. Especially when you have better places to be.

Throw Yourself into Something Interesting

Worry needs your attention to survive. Get busy doing something engaging to your mind, and you’ll find you forget all about worrying. Focus on a project, reading a book or a hobby, or being with friends.

Rewrite the Script

If you’re seeing everything blow up around you, maybe you should try focusing on the perceived disaster. Ask yourself how you could do things to handle the situation were it to happen. Once you have it, practice the scenario in your mind and picture yourself handling matters – always be solution-focused.

Practice

Worried about something you need to do later? Having a dress rehearsal in your head will make things go smoother and keep worry at bay entirely. Often, imploding a bad situation will stop the fears that surround it.

Ask

Challenge your worry. Dig in and get to the roots until you understand your worry intimately. Ask yourself where the negativity came from. Peel back the layers until you get down into the heart of the matter. Try the ‘what if’s’ of the situation so you can look at solutions and challenge thoughts around it. Worry really starts in our head.

Try a New Path

In the end, worry can become very attached to the familiar. It can feel ‘comfortable’ so, when you want to move out of this space, your fight-or-flight will go off, leading to more worry. Challenge yourself; find a different way to do things explore where this new path takes you.

Coaching Tip:

The main point in all of these is to enjoy the journey. This is where you find the excitement and enthusiasm, which leads to getting things done. The rest is all momentum and a whole lot of brand-new accomplishments just waiting to happen. Change takes time so be easy on yourself but be consistent in your efforts so you can deal with any worries you will face.

 

“Worry is like a rocking chair: It gives you something to do but it never gets you anywhere.”  (Erma Bombeck)

 

 

 

If you’re feeling worries, anxious, or overwhelmed by life circumstances, you don’t have to suffer or go it alone. Reach out for help to get started living a freer and calmer life.

 

 

5 Tips for Getting Out of a Rut and Starting Fresh

Do you ever feel as if you are in rut – nothing seems to change, almost as if you are experiencing groundhog day daily?

If you feel like life has become predictable, unfulfilling, and boring, maybe it’s time for a fresh start. Deciding to make a change doesn’t mean you have to turn your life upside down, but it is an opportunity to stand back and revise your current way of life. With the next year upon us, this would be a great time to re-evaluate your life circumstances and take steps to break out of the ruts that are tying you.

Whether it’s a lifestyle, location, or career change, there are some simple things you can do right now to get out of that rut and get some positive energy back into your life.

  1. Work out What Makes You Happy

Have you ever sat down and ruminated about what makes you happy? What lifts your spirits and puts a spring in your step? What makes your heart sing and your energy levels skyrocket?

Some people feel happiest out in nature, while others prefer sports or reading. Maybe you love the arts, dancing, or helping people. Or still, perhaps you have skills and talents that make a difference in your work. Make a list of what makes you happy and take action so you can focus on bringing more joy into your life.

  1. Practice Saying Yes

Most people are so busy with the everyday life that they don’t make time to get out of their comfort zone and do something different. When was the last time you tried something new or challenging? Be open to new experiences, start saying yes to yourself, and choose to do things that feel good.

  1. Make a Stop Doing List

Once you start saying yes to the things that feel good, you need to practice saying no. You need a stop doing list! You’re probably well aware of the bad habits you’ve fallen into and the things you do that don’t bring you joy. While there are some things you have no control over, see what energy-draining tasks you can eliminate from your life. Write a list to remind yourself of the things you can choose not to do, and free up time for the things that make your heart soar.

One way to determine this is to do a ‘time study’ on yourself – track your actions from the time you wake up until you go to bed – this can help you determine not just time-wasters, but also your most productive times to take advantage of them.

  1. Declutter

Most people have way too much stuff in their lives. Look around you right now and see what’s holding you back. Clutter includes spending hours scrolling through social media, limiting beliefs, and bad lifestyle habits as well as all that junk in the kitchen drawer.

Purging is actually good for your mental health as it can cause stress and anxiety when living with too much unwanted ‘stuff.’ Get 3 baskets, one for keep, throw out, and donate, and then set a timer – say 20 minutes to start – and then get to work. You will be surprised at how free you will feel after.

  1. Say No to Fear

Perhaps the single most empowering thing you can do to get out of a rut is to walk away from fear. Fear will stop you from taking risks, big or small. It makes you too afraid to try anything new and holds you back from reaching your potential.

Identify your fear(s) and then look at one step you can take to start, as this will stop your fear-center from activating and holding you back. Slow and steady wins the race.

Coaching Tip:

Make a commitment to yourself to take back control of your life and leap into a fresh start. This is the perfect time to get prepared and ready to take action for the new year, that will set you up for success (if you can start now- great!).

 

 

If you’re struggling to move past your fear and get more out of your life, then reach out to get help – we’re here for you!

 

 

 

Learning the Emotional Impacts Of Stress

A new pandemic is unleashing, and with a vengeance – increased stress and emotional problems in the workplace. Or, should I say, from the workplace.

 

Everyday, there are new stories arising that relate to the negative impact that stress is having on workers, which is not industry-specific (although some industries seem to be suffering more, such as healthcare).  According to the American Institute of Stress, 80% of workers are experiencing on-the-job stress, some more severely than others.

 

Stress impacts every aspect of our lives, from physical health to emotional health. More than anything, stress negatively impacts our emotional health. It can cause you to be depressed, emotionally spent and exhausted, and a whole slew of other negative things.

 

In this article, we’re going to help you identify the emotional impact of your stress and what you can do about it.

 

Personality changes that may be caused by stress

The first way for you to identify if your stress is impacting your emotional health is by observing a few personality changes. It’s important to note that by personality changes, we mean long-term. Everyone experiences mood shifts, good days and bad days, etc. We’re talking about noticing these personality changes taking effect for days and weeks at a time, or longer.

 

The following are noticeable personality changes that could be caused by stress:

 

  • Irritability
  • Anger
  • Frustration
  • Hostility
  • Decreased interest in appearance
  • Aggressive feelings or behavior
  • Depression
  • Decreased concern in punctuality
  • Lack of motivation
  • The Reduced work efficiency or productivity
  • Obsessive/compulsive behaviors
  • Excessive auspiciousness or defensiveness
  • Lying or making excuses to cover up poor work or behavior
  • Communication difficulties
  • Isolation
  • Social withdraw
  • Impulsivity

 

If you notice any of the following changes taking hold on your life and emotional health, try to limit your stress and maybe seek additional help.

 

Anxiety disorders

Stress can cause certain anxiety disorders to creep up, come back, or flare up. Stress and anxiety are bed mates and rarely exist without each other. If you’re overworked and over-stressed and do nothing about it, anxiety can start to take hold.

 

If you notice that most everything causes you to feel anxious or even to panic, this could be a problem for you. If you’re unfamiliar with the feelings of anxiety, here are some common signs of panic:

 

  • Heart racing
  • Tightness in the chest making it difficult to breath
  • Stomach pain or feelings of butterflies in the stomach
  • Acid reflux
  • Shaking
  • Flushed
  • Hot flashes or chills
  • Numbness in your hands or other parts of the body
  • Feeling dizzy or light-headed

 

It’s important to note that anxiety and panic affect everyone differently. Each person has a different tell for their anxiety attacks; the best advice we can give you is to pay attention and note your signs.

 

Depression

Stress can also impact your emotional health by causing or worsening depression. It’s very important to address depression if it’s starting to take hold in your life, as it can worsen very quickly with little to no warning. If you’ve noticed any of the following symptoms creep up and not seem to go away, consider talking to a friend, loved one, or mental health professional for assistance:

 

  • Decreased interest in favorite things or activities
  • Social withdraw or isolation
  • Decreased interest in appearance
  • Interest in doing little other than laying around
  • Decreased interest in hygiene
  • Fatigue
  • Sense of hopelessness

 

What to do about it

If you’ve noticed that stress is impacting your emotional health, there are a few things you can do to help it:

 

Eliminate unnecessary stressors

Are you taking on more responsibilities than you need to? Do you stress about little things that you should probably just let go? Sit down and take a hard look at your life and what’s causing you stress. See what you can eliminate or work on not taking so hard or letting go of.

 

Keep to a schedule

Sometimes, what’s stressing us out the most is a lack of control. Scheduling your time and sticking to it can help to eliminate some of that excess stress that’s impacting your emotional health. Making lists each day will help you to keep focused on your tasks – you won’t have to think or worry about what to do – and helps with managing your time.

 

Take time for you

We’re all busy, but it’s important for us to work in some time for ourselves. Self-care is an important part of our emotional and mental health. If you’re having trouble with too much stress in your life, carving some time out for yourself may be just what you need to revive yourself and feel rejuvenated.

 

The most important step is to be aware of when you first start experiencing any of the symptoms listed, and not wait, as this will only lead to problems down the road. It is much easier to cope with them at the start, not waiting until they spiral out of control. Keep a journal or mood chart to capture these, including the time of day, what you were doing, etc. This will help you to be more aware and take control of your emotional health at all times.

 

 

 

If you, ore your team, wants to learn more about how to manage emotional wellness in the workplace, reach out for info on our programs and trainings. Awareness is key. We do work with individuals, both in-person and remote.

 

 

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