With the world moving at a seemingly ever-faster pace, stress has become a daily reality for many of us. Pressing deadlines, important meetings and the sheer variety of tasks and assignments piling up on our plates can often leave us feeling frazzled and overwhelmed, the problem further compounded by the proliferation of smart phones and social media networks.
Not only can this stress lead to a dip in productivity across all spheres of life, but it can also have very real ramifications for your overall physical and mental well being.
Stress impacts every facet of our day-to-day lives – everything from your weight to your skin complexion to your weight can (and likely will) be affected by excess anxiety, and not in a good way.
But while stress in some form or other is an unavoidable reality of the modern world, it needn’t be something that consumes or defines you. So while we’re not suggesting that stress can be entirely eliminated – after all, deadlines wait for nobody – there are some easy ways to dull the anxiety and improve your mental and physical fortitude.
Here are five simple techniques to help you cope more effectively with your stress:
ONE AT A TIME
It might seem like an obvious suggestion, but by approaching your work systematically, taking each task one at a time, you’ll be able to divide your workload into more manageable snippets.
WRITE THINGS DOWN
Managing deadlines and meetings is taxing enough in and of itself, but add to that the pressures of everyday life – buying groceries, getting the kids to their afternoon sports sessions – and the panic starts to mount. You can avoid juggling proverbial balls simply by writing each and every thing down – that way you can focus on what you need right now, safe in the knowledge that it’s not going to result in you forgetting something else.
DON’T GUESS, ASK
Most anxiety arises due to uncertainty. Irrational fear is created in the absence of information, so it’s important that you avoid this wherever possible. Don’t make assumptions about others’ opinions or hope for the best when it comes to getting work out of others – make sure you’re equipped with all the information you need at all times and you’ll feel a lot less fearful of the great unknown.
BE TEN MINUTES EARLY FOR EVERYTHING
Nothing gets the pulse racing faster than the feeling of being constantly in a rush. You can shave plenty of stress from your day simply by aiming to be ten minutes early for every appointment – that way, you’ll avoid that stomach-churning, heart-racing rush that tends to define the day. Try setting your clock back by ten minutes to keep you honest!
STOP AND BREATHE
It’s an obvious suggestion, but something many of us forget to do. Breathing is your best ally when it comes to beating stress, as it helps to alleviate muscle tension, improve digestion and elevate your mood. So next time you’re feeling especially stressed, just stop and take a moment to let some oxygen into your lungs – those deadlines can wait another minute.