Quick ways to stress less
A bit of stress can motivate us to get things done, but too much stress and things can start to get, well, stressful! In fact, while we all know that stress can contribute to heightened emotions, like irritability and anger, research proves it can also contribute to physical health problems, like high blood pressure, and accelerate some effects of ageing. Yikes!
Here are seven easy strategies — one for each day of the week — to help you meet stress head-on and conquer it:
1. Just breathe
Yes! It's that simple. Inhale as though you were sniffing a delightful scent. Then stre-e-e-tch your arms high over your head as you slowly and completely exhale.
2. Set boundaries
Decide what you will do — and when. Better still, decide what you won't do and say 'no'. Try to avoid things that will waste your time or make you feel anxious.
3. Clarify your goals
Decide exactly what needs to be done, and plan a smart way of accomplishing each task. And give yourself a pat on the back every time you achieve one of your goals, no matter how small.
4. Put yourself first
Find time for yourself, and try to do at least one relaxing thing each day, like going for a walk or reading a few chapters of a great book.
5. Give yourself a break
It's OK to cancel a lunch date or miss a deadline every now and then. In six months or 10 years, who’ll remember?
6. Get support
Don't keep it inside. Talk to your friends and family about the things that are causing you stress. It always feels better to get things off your chest.
7. Take five
Make a habit of stopping what you're doing every now and then, to cherish the moment. Savour something fabulous in front of you, or go outside and feel the sunshine on your face. Taking five minutes every day to marvel at the wonders all around you is one way to help keep your stress levels under control.