Is Stress Always Bad?
Stress is part of everyday life. Surprisingly, stress is not always bad—it actually helps us to be productive, meet our goals and be creative. According to Robert Ostermann, professor of psychology at FDU’s Teaneck-Hackensack Campus, “No one reaches peak performance without being stressed, whether an athlete, an office worker or a manager.”
As a natural pattern of human behavior, when we face a situation we react (tension), we go through figuring out how to deal with the situation and then return to a calm state when the issue is resolved. The problem arises when we are overloaded with many tasks and responsibilities that need our immediate attention. Which causes us to be overwhelmed and under constant stress day in and day out (chronic stress).
How Are You Dealing With Stress?
We tend to think that we are superwomen/men and take on more than we can realistically handle. We give ourselves deadlines, which are unrealistic and push ourselves to meet those deadlines. We keep moving from one task to another, taking on one responsibility before having a chance to fulfill the last one—putting ourselves under constant stress without having the opportunity to calm our mind down.
Being under constant stress (chronic stress) and not having the opportunity to achieve that state of relaxation at any point, eventually impacts our physical, mental and emotional health. Study has shown links between stress and immune system, weight gain, substance abuse, memory and concentration impairment and more.
If we do not start managing our stress-the simple symptoms might turn into more serious health problems.
It is not always easy to stay calm when facing a stressful situation. However, we can allow ourselves to take a few minutes a day and engage in activities that calm the mind—catching a break before dealing with the next stressful situation.
Stress Management Tips
Here are a few simple activities to help you manage your stress
Take a Breath
As things pile up and stress level rises, we forget to breathe. Start being conscious of your breathing. Once every few hours, stop and take three long, deep slow breaths. Even better, practice this technique as you feel overwhelmed and notice how your body actually relaxes.
We tend to keep going even when both our mind and body signal us that we are tired and exhausted. Therefore, we become sloppy and make more mistakes.
Practice mindfulness, pay attention to your body and allow yourself to stop for five minutes, moving completely away from what you are doing. You’ll be more productive afterward.
In addition to physical benefits, being active is vital to maintaining metal fitness.
Being active increases the production of endorphin (feel good hormone) in the brain, which in return, improves your moods, energizes and reduces fatigue.
Surprisingly, it also improves the ability to sleep better, which in turn reduces stress.
How many different things are you thinking about in this moment while you are engaged in reading this paragraph?
Being present means, putting your complete attention and focus on this very moment and the very task you are engaged in. It is not thinking about I should have done or I should do when…—It is all about NOW. Being present not only helps you do a better job but also is a way to reduce stress.
Creativity comes in many different forms and shapes. You can be creative when you cook, write, build, design, find new ways of doing something, the list can go on and on…. Creativity means being engaged in something that you are passionate about and what takes your mind off of everything else. Creativity, similar to meditation, helps you stay laser focused and concentrate on a particular task—Being Present in the moment—not the past or the future but this very moment.
- Are you stressed and overwhelmed?
- Are you too stressed to focus and think clearly?
- Do you feel things are moving too fast and you can not stop to catch your breath?
I invite you to sign up for the course “Learn How To Manage Stress And Reduce Anxiety” HERE