Do you know that stress is identified as number one killer?
Unfortunately, this is not so obvious to many people, because stress is a silent killer.
If we don’t change our lifestyle living a stressful life will cause our immunity system to deteriorate, this will make us prone to diseases and some diseases can kill us.
If stress is so dangerous, what can we do to reduce it?
In this article, I will share some techniques and ideas you can start applying today.
It’s hard to look at our body as a tool, but if we don’t care about our health, it’s hard to imagine how we can live a happy and healthy life.
Having enough sleep is crucial for stress management. Think about babies or small children who are tired, they become easily irritated. We also become easily irritated when we didn’t have enough sleep. That’s why if we only do one thing that should be focused on having a good night sleep.
It’s easy to think alcohol or coffee are our friends to tackle stress. Many people share that those drinks helped them to be more focused. This is actually not true. We can perceive alcohol in small doses as stimulus and coffee in any doses as well. Unfortunately, in today’s world we are surrounded by caffeinated drinks (almost all soft drinks). Better habit from now one should be to replace or limited during the day those drinks and to replace them with water and herbal tea.
Breathing and Exercises
When was the last time you did any exercise?
Usually we do them only when we want to lose weight, gain muscles mass or after new years.
There are many studies showing the benefits of exercising to keep us not only physically fit but also emotionally.
Breathing can be practiced by applying techniques from mindfulness and meditation. We breath shallow or surface most of the day. To relax we need to switch our breathing and use the so-called stomach or deep breathing.There are studies showing the benefits of meditating even for 10 minutes per day.
To apply those techniques could be very challenging and that’s why apps such as Calm and Headspace are extremely beneficial for everyone who wants to start practice.
Another app which has a lot of free meditations is called: Insight Timer
Talk to someone
The negative stress is in our head, we see the world colder, angrier and more hostile than it really is. A great way to reduce stress is to share with close friends. If the issue is not so personal another great idea is to share with colleagues and ask for a piece of advice. The fact will surprise you, but often we have very similar experiences and most probably someone close to you have struggled with what you are currently struggling and will be able to provide you with useful tips.If you feel alone and there is no one to talk to, you can go to the website 7 cups, there are volunteers who are trained in active listening: https://www.7cups.com/
Take a day/week off
Do you feel stress and overwhelmed? Just take a day off from everything. Have a walk and try to be in the present moment, not thinking about the issue. Many people can’t let go of their worries. And their internal need of importance is blinding with the false illusion that if they stop doing what they are doing their entire life will fall apart.
That’s why you we can see many busy managers who after a holiday look even more tired than before. They forgot to take away all the work and instead of that they check their emails and continue to be in the office.
Organize your life better
Many people have way too many things on their “plate”. For those people useful tool they can apply is the so-called Eisenhower decision-making matrix. You can read more about it here: https://aleksvladimirov.com/how-to-be-on-top-of-your-project/
This tool works the best with planning your weekly and daily tasks and eliminating everything that is not important. Please write me if you need a training on time management since I am delivering those and people find them very useful.
Useful and free tools to manage your life and projects are: https://trello.com/ and https://www.teamgantt.com/
Re-negotiate a deadline
This idea comes from Paul, a participant in my workshop on Stress Management. A lot of time we set unrealistic deadlines and we would either need to sacrifice our sleep or try to re-negotiate the deadlines that we need to deliver something.
Usually people are very flexible and open to discuss changes in the deadlines.
Stress is a serious topic! And sadly, we don’t like to talk about it or even admit to others that we might experience a lot of stress. In our modern society where stress we consider stress as an honorable badge and we wear it with pride. If we are not stressed and not wake up at 5 am, then we are labeled as lazy and not ambitious enough.
However, stress is considered being a silent killer. Stress can reduce the effectiveness of our immune system and can lead to diseases and even death.
We must make a change now, starting with our mindset! Taking care of our body first and then work can help us be more successful in the long run.
There are many free tools we can use to facilitate that change and in this article I had share just some of them which I or people around me had used and provided a good feedback.
If you want to reduce your stress fast, please reach out to me and together we will transform your negative stress into a drive for success and happiness!
Solution Engineering Manager at Thales | Senior IT Professional | Startup Mentor and Product Manager