Workplace stress is a serious matter. More than one third of workers in America are experiencing chronic work stress, and this comes at a high price for American businesses, with billions of dollars spent on medical bills and lost work hours. All this stress can have serious consequences on the quality of our lives, so how can we regain our inner peace and take control of our lives?
When we were teenagers, we all believed that we were invincible. We have done stupid things like drinking too much, driving too fast and playing with things we shouldn’t have played with. Luckily, we came out alive, and at some point in our early 30s, we realized that we are not invincible. So, we stopped doing stupid things and began to behave like adults. This is when long working hours came along with the stress. The reality is that this adult stuff is equally as dangerous as fast driving, because we work over 60 hours every week and act like there are no consequences.
We get stretched with deadlines, obligations and are doing our best to prove how much we are worth. All of this makes us burn out, become vulnerable and we get sick. Stress is responsible for over 80% of doctor’s office visits, because it can lead to heart disease, obesity and diabetes. Stress should not be ignored, especially if there are simple ways to cope with it. We have discovered five activities that you can start doing to relieve that build up stress.
1. DIY Crafts
After having a hard day at work, sitting in front of a computer screen or TV won’t help you forget about your stressful deadlines, demanding social life and huge bills. DIY crafting can be a relaxing activity to help you clear your mind. All that repetitive motion can take you to a state that is almost trance-like and will enable you to unwind and forget about your troubles.
You can create some crayon art, where you will glue crayons to a canvas, heat them up with a blow-dryer and let the colors seep down and create a true masterpiece; or perhaps string art, because there is no better way to relieve stress than hammering nails into a board. You can arrange them in the desired outline and then wind the threads around the nails to create something that will find its place on a blank wall.
Stress is a physiological reaction that happens in your body; it releases the hormone cortisol in response to any negative stimuli and stores them in your body. Dancing can help you in relieving that stress by practically flushing it out with any other waste chemicals that can be in your body. Dancing replaces those hormones with serotonin and endorphins and counters the mental effects that stress has on your mind and body, so that you can see things in a more positive light.
So, if you stay busy and focus on music, movement and your dancing partner, you will not be able to think about anything else. Choose a dance style that will suit you and let the music draw you into a whole other world, a world where there is no space for stress.
Golf cannot only help you relieve from stress, but you will be able to maintain that feel of serenity even after you have finished your game. Golf is a moderate exercise and it is more effective in reducing stress than getting a quiet rest. Imagine playing golf on a beautiful day, breathing fresh air and looking at endless green spaces.
Do not worry if you are not very good at golf. Practice makes perfect, and there are tons of gadgets that can help you become a better player and enjoy the game more, e.g. portable rangefinders with GPS capabilities and adjustable golf clubs. So, whether you are playing a full game or just a few holes, you will be outside, breathing fresh air and improving your mental health.
Yes, something simple like hiking can help you relieve your stress, because it combats stress with increased cardiovascular activity, in combination with a naturally calming environment. It is true that hiking requires a little effort, but it will give you relaxation through a direct experience with nature. Just being surrounded by nature will help you relieve stress. Hiking, like dancing, releases endorphins that are responsible for significantly reducing stress.
You can take the advantage and use the silence to think about issues that are affecting your life, and perhaps the best part of hiking is that feeling of being disconnected from work problems, family problems, the internet world, phones and everything else that contributes to stress.
Yoga is a mind-body practice that combines controlled breathing, relaxation and meditation. Yoga does not only reduce stress; it lowers the blood pressure and heart rate. The thing that yoga can give to you is the awareness to stop yourself in the moment and recognize what is really happening. Then, you just roll out your mat; take a deep breath and start feeling better. There are special poses that are used for relieving stress. So, if you regularly practice yoga, your daytime stress levels will drop even after just a few sessions.
There is no way of eliminating or avoiding stress in the workplace, which is a fact of modern life. But, we can neutralize stress in almost every area of our lives if we fuel ourselves with meaningful activities, beliefs and thoughts. Everyone deserves to live a contented, happy life, so it is never too late to start making yours better.
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