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5 Ways to Kill Off Stress in Any Situation

5 Ways to Kill Off Stress in Any Situation

Regardless of your life circumstance, stress probably plays a role in some shape or form in your everyday life. Some days are worse than others, but rarely can any of us truly say, “I’m 100 percent stress-free.”

Everyone, from homeless people to billionaires, is susceptible to stress; there’s simply no way to avoid it. However, there are ways to reduce the amount of stress you suffer from.

Here are five powerful tips for ways to kill stress in almost any situation.

1. Eat Healthier

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    (Photo by Alex Ranaldi)

    Though a lot of stress is psychological, there are also plenty of physical factors that contribute to this natural human response to perceived danger. In order to mitigate stress, make sure you’re treating your body right. A big part of this is eating healthier.

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    “There are no magic ‘anti-stress’ foods,” says Gilles Barbot, founder and director of Esprit de Corps, a leadership coaching program. “Nevertheless, adopting an alkaline diet instead of an acidic one is recommended.”

    Foods that are highly alkaline include baking soda, lemons, lentils, onion, pineapple, pumpkin seed, raspberry, sweet potato, vegetable juices, and watermelon. For a full list of alkaline foods, check out this chart.

    2. Wake Up Earlier

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      (Photo by faungg’s photos)

      It’s certainly true that the more sleep you get, the less prone to stress you’ll be. However, waking up 15 or 20 minutes earlier each morning may have more benefits than sleeping in.

      By giving yourself some extra time, you won’t feel quite as rushed or frazzled in the morning. This enables you to avoid having to rush out the door, which leads to better preparation and more confidence.

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      “Take time in the morning to center yourself,” San Francisco-based psychologist Leslie Carr advises. “A lot of people shoot out into their days like a rocket ship and it never gets better from there.”

      3. Let Stress Motivate You

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        (Photo by Andrew Imanaka)

        Since you’re never going to eliminate 100 percent of the stress in your life, one of the best things you can do is let it motivate you. This is what stress is designed to do, after all. The psychological and physical reactions brought on by stress are supposed to heighten our senses and empower us to fight off or escape a threat.

        Next time you feel stress creeping in, take action. Stressed about the amount of work you have to do this week? Stay three hours late tonight and get a head start on tomorrow.

        Stressed about your lack of income? Pick up a side job to earn more money. Taking action is one of the most effective ways to kill stress.

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        4. Watch a Funny Video Clip

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          (Photo by Nolan Williamson)

          Here’s a simple and practical tip: Watch a funny video clip on YouTube. Research shows that seeing something amusing activates the part of the brain that produces calm physiological responses and tranquility. This can lead to less anxiety and more happiness.

          5. Take a Walk Outside

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            (Photo by Dave Walker)

            A walk a day keeps the doctor away … literally. Just as any other cardiovascular activity does, walking boosts endorphins in the body, which alleviates mild depression and improves mood. As a result, you’ll feel less stressed and more alert.

            Whenever possible, make sure you take your walk outdoors. A number of studies show that spending time outside is a great way to relieve stress. It can improve energy levels and memory by as much as 20 percent.

            One UK study even suggests walks in green spaces put the brain into a “meditative state.”

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            Learn How to Manage Your Stress

            It’s impossible to be stress-free. You simply can’t eliminate all of the triggers in your life. As soon as one goes away, another one will quickly emerge.

            But having acknowledged that, you need to learn how to manage stress by stopping it in its tracks. Keep the powerful tips above in mind and never underestimate the rewards of remaining calm.

            Featured photo credit: Andrew Imanaka via flic.kr

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            Anna Johansson

            Anna specializes in entrepreneurship, technology, and social media trends.

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            Last Updated on September 28, 2020

            The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

            The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

            At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

            Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

            One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

            When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

            So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

            Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

            This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

            Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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            When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

            Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

            One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

            Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

            An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

            When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

            Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

            Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

            We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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            By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

            Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

            While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

            I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

            You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

            Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

            When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

            Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

            Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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            Con #2: Less Human Interaction

            One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

            Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

            Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

            This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

            While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

            Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

            Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

            This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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            For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

            Con #4: Unique Distractions

            Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

            For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

            To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

            Final Thoughts

            Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

            We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

            More About Working From Home

            Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

            Reference

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