Stress is considered in modern times the disease of the 21st century. Technically nobody is safe from it. There are no vaccines, medicine or anything that can stop you from acquiring it. From interfering with your metabolism or losing your hair, to increasing the risk of heart disease and other serious issues, a bad day at work can set you on a path that never leads to anything good.
In the past, I had so much stress in my life that I turned to drinking as a solution, my excuse is that it was mycoping mechanism. Now, I’m successfully recovering from alcoholism, and though I have been sober for over 4 years now, I can tell you that getting used to relying on any addictive substances to endure tough times or to make them feel lighter, only re-programs our brains to crave that substance which could lead to an addiction.
This doesn’t mean that if you go for a beer after a stressful day at the office you will immediately become an alcoholic, but the habit itself can put you in a very dangerous environment were falling into the abyss of addiction becomes an actual possibility.
I would be lying if I said that I never get stressed anymore. Regardless your profession, stress is something that can come with every job or life situation we face on a daily basis. However, rather than relying on alcohol, or drugs, there are many useful, healthy, productive ways in which we can control, reduce and even avoid stress.
A healthier diet means our bodies will feel better and happier. Eating whole foods, fruits, and vegetables (especially green ones) will reduce our chances of feeling anxious or stressed. Rather than red meat, try eating balanced amounts salmon or seeds such as chia or flax, which contain omega-3 fatty acids. This will make your body be physically better prepared to deal with all sorts of challenges and tasks that could result stressful for whatever reason.
Nourishing ourselves with proper foods will also maintain our stress hormones (Cortisol) on a good level. It is scientifically proven that high levels of this hormone can interfere with our learning capabilities, our memory, and even affect the performance of our immune system, which could lead to more serious problems, weight gain, higher blood pressure, etc.
Do Some Exercise!
Exercise releases endorphins in our brain, which are basically the hormones in charge of keeping us happy. Whenever you feel like stress is taking over, even simply stretching out or going for a walk will have a positive effect on the way you feel. It might not make whatever problem we have at hand go away, but it will definitely give us a clearer train of thought to deal with it.
Starting a routine in the mornings or the afternoons will also ensure that our bodies remain healthy and energized. Our motivation and mood will improve dramatically and on the plus side, you will also be working on your appearance which leads to a higher self-esteem and therefore a happier life. In other words, you’ll look better and feel better, it’s a win-win situation.
Sleeping is the way our body charges up its batteries for the next day. Not getting enough sleep or having a bad cycle means we won’t be working on a 100% level. This will make us feel tired, prompt to get irritated and ultimately stressed. Sleep deprivation and sleep disorders can cause big problems in the long run.
From affecting your ability to concentrate on simple tasks, to an increased risk of heart disease and memory loss. No matter how much work you can have, or how many responsibilities you have, a healthy sleeping pattern of 8 hours a day will keep everything at bay. At the end of the day, nothing is more important than your own health. Everything else can wait.
On the average, everyone that meditates, even if it’s for short amounts of time on a daily basis tends to have lower blood pressure and lower stress levels. Meditation is like taking your mind and your brain to the gym. Next to keeping an active mind, it also trains it on what to embrace and what not to.
We will always have to experience situations in life in which we’re either not comfortable or happy about it. But, for a trained mind it will be easier to have a wider outlook on the whole thing instead of fixating on what’s causing us to feel stressed. As they say, a mind that is in control can experience stressful thoughts and let them go by, while a mind that isn’t well trained will allow these thoughts to come in and take control.
Everything has a solution, so sit back, clear your mind and relax. Everything will be fine!
Everybody needs somebody. Dealing with the daily routine of work will bleed you dry without any sort of social interaction. Try to spend time with your friends and family. Once you’re finished with your job, leave it all behind and work on your relationships. Though they might not have the solution to all the issues you’re dealing with at the office, they will offer support and direct your mind to focus on things that really matter in life.
Some people tend to shut off when they’re stressed and leave everyone in their social sphere out with no idea of what’s going on. Work is important, and necessary, not only for our own personal and professional growth but also to maintain a certain lifestyle and pay the bills. But at the end of the day, none of it is worth it if there’s no one to share it with.
Learning how to deal with stress is perhaps the most useful skill you will ever acquire, along with patience. These two traits will ensure that no matter the situation, you and your mind will always be in control of things. Staring from above at the whole picture, making it easier to find solutions and what’s causing the problem.
While I was going through recovery my sponsor told me repeatedly: “If you’re in a situation that stresses you, you have 3 options, either you adapt, change it or quit the situation”, up to this day I firmly believe that’s one of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever been given. There are many situations we cannot change or give up, for example when things don’t go right at work. We have one option left: Adapt. Thousands of years of evolution prove we all have it in ourselves, we just need to “keep calm and carry on”
If you’d like to ask a question or would simply like to suggest any other means we can avoid stress at work, feel free to leave a comment below.