Stress is something we can all relate to and is something that we all experience to some degree or another on a daily basis.
Stress comes in all shapes and sizes and is experienced differently from one person to the next. For some people just the thought of delivering a presentation to a room full of people can cause sleepless nights, whereas other people thrive under such circumstances.
Frequent headaches, fatigue, mood swings, stomach ulcers, digestive complaints, apathy and muscle tension are just some of the ways stress makes itself known to you.
We all lead busy lives and most of us have become experts at cramming as much as we can into each hour, day and week. Although this can mean we are accomplishing a lot, it can often come at the sacrifice of eating, sleeping and exercising regularly.
Many people can operate at maximum mental and physical capacity for months; sometimes years before the side effects of stress become glaringly obvious. Stress however does give several faint hints of the effects it is having, but more often than not, because the signs are so subtle, we ignore them.
Frequent headaches, fatigue, mood swings, stomach ulcers, digestive complaints, apathy and muscle tension are just some of the ways stress makes itself known to you. If however, you do not take notice of these more subtle forms of stress, your body will take extreme measures to inform you that you cannot continue to live your life the way you have been. This is when serious conditions such as heart attacks, strokes and cancer occur.
In western society, for some reason we have adopted the view that stress is an inevitable part of life and as a result the less serious ailments that are associated with stress are ignored or medicated. Rather than making changes to the way we live our life, we look for more “efficient” ways to fit more in and the long term effects of stress are often overlooked until it is too late.
If stress isn’t monitored and managed, it can have serious consequences. Since the global recession, it is common for one person to be doing the work of two or three, skipping breaks and working longer hours. It has become more important than ever to take time out for yourself and reduce stress triggers in your life where possible.
Here are four things you can do to manage your stress levels:
Identify any physical symptoms you experience regularly
Become aware of the things that trigger your symptoms. It could be a particular feeling, person, location or a specific time of the day.
Plan in advance
Taking time at the start of your day and week to plan can reduce your stress levels as you know where you need to be and what needs to be done. Being proactive is much less stressful than being reactive.
This can be easier said than done. For too many of us, relaxing is a luxury. Taking even just an hour out each week to unwind and do something enjoyable can have a tremendous effect on your health and well-being.
Too many people underestimate the damage a lack of sleep can have on their physical and mental health. Sleep facilitates the recovery and regeneration of our mind and body and is absolutely essential. Seven to eight hours is the recommended amount of sleep an adult should have, so endeavour to achieve that each night.
What is the major cause of stress in your life and how could you reduce it?
“Stress is like an iceberg. We can see one-eighth of it above, but what about what’s below?” ~ unknown
Leanne Lindsey loves inspiring, motivating and empowering women who have had enough of feeling demotivated, fed up and unfulfilled to create a career and life they love. She is a Career and Lifestyle Fulfilment Coach and author of Get A Career & Life You Love, who has experienced redundancy, a complete career change, starting a small business and as a result is enjoying what she calls “the sweetness of life”.
Through 1-1 coaching, workshops and writing, Leanne works predominantly with women who are considering a career change or craving a more fulfilled life, to identify any limiting beliefs, find inspiration, get creative, explore their options, rediscover their purpose and develop a plan for living a more meaningful life, full of happiness, joy, peace and abundance.