Manage your stress
- Wednesday, September 26, 2012, 10:17
With people competing with one another for recognition and benefits, your workplace could be a breeding ground for stress. It may escalate into frustration and angry outbursts later. Stress may be considered as any physical, chemical, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental unrest and that may be a factor in causing disease. Physical and chemical factors that can cause stress include trauma, infections, toxins, illnesses, and injuries of any sort. Emotional causes of stress and tension are numerous and varied. No external standards can be applied to predict stress levels in individuals. Recognizing stress is the first step in lessening its impact. Good time-management skills are critical for effective stress control. In particular, learning to prioritize tasks and avoid over-commitment are critical measures to make sure that you are not overscheduled.
Chronic stress can lead to a whole host of physical and emotional problems. Stress weakens the immune system and worsens chronic conditions like asthma, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
Just 10 minutes a day of mindful relaxation — like deep breathing or meditation — can ease the muscle tension that can trigger a headache. Rahul J. Nair, an expert in psychology, suggests some tips to reduce stress: Sit in a quiet place, and close your eyes. Take a deep breath through your nose, and let it fill your abdomen; hold it for five seconds, then exhale. “Studies have shown that simple, deep-breathing exercises like this reduce blood pressure and promote a sense of well-being,” he says.
Chronic-stress hormones can increase oil production in skin glands. The result can be blemishes or full-blown acne. The Chinese tradition of drinking hot water with lemon helps detoxify your skin. Also try slowly rubbing a dry loofah up your body, starting from the ankles. This helps blood circulate and is invigorating and calming. Instead of snacking on junk food the next time you’re under pressure, take a good brisk walk. Studies say exercise relieves stress and burns calories.
Carbohydrate-rich foods like yams increase serotonin in the brain, which promotes good feelings. And whole grains, bananas, avocados, chicken, spinach, and broccoli all contain vitamin B, which can boost your sense of well-being.
Hunching over the computer or phone could be causing your sore shoulders. This position wreaks havoc on your posture and makes your head jut forward, creating an SOS situation for shoulder and back muscles. Stand with right arm raised over your head, bend arm so elbow is pointing upward and right hand reaches behind your head. Extend left arm sideways, then lower it and reach upward behind your back; try to touch fingers together. Repeat stretch with left arm on top.
Sore feet make it harder to stand up to the stresses attacking the rest of your body. Rub under the base of the toes to calm the head, the ball of the foot to relax the chest, and the middle of the foot to soothe the abdominal area.