Impact of stress
If you let stress overwhelm you and cause damage that you can’t repair, it will delay your goals and dreams, or maybe even crush them entirely. In all honesty, any career success, independent of your ultimate goal is truly not worth the negatives that prolonged stress can create. Do you need a stress relief technique that you can use to combat stress at work?
Maybe you can’t sleep at night because you are overloaded with tasks to complete. Your stomach is in knots trying to juggle picking up the kids, getting dinner, working overtime. You may consider being busy an achievement, but deep down, you’re actually falling apart from the stress and overwhelm.
It’s not a bad thing to be busy for a few short days to meet a deadline or get a lot of things done in preparation for something. We often confuse being busy with productivity. We end up doing a lot of things but decreasing our productivity. And work becomes a lot less enjoyable as a result.
Chronic stress is detrimental to your mental and physical health, and your career goals as well.
Why do you need stress relief?
Time being stressed and overwhelmed, multi-tasking, or being distracted, is just time spent in mediocrity.
When we feel stressed, our breathing usually becomes shallower. We tend to start breathing faster and less deep, and then ultimately only use roughly 20% of the oxygen in our lungs.
The result here is actually two-fold:
1. You only circulate a very limited amount of the oxygen that’s in your body.
2. Your body goes into “defense mode” because of the shallower breathing which is often a signal of danger to our natural instincts.
What is the best stress relief technique?
Simply stop what you’re doing. Then just start breathing deep full breaths by inhaling slowly and breathing into your belly. Put your hand on the top of your stomach and feel as it rises up and down. Breathe deeply, and slowly for about 10 seconds or so.
Doing this sends signals to the body that the “coast is clear” and everything is okay. This will allow you to take control of the situation before it gets the better of you.
With this breathing technique, you’ll be able to maintain a high-productivity zone where you can actually think clearly and act rationally. The most amazing part of learning how to manage stress in an easy way is that you’ll find yourself in your optimal learning and performance zone much more frequently than you were before.
Here’s the easiest stress relief technique you’ll ever have, step by step:
- With your hand (or hands) on your stomach, breathe in. Take a deep, long and full breath.
- Watch your hands as they rise up with each breath you inhale.
- Then, watch your hand as it lowers with your exhalation. Let the air out of your lungs without losing your level of relaxation.
- Take another deep breath, and let it out again.
- Once more: in and out. Relax while you do this. Clear your mind.
Now… how do you feel? Like the air has cleared and the sanity has returned? It’s a good feeling, isn’t it?
Remember, any time you start feeling overwhelmed with the list of tasks that you have to get done, when you feel angry, or when you’re worried about anything that life decides to throw your way – you now have a simple solution to get calm and centred. Even if you’re in a meeting or at your desk – you can pause, take a few deep, calm and slow breaths, and re-align yourself.
Invest ten seconds into breathing, close your eyes if necessary, and shut the world off. Take a deep breath and start again.
Jenny is a working woman, seeker of health and peace on earth.