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.
For even greater stress relief benefits, check out our article Top 5 Foods that Reduce Stress.
Thank you for this article – it’s a timely reminder to many to just take a pause and breathe. So simple and so important.
Love your site – a wealth of information and particularly love B1G1! Speaking my language right there 🙂
I’ve read a lot about stress and stress management techniques, and you echo a sentiment that seems to be the major one; breathing. Simply controlling your breathing and taking time to focus on it can really help you out; much more than you might expect. How long would you recommend doing this for each time? And would you recommend doing this process everyday, regardless of whether you actually even feel stressed? Getting into a routine of doing it seems like a good idea.
Hi Danny! I think it would be a great way to start the day – getting clear and focused. Make it part of your morning routine.There’s no specific time. Even just a few minutes will make a big difference. If you do it as part of a meditation, then you just go for as long as you’re meditating.
Thank you for a well written article – so simple, so important just to pause and breathe! Outisde of the pop-up right in the beginning (to sign up for your newsletter? sorry, memory fails me), there are no ads or links in your blog, was this intentional? I think it’s a great place to link to a relaxing tea or fragrance etc. Love your site, though I didn’t understand the name until I read your about page. Completely love, love, love the link to B1G1 – speaking my language right there! It also fits in with overall appeal of your site, caring about self, environment, others – just beautiful 🙂
Thank you Louise! Keep coming back – we’ll improve as we go and we’ll be adding more blog posts about related topics. Did you see the natural remedies in the shop? Have a browse around. Thanks for the suggestions – we will update the website.
Nice tip there. A lot of times we got stressed out due to pressure or panic. I had a student in baking before that panicked because she was late for our exam. Seeing her situation, I told her to get out of the classroom and breathe deep and move her muscles or do some stretches to release her from panicking. She insisted that she was fine but I was adamant with my decision. So she went out and allowed her to come back in after I saw she was totally fine to continue. I look forward with your other tips on how to relieve stress.
Great job Eli! Sometimes you need to help people help themselves. Keep coming back here because we’ll have more soon.
I think that people underestimate the effects of stress and stress itself! Being stressed is not a healthy way to live. I know for a fat that stress is a killer. I think your advice here is great. Breathing deeply is a great way to calm your body and mind.
I think this post is especially important for kids in school, because there is definitely a lot of stress there. I can still remember the pressure you feel because everyone keeps telling you how important it all is. That kind of stress can build up greatly especially over the entire duration of your time at school.
I think this type of breathing should be taught as part of the syllabus because a persons mental state can be very fragile after being eroded by all that stress. It is wonderful to just stop and take a breath!
Hi Renton! This is a very simple technique that everyone can do. Please teach all the kids around you! When my 3 year old gets overwhelmed and emotional, we breathe together until he calms down.
This is such a simple way to de-stress and one that actually just comes naturally to me in moments of stress when my mind is racing; I just stop and breathe and can collect my thoughts. Great stuff!
That’s awesome! Sometimes people forget to breathe!
Our everyday schedule is becoming more and more hectic so stress is a given even if unwanted side effect. Having to deal with business and family leave almost no time so being able to control your stress is imperative in order to be able organize your day better and have better productivity. Thank you for your advice, I will definitely follow them when in need.
Just stop and breathe! Take care
As I was reading I actually tried out the stress release techniques and I would admit that I do feel better than I did a few minutes ago.
Our everyday life can be stressful with all the things we try getting done just to keep to time. It is good that we do these simple but yet effective exercise to release ourselves of some level of stress.
That’s great! I’m glad they worked for you.