Most people think of stress and associate negative things but what if stress was your friend? What if stress is that friend that when you are studying too much or working too many long hours comes by and says, “hey…let’s take a break…you need it!” But how often do we pay attention to signals? Do you? I know I don’t…it’s taking me many years to finally learn to listen to my body!
I remember when I was in college. I’d stay up all night writing my papers, had to do it since it was due soon and then I also had to go to work the next morning. Sometimes I’d only catch 2 or 3 hrs of sleep for a couple of days. I did meet deadlines but as time would go by my body could not handle the schedule. But this hectic schedule didn’t stop in college. It continued through the workplace due to deadlines, long hours, new technology, business travel, etc.
Don’t get me wrong, some stress is absolutely normal. But when you are constantly under deadlines and you don’t take time off for some relaxation then you start seeing negative returns. This is when productivity, and performance slows down, emotional and physical health is also affected which eventually leads to your relationships being affected. How often have you snapped at someone either at work or home because you were “tired”? Yup…this is an outcome of stress.
Do you know that whatever emotion you experience you carry it with you for the next 72 hrs? What does this mean? If for example, you get angry at work, you carry that anger at home. You have an argument with your spouse over nothing. What was the root of your anger? Whatever took place at work as well as your mental and physical state.
What can you do to release stress?
Exercise is one way but did I just hear you groan?
I know, I don’t like it either which is why I got a dog. How does a dog help, you might ask? Well, you can pretty much make up any excuse to your partner/spouse for why you can’t go out and workout but you can’t do that to a dog. A dog needs to walk for his biological needs and also not to destroy your house.
You can also learn new skills on how to de-stress, read about it here. Once you learn this technique you can use it any place, any time. I’ve been using this technique and if I was getting annoyed or concerned about meeting deadlines, that feeling quickly goes away.
Another suggestion is to do something completely different than what you do daily. If you work in an office, do community volunteer to clean-up rivers or sea coast. You can also try learning yoga, tai-chi, meditation. Anything else as long as it’s not the same old thing that you do daily.
Happy de-stressing and listening to you!