Five Simple Techniques for Dealing with Stress

in Special Feature 23 July 2015

A little stress is a good thing. For many people it provides the adrenaline rush and motivation needed to perform to the best of their ability. Dealing with stress is an important life skill that will enable you to make the most of the benefits a little pressure offers, without it negatively impacting your physical or mental health. Incorporate these stress management techniques into your lifestyle to help maintain your well-being. Read more.

1. Finding Your Work Life Balance

For some people regular office hours provide all the stimulation and challenge they need and by 5.31pm, they are ready to head home and begin enjoying the rest of their life. On the other hand, some people, for example lawyers, tend to prefer the pressure of meeting tight deadlines and working late into the night. To strike a work-life balance you need to find the amount and intensity of work that fits for you and your loved ones, against the amount of recreational time you have. Once you've found that balance it takes diplomacy and a strong will to stick to it. A work-life balance is an individual matter. No one else can tell you how many hours is the optimum to work per week, since the ideal amount will depend on how much you enjoy your work, how draining each working day is and your individual personal circumstances.

2. Streamline Your Home Life

Are your weekends packed with unfulfilling everyday tasks that you struggle to get completed during the week? Are Saturdays spent catching up with laundry, mowing the lawn and doing the weekly shop? Streamline your domestic responsibilities to free up your weekends. Consider setting up a regular online grocery delivery and employing a gardener, cleaner, ironing service, or all three, to literally buy back some free time.

3. Exercise

Taking regular exercise can improve your physical and mental health, making you more able to cope with the demands of your job. If a regular trip to the gym or scheduled sporting activity is difficult to fit into a busy week, consider how you can grab 10 minutes of gentle exercise during your working day by taking a walk at lunch time, or parking the car a mile from the office. If you're considering joining a gym, look for one that offers 24 hour opening times.

4. Get Outside

Whether you combine it with exercise, or slump down on the grass for a rest, getting outside can help bring stress levels down. Studies have shown that exposure to green and blue can make us happier, so find an open space with plenty of grass beneath your feet and clear skies overhead.

5. Practice Relaxation

Small changes in lifestyle can add up to a big difference in health. You may think that grabbing a beer or pouring a glass of wine, then flopping in front of the TV is all the stress relief you need, but in reality your mind and body need a little more help to switch from an alert to relaxed state. Set aside 10 minutes when you arrive home to practice relaxation techniques such as Progressive Muscle Relaxation, meditation and visualisation.

You will be more likely to succeed in managing your stress if you pick just one technique to implement at a time, then once this is an established part of your routine, move on to incorporate another.

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