Stress. Everyone has a lot of it – it’s almost a prerequisite for being a professional. However, too much stress takes a toll on your health and can eventually lead to multiple chronic illnesses. Sometimes, to power forward, you need to concentrate on rejuvenating your mind and body.
Get More Sleep
It sounds counter-intuitive, but sleep helps you be more productive. Interesting research done by Stanford’s Cheri D. Mah shows that male basketball players who sleep 10 hours a night improve their free-throw and three-point shooting skills by about 9 per cent. Daytime naps have a similar effect in the office – air traffic controllers were given a 40 minute nap and performed much better on tests that measured reaction time.
Research from the University of California, Riverside, showed something similar. A 60-90 minute nap improved memory test results. So did eight full hours of sleep. Most professionals romanticize collapsing after a 16 hour day. Putting in a lot of hard-work just seems like the right thing to do. But if you really want to be productive, a nap may be all you need.
Start a Journal
A stress journal can be helpful with pinpointing “triggers.” Stress triggers, like noise from outside, a never-ending run of phone calls when you’re in the middle of an important project, or even lunch that didn’t sit well with you, can all impact not only your day but your life over the long-term.
Get into the habit of identifying regular stressors in your life and the way you currently deal with them. Every time you feel stressed, keep track of it in your journal. Pretty soon, you’ll see a pattern develop. Make sure you write down what caused your stress, how you felt, how you acted, and what you did to make yourself feel better.
Improve Your Lifestyle
If you choose to wear contact lenses rather than glasses then why not make the process easier by finding a company that delivers them right to your door. Having the correct lenses always available for your eyes will go a long ways toward reducing eye strain and headaches, but what are you doing about your diet? What about the rest of your lifestyle?
Try to get into the gym and lift weight a few times a week (talk to your doctor to make sure this is safe for you). Clean out your pantry and fridge, and stock it with lean meats, veggies, a little fruit, and absolutely no processed foods. Don’t bother with chips or other snack foods. Focus on eating whole foods – you’ll feel fuller longer, and you’ll be healthier. That, in turn, will help you be more productive.
The Power of Suntheanine
When you just can’t seem to de-stress, it might be time to try supplementation. L-theanine is a substance found in green tea and is known for its relaxing properties. A patented form of this supplement, Suntheanine, is proven to help improve some aspects of sleep quality (good if you find it difficult to sleep at night) with no side effects.
Far too many of us interpret relaxation as chilling out in front of the TV at the end of a stressful day at work, but while there is nothing wrong with doing this, the truth is that it does very little to actually reduce the potentially damaging effects of stress.
In order to truly combat stress in a proactive manner, you need to consider adopting some techniques that are specifically designed to activate your body’s natural relaxation responses. There are several things you can try to see which works best for you, and these include deep breathing, meditation and yoga, all of which are effective in combating stress.
Set aside just 20 minutes of your busy day and you can soon perfect some techniques that will make you feel more energized and much calmer.
Deep Breathing: Sit in a comfortable position with your back straight and put one hand on your stomach and the other on your chest. Breathe in through your nose and you should see that the hand on your stomach rises whilst the hand on your chest barely moves at all. Then exhale through your mouth whilst pushing out as much air as possible and contracting your abdominal muscles. You will soon be able to develop a rhythm and a pattern that you can feel is reducing tension and stress.
Meditation: You may want to think about attending some classes or getting an instructional video to work along with so that you can quickly master the art of mediation and use specific techniques that suit you. Body scan meditation, mindfulness for stress relief and visualization mediation are three methods that all work in reducing stress, so take a look at what you think will work for you.
Yoga: Again this is an excellent thing to adopt into your daily routine for keeping stress at bay. There are numerous different types of yoga and to get the best out of this prove relaxation technique you may want to get some initial instruction to help you quickly master the positions. Three popular types of yoga to consider, especially for stress relief, are Satyananda, Hatha Yoga and Power Yoga, so see if you can find a teacher that offers classes in these.
You will almost certainly enjoy the experience of learning the techniques involved and you will definitely feel that you are more in control of your stress levels and your life.
- Kurt Smith is a lifestyle coach. He enjoys sharing his insights through blogging and his articles mainly appear on business and lifestyle blogs. Visit Next Day Lenses and learn more about their services.