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Every job is stressful in its own way. Although it’s fair to state that medical practitioners and air-traffic controllers are dealing with high-risk events, even jobs with endless paperwork, travelling, lean delivery deadlines, issues with career progression and dissatisfied or disgruntled peers and unhappy customers also add to one’s work stress.
Another factor that looms large is work-from-home (WFH) due to Covid-19 restrictions. The community-driven nature of the conventional workspace provides a certain degree of push and ambience that enhances our motivation and productivity, which a WFH set-up might lack in certain aspects. This could lead to anxiety and stress due to its unprecedented nature.
Stress is the body’s way of reacting to circumstances that require an adjustment or response. The body reacts to these circumstances with physical, mental, and emotional responses. During stressful events, the body releases a burst of chemicals, such as adrenaline and can even be helpful to provide energy to get certain tasks done, but in the long term, stress can lead to significant health problems. Symptoms of prolonged stress exposure include muscle tension, headaches, fatigue, reduced focus and lack of sleep.
While a change of work-related pressures and environment that lead to one having stress, would be ideal, you could explore the following practical and healthy ways to manage stress:
1. Positive affirmations
Positive affirmations are an expression that is repeated, often without thinking about it. It is used to introduce to the subconscious a thought that can motivate you, remind you of your positive attributes and provide the confidence needed to accomplish goals. Affirmations should be concise and include visualization and preferably be in the present tense, for example, “I will get promoted this year.”
2. Breathing exercises
The idea is to do mindful breathing and become aware of the breathing pattern so as to enable the body to respond to stress, as concentrating on the breathing pattern will help notice when to deliberately relax the breathing and take charge of it.
3. Physical exercise
Exercise reduces levels of the body’s stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol. It also stimulates the production of endorphins, chemicals in the brain that are the body’s natural painkillers and mood elevators. Moreover, exercising will induce a sense of routine and discipline in life that will help to manage stress on a recurring basis.
4. Listen to your favourite music
Music has the ability to lower cortisol levels and hence, lower stress levels. Rhythmic music can have a relaxing effect on the mind, especially slow and harmonious music. Music can have a beneficial effect on our physiological functions, slowing the pulse and heart rate, lowering blood pressure, and decreasing the levels of stress hormones.
So, ladies, invest time in your mental wellbeing and try these healthy ways to manage work-related stress.