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7 months ago · · 0 comments

How to cope with stress and anxiety in this busy world

How to slow down to beat stress and illness

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When you push yourself too hard physically and emotionally you can find that you take a lot longer to recover from colds and flu. Modern life does not tend to present you with many opportunities to take time out to fully recover from mild illness. Thus, once your obvious symptoms dissipate, you tend to either feel too guilty to continue to rest and recuperate, or you have too much on your plate to do so.
There are a finite number of hours in the day and your list of ‘to-do’s’ can often feel overwhelming, leaving you little time to allow yourself permission to rest. This is particularly true for high level professionals and parents, who are relied upon significantly by others – day in and day out. In addition to external pressures, it’s very common to feel guilty about resting, when there is still so much more to be undertaken and achieved.

 

So, how do you fully recover from illness in order to function at your optimum – most of the time?

In order to recuperate fully and feel your best, there are the ‘usual’ things to do, such a sleep well/enough and eat well. However, in reality recent research shows that in order to achieve your ever growing list of tasks, most people find it easiest to skimp on sleep. Shaving a few hours here and there can add a significant number hours to your year, so it’s no wonder it’s so tempting to give it up and thus to squander the recommended 8 hours of good quality sleep a night.

Taking it slower to beat stress and illness

Instead of trying to change your sleeping habits, a quick and easy way to improve your health (before, during and after illness) is through slowing down. Most people tend to make the misguided assumption that in order to succeed in life, one must move with speed. The problem with this theory is the body’s reaction to being placed under pressure on a regular basis – STRESS. Regular, ongoing stress has been shown to cause a short-term reduction in IQ and can have a significant impact on your self-confidence and self-esteem, particularly if the anxiety turns into depression. This is why, it can be very difficult to think clearly and make rational decisions with you’re stressed. Chronic stress leads to increases in the chance of making mistakes and having to end up working even harder to amend these mistakes. Rushing around tying to achieve a million things in a day/week/month/year usually ends up resulting in a lot of wasted time and energy.

Taking a breath

In contrast, if you were to start your day with a few deep breaths, 5 minute relaxation exercises and made a conscious effort to slow down, you would be able to think more clearly and rationally and thus be much more productive during the day.

For instance, most people arrive at work and feel anxious as soon as they begin to look at emails, to-do lists and speak to other stressed co-workers. They tend to spend the day frantically trying to spot multiple fires, feeling overwhelmed, stressed and unproductive. If instead of this strategy, they walked into the office, took out a notepad and began to scan through emails, to-do lists and verbal requests from staff first thing in the morning and then developed a daily priority list, they would be able to tick off the most important jobs they had achieved that day. This would in turn provide both a feeling of achievement and a sense of control.

Undertaking such a morning task would take between 15-30 minutes per day, but would give back many more hours of productive work in return. The act of slowing down and gaining control is vital for health and wellbeing, particularly in this busy world we live in.

Your mind significantly impacts your physical health and emotional state, so if you’re feeling run down or overwhelmed, try to simply slow down. Try it for 1 week and see how much it improves your life.

Lizzie O’Halloran, Founder of Help For Mums and Author of Refresh Your Life & Perfect Mum

1 year ago · · 0 comments

How To Cope With Challenges in the Workplace

how to cope with work stressHow much do you value your work and how much validation do you seek from your job? One of the biggest traps you can fall into in your professional career is placing too much of your self worth on your performance and treatment within your office.

It was not that long ago that primarily men went to work – just to pay the bills in order to enjoy their ‘real’ life outside of the office. Over time, the demands of modern life have driven both men and women into very stressful and demanding roles which mentally can be very difficult to leave at work once retired for the day. Modern technology also allows work to encroach on your personal life – if need be (or you set a precedent to allow it to enter into your personal life).

As a result of the extended hours and pressures placed on you as a professional, it’s highly likely that you will draw a great deal of your self worth, confidence and drive from the validation you receive from work. However, herein lies the major problem. Everyone at work is feeling the same pressures and thus you have to just hope you have a good manager who has the time and energy to give you praise and recognition for a job well done.

It is for this reason that the best option is to separate yourself emotionally from work. It is also important to see it for its inherent value – as an exchange of goods, services and ideas (hopefully) for the betterment of society. Whilst it is a basic human need to feel self-actual used through the pursuit of excellence, in order to maintain a high self-esteem it is much more beneficial for you to seek your validation internally first and then from the people you love and trust most.

Yes it is important to feel valued and respected at work, however widen your net. By all means validation from your colleagues and from people you respect, however do not judge your self worth against these potential validations. The sad fact about many modern day offices is that it is often not until an individual leaves that senior executives really learn how valuable they were to their organization. Thus, a paucity of praise is more likely to reflect an office culture than it is to be an indication of your intelligence or ability.

Put work into perspective and regularly internally praise yourself for all the jobs you do brilliantly on a daily basis. After all, that little internal critic can at times be the harshest of all.

To find more professional inspiration or support visit: http://www.helpformums.com/therapies/life-coaching/

1 year ago · · 0 comments

How To Stop Worrying About What Colleagues Think of You At Work

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life coaching for professionals and student

How much time do you spend at work worrying about what your superiors might think of you?

Many employees spend countless hours per day worrying about whether or not the boss will like them and even whether or not they will be fired. This fear is partly driven by an ever changing economy and regular news of company closures and downsizing. However, the major driver of this fear is internal insecurity as a result of personalising work.

One of the most common human fears is failure and at work failure can be grounds for dismissal. Whilst this fear can be valid, it is a fear that is usually irrational as most people are working at a high standard – consistent with their high work ethic. The nature of working for someone else leaves one exposed to external circumstances, so it’s important to recognise that all you can do is try your best at work and ensure you treat it like a business, rather than your friend.

People often become very upset about changes in the workplace and in particular negative personalities that make it very difficult to perform ones job well on a daily basis. This is again due to the personalisation and ownership placed on ones career in the first place. In other words, making the mistake of taking work personally and forgetting that it’s a business.

Company downsizing and cutting staff is a perfect example of where Senior Management have to draw the line between work and emotions. The people in charge of firing large quantities of staff must separate the work from emotion in order to think strategically about which staff should be let go. Whilst being friends with your boss may protect you for a while, when it comes to major decisions like these, companies look at productivity and cost savings. So, once again all you can do from a professional standpoint is think regularly about how your contribution at work impacts on the business and don’t allow yourself to be dragged down by negative personalities in the workplace.

As the employee you must think of work as a business and your performance as part of this business. Your personal life is completely separate. The friendships you develop at work have nothing to do with your work (except with respect to forming networks to assist with daily tasks and potential future jobs). They mainly make your day to day life more pleasant and really form part of your personal life – not your professional life.

So, enjoy your relationships at work and start each day with a mindset of success, achievement and contribution to the greater good of your company’s needs. After all, negative people eventually move on and all the work you do will hold you in great stead for new and exciting professional positions in the future.

1 year ago · · 0 comments

How To Reduce Stress at Work

build self esteem mumIt’s easy to say “just relax”, but when you’re feeling overwhelmed and don’t know where to run first, you need a few quick fixes to get you back on track as quickly as possible. Below are a number of quick and easy ways to reduce stress whilst you’re at work:

1) Write things down

Often the feeling of being overwhelmed comes from having too much in your mind and hence relying on your memory to get you through. The worst part of neglecting to write things down is that your mind continuously reviews your list if tasks and in turn increases your anxiety over “all the things you still have to do”.

Take 5 minute to write down everything that’s racing through your mind. It doesn’t matter how small. The idea is to get these thoughts out of your mind and on to a notepad where you can refer to them later.

2) Take a break

You might think you don’t have time to take a break, but the reality is if you take a short break (even 15 mins) and go for a walk, you will come back more refreshed, thinking much more clearly and feel like you can cope much better with the demands of your day. I would suggest taking some music to listen to and walking alone. If you want to walk with a friend make sure you avoid talking about work or stressful things in general, otherwise you’re not having a proper mental break.

3) Eat slowly

When you’re in a rush it’s tempting to eat quickly to save time. However eating quickly can increase your heartbeat and cause digestive issues which will of course end up making you feel sick and even more stressed.

All you need is 5 minutes to just chew slowly and mindfully. In a way this becomes a little mental break. Once again avoid reading work related material whilst eating and avoid working with one hand and eating with the other.

4) Breathe

The most obvious thing that happens when you’re stressed is your heartrate increases and you begin to breathe very rapidly. Make sure you are conscious if your breath and slow down. You will work much more efficiently in this state, than if you allow your heartrate to race too rapidly.

5) Listen to some relaxing music

Whilst you’re engaged in something not too mentally taxing (like checking emails), listen to some relaxing music such as Bebel Gilberto’s music. Take the music in and calm yourself down.

Feeling calm in the workplace is essential for high performance, so don’t dismiss it. Feeling calm you will feel much more in control. A simple 5 minute activity can settle you down and help you to think much more clearly – something that is often negatively impacted when stressed.

For more support or inspiration visit Happy Life at: http://www.helpformums.com