In the developed world our lives have speeded up immensely and yet:
- There are still only 24 hours in a day
- We have a body that needs to: Rest, Eat, Move
- We have a mind that needs to: Rest, Learn, Enjoy
- We have a spirit that needs to: Dance, Communicate, Create
Relaxation is a highly desired state in our busy world and Mindfulness has been shown to help us be in the present be calm and make better decisions. Here are a few tips to help you recognise and manage anxiety states and combat stress.
A Quiet Place® Well Being in the Workplace™ Top Ten Tips for Stress Management
1. Recognise experiences as stressful
Life can be stressful at home or at work and each person feels stress differently. Know where your boundaries lie and make sure you are responsible in looking after yourself.
2. Understand how your body responds to stress in chronic situations.
Know your body well enough to listen and take heed of its messages. Feed it well and exercise it, drink plenty of water.
3. Posture – observe your posture and gait
Is your spine upright, head beautifully balanced, and shoulders back? Are you walking gracefully or rushing madly about?
Stand with your back, head and heels tucked against a wall. Now step forward and maintain that posture for most effective use of your body.
4. Tension is the great give away to stress
For example you may be clenching your fists or holding your neck muscles too tightly. Learn how to notice any tension in your body or face-tense your muscles for 5 seconds and relax. Do this 5 times whilst breathing in to the count of 5 and out to the count of 5.
5. Breathing – most people do not breathe correctly
Your lungs are custom built for your body…20% of the oxygen goes to the brain. If you are not breathing properly then you are not thinking clearly and your immune system will not be as good as it should be as the blood is not being oxygenated correctly.
Observe your breathing, is it fast or slow, deep or shallow, regular or irregular. Deepen your breath, breathe into your abdomen to the count of 4 and out to the count of 6. Do this 4 times.
6. Voice – you will have noticed different people’s voices and your reactions to them
You can tell someone’s emotional state by the sound of their voice. Notice your voice – is it deep, shrill, loud, quiet? Practise the humming breath-deep breath in and hum the longer breath out, do this 3 times.
7. Time – what time are you giving yourself?
Take 10 minutes a day just for you, lock the door, turn off the phone. Treat yourself to a massage now and again, no more than 3 times a day…
8. Exercise – it’s essential to your good health
So do some! Whatever it is you like to do, or at the very least walk. Take at least 5 minutes to walk outside, look at the sky, notice the seasons.
9. Enjoy – even in difficult circumstance there are often things to enjoy
Nature is the perfect example. When you pretend to be happy your body chemistry actually releases happy chemicals, so smile even if you don’t feel like it. Watch your favourite comedian or film and laugh out loud. Meditate even if it is only just for a couple of minutes a day. Reflect and think quietly, putting aside noisy things and disturbing news that is out of your control.
10. Relax-let yourself be at peace with simple things
Read some uplifting quotes, a poem or prose, listen to some music. Enjoy being you on your great adventure of life!
Go placidly amidst the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its shams, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy – Max Ehrmann
Note: The resources listed in this guide are not intended to be fully systematic or complete, nor does inclusion here imply any endorsement or recommendation by AQP and make no warranties, express or implied, about the value or utility for any purpose of the information and resources contained herein.