Guest article by Julie Morris from juliemorris.org
We all get stressed from time to time. While stress can sometimes be chronic and long-term, even short-term stress can hamper your well-being. Too much stress can lead to physical illness, reduced energy, moodiness, low self-esteem, and depression. Whether you’re an entrepreneur or working professional, you probably don’t want stress interfering with your career goals.
If you’ve felt some negative symptoms lately and you can’t pinpoint the cause, it might be time to have a look at your lifestyle. By making some stress-reducing adjustments, you can eliminate worry and stay positive. Keep reading for a few tips on how to ease your mind so you can boost your career.
Leave the 9-to-5
If you determine your job is causing your stress, you might consider taking the leap into starting your own business. Although there’s still stress involved with entrepreneurship, many people find it to be more flexible, relaxing, and fulfilling than working for someone else. You can enjoy perks like working from the comfort of your own home and choosing the work schedule that best suits your lifestyle. Just be sure to schedule time for your family, hobbies, and health in addition to scheduling any business meetings throughout the week. That way, you can maintain work-life balance and avoid getting burnt out.
What you eat can play a big role in how you feel. If you’re reaching for snacks filled with sugar, caffeine, salt, and fat, then you’re doing it wrong, says Psychology Today. In addition to being less healthy, these snacks actually destroy your mood, mental energy, and productivity. Instead, opt for foods that support your mental health, such as fish, baked potatoes, avocados, chicken, or leafy vegetables.
Exercise gets your body moving and increases blood flow so you feel more like yourself. According to Everyday Health, these positive effects can also lead to lower levels of stress. When it comes to fitness, however, it’s important to remember that not all activities get the job done equally. You’ll get the best results from exercises that encourage your mind and body to work together such as yoga, tai chi, and tennis.
Talk to Your Friends
Many workers make the common mistake of completely putting their social lives on hold in order to get more work done. However, spending quality time with your friends and loved ones actually reduces levels of cortisol, the stress hormone in your blood. By making you laugh and providing a bit of advice, your buddies also help you work through professional and personal problems in positive, uplifting ways. There are even some studies indicating laughter might boost your immune system. Next time you’re feeling stressed, make the healthy decision to call a loved one.
Meditation is an ancient stress-relieving practice that’s been practiced by famous business people, including Apple’s Steve Jobs and LinkedIn’s Jeff Weiner. It’s hard to imagine high-powered executives sitting alone in a room while chanting their mantra, but they do. One practitioner, Ray Dalio, the founder of Bridgewater Associates, which manages $160 billion in investments worldwide, has attributed much of his success to meditating. If it works for him, it can work for you, too.
Deep breathing is an important component of meditation and can also be a useful practice if you’re stuck in the office. There are many techniques that can help you relax in little time at all. One of them involves inhaling for four seconds, holding your breath for four seconds, and then exhaling for four seconds. Repeat this breathing exercise for a minimum of 10 cycles, which adds up to a grand total of two minutes, to feel your stress start to melt away.
Get Help With Chores
It’s hard to unwind when you get home if there’s too much to do. Though it may cost a little bit of your hard-earned cash, hiring someone to clean up, mow the lawn, or walk the dog would free up some much-needed down time. That’s a worthwhile investment if worry is your worst enemy.
Most people dream of leveling up their careers. Whether you’re planning to launch a business or preparing for a big promotion, it doesn’t have to be a stressful experience. By following the advice listed here, you can help get your stress under control. That way, you can focus on what really matters in your career with a clear mind and heart full of hope. That’s exactly what you really need to succeed.
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