It's natural to experience stressful periods at work, and at home, but if you’re feeling like your nerves are shot, then there might be a problem. Consistent stress has terrible impacts on your health, not to mention the fact that your mood and productivity levels are likely to plummet. But luckily, there are lots of small things you can include in your everyday life to prevent stress and make your work life more manageable. Simply, follow these five tips to destress your day.
1. Take a breathe
Breathing is so much more than an involuntary action to keep us alive; it can have a huge impact on both your mental state and physical wellbeing. Have you ever noticed that when you’re feeling stressed your breathing tends to be shallow and quick? By taking a few minutes every day to take some deep breathes or to practice some breathing exercises, you’ll quickly find that you feel more relaxed. Deep breathing means more oxygen is flooding your body, which in turn works to reduce tension and blood pressure, nourishing the body and relieving stress.
2. Walk your way to wellness
Preventing stress is far better than just managing stress, and walking has been proven to do just that. Walking can help clear your mind and boosts endorphins, uplifting your mood and reducing the level of stress hormones in your body. If you can, why not consider walking to work in the mornings? If that’s not possible, simply try taking daily 10-minute walks to get some fresh air and have a much-needed break from your computer screen. Although anywhere will do, walking in a park, garden or any green space often has additional meditative benefits resulting in an improved sense of wellbeing.
3. Mood boosting music
It’s a well-known fact that music has an enormous impact on our mood. Classical music for example, is famous for its soothing effects, lowering your heart rate, blood pressure and stress levels. But if classical just isn’t your thing, any music that you love will work to uplift your mood and keep your anxiety at bay. Make sure you always have your headphones with you at work, so that if you’re feeling stressed you can tune into your favourite tracks and ease your mind.
4. Anti-stress snacking
The link between the gut and the brain is well-documented and many experts believe that your ability to effectively respond to stress is determined by how well your gut is working. That’s why choosing the rights foods to incorporate into your workday is vital to your health, wellbeing, and stress levels. Have you ever been ‘hangry’ – so hungry that you’ve had an out-of-character fit of rage? Make sure to avoid bouts of ‘hanger’ by keeping a stash of healthy foods to snack on throughout the day. Also, try to make sure that you step away from your desk to enjoy your snack. This not only gives you the added benefit of a break from your computer screen, but also means that you’ll be able to truly enjoy your food by focusing on its taste, texture and how it makes you feel.
5. Take a break
Extensive research has concluded that uninterrupted computer use leads to many negative side-effects including inability to sleep, depression and yup, you guessed it, stress! So, during your workday, make sure that you take regular breaks from your computer screen (even if it’s just a trip to the kitchen to make a cup of tea). Using your computer (or any screen-based technology for that matter) late at night has been shown to have the most harmful effects, so try to shut down at least an hour before you head to bed to make sure you get a good night's sleep.
What do you do to de-stress? Share your tips. And would you like more of this valuable tips and get support from many other likeminded women, come and join our Facebook group TAC She Sisterhood. Hope to see you there!
Most parents want their kids to be successful in life—and so we teach them attitudes that we believe will help them achieve their goals. But are we really doing them a favour? As it turns out many widely-held theories about what it takes to be successful are proving to be counterproductive.
Here are a few of the most damaging things many of us are currently teaching our children about success, and what to teach them instead.
What we tell our kids: Focus on the future. Keep your eyes on the prize.
What we should be telling them: Live (or work) in the moment.
Not only does focusing on the future lead to anxiety but children also do better, and feel happier, if they are learn how to stay in the present moment. And when people feel happy, they’re able to learn faster, think more creatively, and problem-solve more easily. Positive emotions also make you more resilient to stress—helping you to overcome challenges and setbacks more quickly so you can get back on track.
What we tell our kids: Stress is inevitable—keep pushing yourself.
What we should be telling them instead: Learn to chill out.
Children are feeling anxious at younger and younger ages, worrying about grades and feeling pressure to do better at school. Try teaching your children the skills they will need to be more resilient in the face of stressful events, and to take the time out to simply chill out.
What we tell our kids: Stay busy.
What we should be telling them: Have fun doing nothing.
People and children are more likely to come up with brilliant ideas when we are not focusing. So instead of over-scheduling kids, we should be blocking out time when they can be left to their own devices. Giving your kids downtime will help them to be more creative and innovative. And just as importantly, it will help them learn to relax.
What we tell our kids: Play to your strengths.
What we should be telling them: Make mistakes and learn to fail.
Our brains are wired to learn new things. And it can only be a good thing to learn from our mistakes while we’re young. So instead identifying your child’s strengths and focusing on them, teach them that they actually can learn anything—as long as they try. Children will then be more optimistic and even enthusiastic in the face of challenges, knowing that they just need to give it another go to improve. And they will be less likely to feel down about themselves and their talents.
What we tell our kids: Know your weaknesses, and don’t be soft.
What we should be telling them: Treat yourself well.
Teaching our children their weaknesses can easily lead to self-criticism, and self-criticism is basically self-sabotage. It keeps you focused on what’s wrong with you, thereby decreasing your confidence. It makes you afraid of failure, which hurts your performance, makes you give up more easily, and leads to poor decision-making. Instead encourage your children to develop attitudes of self-compassion, which means treating yourself as you would a friend in times of failure or pain. It simply means that they learn not to beat themselves up. This mindset will allow her to excel in the face of challenge, develop new social skills, and learn from mistakes.
What we tell our kids: It’s a dog-eat-dog world—so look out for number one.
What we should be telling them: Show compassion to others.
From childhood onward, our social connections are the most important predictor of health, happiness and even longevity. Having positive relationships with other people is essential for our well-being, which in turn influences our intellectual abilities and ultimate success.
Children are naturally compassionate and kind, but young people are also becoming increasingly self-involved. So it’s important to encourage children’s natural instincts to care about other people’s feelings and learn to put themselves in other people’s shoes.
To read the full article by Emma Seppala please click here
Why the ‘why’ is important.
Great leaders, whether an individual or a brand, are those who are able to inspire people to take action. But what’s their secret? How are some people able to achieve this, while others simply can’t? It all comes down to one simple thing; having a strong belief about why you are doing what you’re doing. Not convinced? Here’s why the ‘why’ is so important.
In a business, everyone knows what the business does, some know how they do it, but very few know why they do it. At this point, you’re probably thinking, “to make money of course”. Wrong! Sure, everyone needs to make money, but this is simply a result of what you do, not the actual reason why. The why is far more important. It should be the basis for all that you do; your underlying motivation.
For inspiring people or businesses, their ‘why’ is almost always rooted in making an impact or a desire to create a better world. When applying this thinking to your own life, try to think of your big ‘why’. Why do you get out of bed in the morning? Why do you make the choices that you do? Often the answers to these types of questions are not that clear cut. In today’s busy world it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day humdrum, never taking the time to reflect on your motivations or set important goals for yourself. But if you hope to find your true purpose in life and in business, this is exactly what you have to do!
When it comes to finding your ‘why’, clarity is key. If you’re clear on why you do what you do, it makes it easier for other people to buy into it too. Having clarity is what enables great business leaders to effectively communicate their core purpose that exists beyond their product and service. This purpose needs to be communicated first to your employees, and then to your customers. It is this clarity in purpose that inevitably inspires people to follow you or to buy your products.
So, what happens once you’ve discovered your ‘why’? Then the hard work really starts. Sticking to your guiding principles and purpose no matter what, can be a challenge but is vital if you’re going to become a leader. Nobody is going to buy into a leader who can’t even stand by their own beliefs. Nurture an unwavering discipline, so that you stay true to your values despite the challenges that may crop up along the way. This is the only way that anybody will actually believe what you say and do and trust you enough to become a follower or customer. That’s why very action you take should reflect this core belief. For a business this means that all your products and services, marketing and PR, culture and employees, should always be in line with your core purpose.
HANNA GIRLING, wife, mother, business owner, mindset coach, sport enthusiast and forever an optimist.