It's no secret that our jobs are, perhaps, the greatest stressors we have in our lives. This stress can manifest itself in many different ways, taking its toll on both our mental, physical, and emotional well-being.
Hi, I'm Amy with Team Infinix. In honor of National Stress Awareness Day, I'm here to discuss ways that you can de-stress your life and give yourself the affirmations and validations that we so often overlook. I seek this in my own personal and professional life, and I hope that by sharing these techniques with you, you can find a sense of calm and tranquility in the eye of the workplace storm.
Let's dive in,shall we?
Go for a walk in nature
The typical office environment is about as removed from our natural setting as can be. That's why getting back in touch with nature and reaffirming that connection to the Earth that we all share, is like a balm for the soul.
Whether you decide to take a leisurely stroll through a park, or pack a backpack to hike through the woods, a healthy dose of sunshine and fresh air can work wonders. The important thing to remember is to embrace your senses: Hear the crisp rustle of the leaves as you walk, or the birdsong in the trees; take off your shoes and feel the grass with your bare feet; run your hand along the bark of a tree, feeling the protection it offers; gaze up at the sky and take in the subtle colors of blue, the cotton-fluffiness of the clouds overhead. All of it paints a picture, so let it in.
Be present and aware of your surroundings. Don't worry about reports or deadlines; just let Mother Nature take the stress off your shoulders. Research shows that spending time in nature can simultaneously increase your energy levels, reduce depression, and boost your overall well-being.
Use affirmations for self-encouragement
If you find you're in a mental darkness, it can make things so much harder to manage. Stress is the great multiplier —something that might be manageable under normal circumstances can suddenly feel overwhelming. When that happens, it's helpful to try to nudge yourself back on the right path.
After all, no one is perfect. I know we all realize that on an intellectual level, but in the moment, when stress grips you, it's not easy to be fair to yourself. So, I recommend showing yourself a bit of grace and compassion by repeating affirmations when stress inevitably strikes. Some of my personal favorites include:
· I'm practicing love and acceptance of myself and others.
· I am grateful for so many good things in my life.
· I am awork in progress, and my thoughts do not define me.
· I'm good at what I do, and I will not give into doubt or imposter syndrome.
· I am loved by my family, friends, and also by myself.
· I am enough.
Sometimes we need to hear those words out loud, and recognize them for the truth, even if we are the ones saying them. Having a personal mantra can give you that mental motivation to move ahead when things look bleak. Try it — you might surprise yourself at how well it works. (I was.)
Take deep, restoring breaths
Stress has an uncanny way of raising our blood pressure if it's allowed to linger for too long, which can definitely have an effect on our health. If you feel your pulse starting to rise, or when the situation in front of you starts to come apart, take a moment to step away and practice controlled breathing.
Take a slow, cleansing breath. Start from your belly, then expand out through your ribs, chest, and lungs. Roll your shoulders back and down. Finally, exhale slowly, picturing the stress exiting your body. Turn off the lights if you can and close your eyes. Find your center again.
Counting can also be useful. When I'm having trouble sleeping, I count down from 30, timing it with my breathing while relaxing each body part against my bed and pillow. The closer I get to zero, the more I breathe out my worries and apprehensions, while then breathing in the peace and calm to get a restful night's sleep.
While you wouldn't want to be so relaxed that you fall asleep at your desk (which is likely frowned upon), you can use the same technique to give yourself a much-needed break from the action. Since it only takes 30 seconds to a minute to do this, feel free to use this breathing technique multiple times throughout the day. Make it a part of your routine, but definitely use it whenever the workplace tension starts to mount.
Take a kindness photo
One of the strangest things about us as humans is our inability to see ourselves clearly. It's often all-too easy to overlook the importance we hold in other people's lives, as well as equally easy to forget how much we are loved. None of us are islands, and sometimes we need the reminder.
That's why I suggest asking your friends and family to write down some words that describe you, whether a single adjective or perhaps even a few short sentences. Once you have them on paper, put them in a picture frame and place it within easy sight of your workspace. That way, if you need a mental pick-me-up, you can glance at this kindness photo as a tangible, uplifting reminder of how amazing you truly are in the eyes of others.
Of course, no job is ever going to be entirely devoid of stress. Workplace stress is an unfortunate fact of life, but it doesn't have to be the weight around our necks that it sometimes appears to be. After all, all office stress is borrowed, so why hold onto it longer than we have to?
If we put these techniques, and others like them, into practice, together we can all achieve a state of less stress in the work place, as well as our daily lives.