Modern life can be stressful. We have competing priorities (work, family life, social functions and personal development). This creates a hectic schedule that makes it hard to feel on top of everything.
Technology seems to help with this, but in actuality, it can put even more pressure on us! Social media, the fear of missing out and an increasingly connected world mean that we are always aware of what we should be doing, and don’t have time to switch off!
This can cause us to experience stress. Stress can seriously affect our mood, and can also lead to serious and potentially dangerous health problems. Stress can cause slower recovery from physical injuries.
One way to reduce stress is to slow down. Slowing down lets us focus more clearly on the task at hand and as a consequence, we are able to perform tasks more effectively.
Sometimes slowing down can be seen as impossible, but it is incredibly important to take a break from time to time. There are many ways to do this including:
Listening to music
Music helps to relive stress and anxiety. It also helps with mental and physical performance. Athletes and other sportsmen often listen to music before a big game or key event.
Stretching can be used as a way to reduce tension that has built up in the muscles, and also improves flexibility. When done correctly, stretching can help to treat and manage back, neck and shoulder pain.
Reading helps us to slow down and disengage from the busy world around us. It is also a useful way of quieting the mind and can help us to fall asleep at night.
Going for a walk or a bike ride is a helps to clear the mind. Getting out and in to the fresh air helps improve circulation and general fitness which can help you to perform better when you are under pressure.
Meditation and Mindfulness
Guided relaxation, meditation and mindfulness are all effective tools that can be used to combat stress. Calm your mind, focus on your breathing and try to think of little or nothing. Utilise a specific relaxation guide if needed.
Even a small time spent meditating can have huge benefits for your well-being!
Catch up with a friend
Catching up with a friend can be hugely beneficial. Human interaction is incredibly vital for our well being and supports our state of mind, letting us know that we are not alone. Call up a friend and catch up over a bite to eat, or go for a walk together.
Having a bath
The heat from a hot bath will loosen up muscles. It helps with breathing, and eases tension on the neck and back, pushing those stresses and pressure out of your system.
Schedule in downtime
If you are thinking you’d love to have the time to do these things, then make time for them. Block out time to spend on yourself, your body will thank you for it.