March is Stress Awareness Month
What is Stress?
Stress is the body’s response to a demand, threat or change in our lives. Stress is a normal part of everyday life and can be caused by both positive or negative circumstances in our lives. When our body feels stressed it goes into ‘fight or flight’ mode releasing a mix of hormones and chemicals. While stress can increase our alertness or productivity chronic stress could be disruptive.
Try to identify what could be causing your stress. Is it an upcoming presentation? A critical deadline? Identifying the stressor will make it easier to manage the stress.
How to Reduce Stress
There are many ways to proactively reduce stress and the negative effects stress has on the body;
- Exercise- yoga, a walk with your dog or a boxing class- our bodies fight stress better when fit
- Rest/Sleep- Getting enough sleep and rest- our bodies can handle stress better when it is at its best
- Connect with friends and family in person- using only social media to connect could actually have the opposite effect and increase stress
- Get outside and be with nature- go for a hike, hit up the slopes- Fresh air and sunshine can brighten your day
- Identify hobbies or activities that make you happy- increasing levels of serotonin boosts your mood
Stress at Work
Having a stressful moment at work? Take a few minutes away to refocus and change your perspective;
- Go for a short walk
- Take a deep breath
- Say hi to a co-worker
- Take a step outside
- Get a snack/cup of coffee
Remember not all stress is negative. Healthy stress is what pushes us to greatness and protects us from danger.
Still feeling overwhelmed reach out to your company’s Employee Assistant Program (EAP) for additional resources and professionals that can help.