Taming the Tiger
The physical stress response our body has today is the same as it was when we were being chased by something that wanted to eat us. What we did then is exactly what we need to do today “run” or at least physical activity to burn up the adrenalin and cortisol our body has released in response to our thoughts. We all work too hard and play too little.
The majority of women have lost the innate ability to listen to their body and recognise when your body is telling you to stop/change those thoughts. The trick is to identify the signs of stress and stop the process early.
With our thoughts we create our world, so be mindful of what you are thinking, both while at work and after you have left for the day. Recognise the thoughts that pop into your mind about work issues that will be waiting for you tomorrow.
Catch yourself getting caught up and choose a different thought.
1. Focus on what you can control
For many of us stress is exacerbated by feeling out of control or helpless. The reality is many things in our working lives are outside of our control. This is especially true of how other people choose to feel or behave. Focus on the things you can control such as your own thoughts, feelings and actions.
2. Take time out
When stress is mounting, try to take a quick break and move away from the situation. Take a stroll outside if possible; spend a few minutes clearing your mind. Physical movement, fresh air, sunshine and laughter are just some of the ways you can quickly reduce stress before it sets in and affects your psyche and day.
3. Begin to unwind at the end of your work day
Take steps to unwind from your day at work before you get home. I’m a firm believer in writing it down to get it out of your head. Take a few moments before you leave work to write a list of things you can worry about tomorrow. Writing things down is the best way of putting them out of your mind while you take a break.
4. Most importantly; get moving
Exercise is the stress reliever. Whether on a treadmill at the gym, doing sit-ups in your lounge room, or doing some gardening, any movement will make a positive difference to your mental health.
Look for ways you enjoy being active.
It’s OK if you’re not a fan of donning the Lycra and getting out on your bike. Spend time expending energy in ways you will find most rewarding. Even light exercise such as taking a stroll around the block at the end of your day will help relieve stress.