4 ways to keep our lives balanced and minds healthy
30 September 2019
Between 2010-11 and 2014-15, 91% of mental health related employee compensation claims were associated with stress, according to Safe Work Australia. Pressure was the most common reason.
This statistic shows just how serious a problem stress is amongst Australian employees. If you’re finding that your job is getting on top of you, here are a few easy steps you can take to reduce your stress levels.
1. Manage your time carefully
While a strong work ethic has a lot of positives, working until all hours doesn’t allow for important downtime.
To ensure you achieve the things that absolutely must get done, create a list of priorities and work through them one by one. This also makes your to-do list appear more manageable and less overwhelming.
Another important aspect of time management is setting yourself designated working hours, and sticking to them. This will prevent those late nights in the office, and allow you to do the things you enjoy.
2. Spend longer in bed
A 2012 study published in the Journal of Clinical Neurology found that sleep deprivation significantly increased the concentrations of stress hormones in the blood.
Hitting the hay a little earlier could, therefore, leave you feeling a lot better when you wake up.
3. Up your exercise levels
Physical activity produces endorphins, known as happy hormones, and decreases overall feelings of tension caused by stress. In addition, you’re likely to find that exerting yourself will help you sleep, reducing your stress levels further still.
4. Try meditation
Stress is derived from not feeling able to deal with the many pressures and pulls of your life. Some of these may be rational concerns, while others aren’t. When you’re stressed it’s not always easy to determine what’s truly important.
Here’s where meditation and mindfulness comes in. This is a practice in which you focus your mind on your own experiences in the present moment, including your thoughts, emotions, sensations or simply your breath. From a work/life point of view it allows for a period of calm reflection in which you can take a step back and observe, rather than immediately react. You may then find it easier to organise your priorities.
If you’re interested in trying meditation, there are plenty of online tutorials or mobile apps that can help you master the technique.
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