Everyone suffers from stress from time to time. Stress is a form of tension that occurs in your body in response to external stimuli. Some forms of stress can be positive, but often this is not the case.
The positive stress keeps you sharp and alert. As long as tension and relaxation are in balance. But when there is too little relaxation and too much tension, your body has no time to ‘recover’. And then physical and mental complaints can occur.
WHERE DOES STRESS COME FROM?
You can experience stress from the hustle and bustle in your daily life. These can be private or work circumstances. But did you know that your body also experiences stress from the food you consume? A lot of sugar, alcohol, smoking, chemical e-numbers, pesticides or foods that you are allergic or intolerant to are examples of substances that your body experiences stress.
You can be intolerant to certain foods without realizing this yourself, but your body is in a continuous state of stress.
When you know where your stress comes from, you can tackle the cause more specifically. If it concerns a certain situation, try to discuss it at home or at work, for example.
Sometimes it can be difficult to discuss your work situation. But remember that your employer will benefit more from being honest and open than having an employee at home with a burnout.
When your stress is related to an ongoing situation or major event or trauma, it may be wise to talk to a professional about this.
Below are a few tips that everyone can get started with immediately:
1. Do what you enjoy doing
Simple, right?! Try to do something every day that makes you happy. For some, this is a nice workout in the evening, for others reading a magazine on the couch and another is happy having a drink with a friend in the city.
It sounds so simple, but how often does this fail? How often do you really do the things that make you happy? Consider this every day and start doing something that makes YOU happy.
2. Walk in garden
To begin with, a green garden looks beautiful and lively. Gardening is only beautiful; it also has a number of advantages. Research shows that a natural environment reduces stress! Trees in the garden can therefore provide a soothing feeling. Sound from the environment is muted, so you can relax even more.
2. Meditation – breathing exercises
Meditation is often not the first thing that comes to mind when you are stressed. You just don’t have time for it. Still, meditation can reduce stress and improve your attention.
Count to 10
One exercise you can do is count your breath . Sit quietly on the floor on a pillow in a position that you find comfortable. Rest your gaze on the floor in front of you, or close your eyes. Start counting your exhalations. Count to 10. Seems simple but you may lose count quite often in the beginning because your mind wanders. Not bad at all, just start over again. If you are at 10, you also start at 1. Do this for about 5 to 10 minutes a day.
Maybe you are taking this a little too far at first. Then try to consciously drink your coffee or tea at home. How many times have you finished your drink without actually having tasted it? Right! Be aware of what you are doing. This is actually possible at any time, when you cut an onion, when you look around on the street, when you have a conversation with someone.
If you are interested in meditation, Effe sitting is a very nice book about meditation that is easy and easy to read. If you have already gone a little further and are open to it, I think the Power of the Now is highly recommended. This book has really put me on a different track and in some ways changed my life.
3. Put yourself first
And no that is not selfish. Make conscious, informed choices. So if you see that your agenda for the coming week is filling up again, say ‘no’ once. It is really not surprising if you do not go to a birthday because it is just a bit too much. And that girlfriend you haven’t seen in a while really doesn’t mind meet in up 1 or 2 weeks later.
Then do something for yourself. Take a nice shower or take an extensive bath, paint your nails, read a book in bed or book a massage or an evening in the sauna.
4. Do not exercise too fanatically
Exercise is important, but exercising for too long causes your body to produce cortisol, the stress hormone. It is therefore preferable not to exercise intensively for more than an hour. And when you already experience a lot of stress, it may be wiser not to exercise fanatically at all or to demand heavy exertion from your body. In this way you only exhaust your body further. So opt for light to moderate exercise such as yoga or pilates. Give it a try, for example book a trial lesson somewhere near you. Or practice yoga at home without having to have taken a class.
Not a fan of this kind of effort? A walk in nature can also be wonderfully relaxing.
5. Lowering the bar
Do you not set too high standards for yourself? Are your goals realistic and are you sometimes not asking just a little (or much) too much?
You can sometimes lower the bar quite a bit. No one is perfect and everyone makes mistakes. When you always set the bar too high and your goals are not achievable, this is demotivating. You are more motivated when your goals are achievable.
So take a step back and think about yourself a little more. You will notice, it all becomes a lot more fun and relaxed.