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Less Stress Better Performance

Whether in our personal or career lives we all would function better with less stress.

Family life, in today's society, can be very stressful. living in lockdown while home schooling children has become the norm which we were not equipped for, mentally or physically. Much respect and praise to everyone that has had to juggle this new way of life and indeed it has come with added stress to what we were already experiencing.

Let's identify what stress is- Stress is a feeling of being under abnormal pressure. This pressure can come from different aspects of daily life. Maybe your workload has increased, moving home or job, a row you have had with family or money worries. It can feel like life snowballs out of control as different forms of stress take place.

During such times we feel mentally upset and that manifests in sadness, frustration and physically our bodies produce a hormone called cortisol, which if in the blood stream more regularly becames very unhealthy for our physical well being.

How can you identify the signs of stress?

Below are some indicators;

  • feelings of constant worry or anxiety

  • feelings of being overwhelmed

  • difficulty concentrating

  • mood swings or changes in your mood

  • irritability or having a short temper

  • difficulty relaxing

  • depression

  • low self-esteem

  • eating more or less than usual

  • changes in your sleeping habits

  • using alcohol, tobacco or illegal drugs to relax

  • aches and pains, particularly muscle tension

  • diarrhoea and constipation

  • feelings of nausea or dizziness

  • loss of sex drive.

We all experience some of these symptons of stress from time to time and in the short term it is usually fine. as long as we have periods of calm time and happy time. If you are experiencing these symptoms for a prolonged period, and feel they are affecting your everyday life or are making you feel unwell, you should speak to your GP. You can ask for information about the support services and treatments available to you.

Seven steps to help better performance and lessen stress

1. Eat healthily

  • Eating healthily can reduce the risks of diet-related diseases

  • There is a growing amount of evidence showing how food affects our mood and how eating healthily can improve this

  • You can protect your feelings of wellbeing by ensuring that your diet provides adequate amounts of brain nutrients such as essential vitamins and minerals, as well as water

2. Be aware of smoking and drinking alcohol

  • Try not to, or reduce the amount you smoke and drink alcohol

  • Even though they may seem to reduce tension initially, this is misleading as they often make problems worse

3. Exercise

  • Try and integrate physical exercise into your lifestyle as it can be very effective in relieving stress

  • Even just going out and getting some fresh air, and taking some light physical exercise, like going for a walk to the shops can really help

4.Take time out

  • Take time to relax

  • Strike the balance between responsibility to others and responsibility to yourself, this can really reduce stress levels

  • Tell yourself that it is okay to prioritise self-care · Are you needing time out but saying 'I just can't take the time off', if so read more about how taking a break is important for good mental health

5. Be mindful

  • Mindfulness is a mind-body approach to life that helps us to relate differently to experiences. It involves paying attention to our thoughts and feelings in a way that increases our ability to manage difficult situations and make wise choices

  • Try to practice mindfulness regularly

  • Mindfulness meditation can be practiced anywhere at any time

  • Research has suggested that it can reduce the effects of stress, anxiety and related problems such as insomnia, poor concentration and low moods, in some people

  • Our Be Mindful website features a specially developed online course in mindfulness, as well as details of local courses in your area

6. Get some restful sleep

  • Are you finding you are struggling to sleep? This is a common problem when you’re stressed

  • Could your physical or mental health be impacting your ability to sleep?

  • Could you amend your environment to help improve your sleep?

  • Could you get up instead of staying in bed when your mind is worrying at night?

  • Could you make small changes to your lifestyle to help your get a restful sleep?

7. Don’t be too hard on yourself

  • Try to keep things in perspective.

  • Remember that having a bad day is a universal human experience

  • When your inner critic or an outer critic finds faults, try and find truth and exception to what is being said

  • If you stumble or feel you have failed, don’t beat yourself up

  • Act as if you were your own best friend: be kind and supportive

  • Take a few minutes each day to appreciate yourself

Once we are consciously aware of reducing stress and acting towards it our perfomance at home, our relationships ,our work life will improve. we feel more lighter and not so bogged down with emotions and ailments as a result of stress. We and those around us will get the better us, the calm us, the happy us the us that is at ease and when we are in this state life flows effortlessly and our health and immune system improves.

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