International Stress Awareness Week was created to raise awareness of stress prevention and management and to campaign against the stigma associated with stress and other mental health issues. The more we understand about mental health, the more we understand just how crucial it is to promote mental wellbeing for individuals and organizations; personally, and professionally. So, how do we create a stress-free zone within? Here are my thoughts.
In recent years, employers have become more invested in taking an active role in contributing to the mental wellbeing of their workforce. They are doing this in a variety of ways, one of which is through corporate wellness programs crafted for the precise needs and profile of their organization. Another positive action employers are taking is enrolling their companies in sports events where they can enjoy the release of endorphins in the brain while demonstrating their sporting skills, building bonds, and massively boosting team spirit!
Before we can prevent or fight stress, it’s important to understand exactly what it is and where it comes from. Basically, stress is our body’s response to what it deems is a challenge or a demand. In evolutionary terms, it was designed to keep us safe by alerting us to danger and triggering the fight or flight response. It can be caused by both positive and negative situations and thoughts and everyone’s stress threshold is as individual as they are. When we’re stressed, our heart rate and blood pressure increase, we may begin to perspire, and we may experience anxiety and dread.
The good news is, we can all take responsibility for managing our own stress levels, or at least, how we respond to stress. Here are a few tips that help promote general mental wellbeing:
- Prioritize your wellbeing: Being true to your values, avoiding people-pleasing, and treating people with tolerance and kindness are all ways to enhance your wellbeing.
- Exercise regular: it comes back to releasing those natural endorphins… the feel-good hormones that put a spring in our step and a smile on our face.
- Eat and drink healthily: Our food is our body’s fuel so make sure you’re eating to optimize your health and nutrition levels.
- Try to meditate: This isn’t easy for everyone, but even just sitting in silence and gathering our thoughts for a few moments daily can-do wonders in combating negative thoughts.
- Understand your triggers: Examine yourself and become more self-aware so you can purposely avoid situations that cause you stress or anxiety.
- Don’t be hard on yourself: We all live busy and demanding lives but it’s important to be realistic with your expectations. There are things you can control and there are things you can’t.
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