Many of us spend much time trying to rid stress from our lives, with little success. The honest truth is that most of us thrive on a little stress in our lives. It’s what keeps us going, striving for achievements.
So consider this as a possibility – if we worked on embracing stress as a part of normal life but learned to manage our response to our stressors better?
Logically when you understand stress as the body’s reaction to physical, mental and/or emotional changes you may accept this.
However, like many as we emerge from the global pandemic, we are experiencing the impact of prolonged levels of stress compromising our mental and/or physical health and it might feel very hard to contemplate making friends with STRESS. So consider acknowledging that stress is part of life and that learning how we respond to it is the key to help reduce the impact of persistent stress.
Take our April challenge to help you embrace stress and create positive results in your life.
Research has shown that small amounts of stress can be good for us, improving our memory(4), benefit our performance and motivation(5) as well as activating the immune system(6).
Let’s find ways that we can make our response to stress beneficial, by engaging in actions that will build our capacity to respond to stressful events both at work and at home.
Life is stressful enough so why not carve out an hour everyday this week to intentionally add more fun into your workplace. As they say, “Laughter is the best medicine” but there is some science behind this. Laughter is good for your immune system, lowering blood pressure and it’s also great for creativity, engagement and problem-solving!
Share some food jokes and maybe even do a few office pranks.
Here are 5 simple hacks to follow to reduce stress in your daily lives and boost wellbeing that would be good for you to try out. The only condition is that you are present and attentive to what you are doing.
1. Take your coffee break outside when the sun is shining. We are sure you are familiar with the wide range of benefits of the sunshine vitamin.
2. Schedule a Stretch Break for every hour in your calendar. Why is this important? Stretching increases blood flow to the brain and helps relieve tension in those muscles
3. Breathe in – (hold for a count of 3) – breathe out. Now repeat that 5 times and see how relaxed you feel. Sticky note on your screen please.
4. Make a to-do list when you get to work and check 3 off by the end of the day.
5. Eat enough food to fuel your body to be able to meet the demands put on it when stressed.
If you are taking time off over the Easter break, here are our thoughts on what you can do to celebrate Easter freely with food. Even though it can feel scary to ‘let yourself eat anything’, it’s precisely this empowered, intuitive stance that enables you to make better food choices.
Here are 5 positive eating thoughts and actions to remember:
1. Check in on your hunger – you can have more later if you’re hungry then.
2. Think of chocolate in a neutral way, not as the forbidden apple.
3. Choose quality food, and remember you are worthy.
4. Be kind in how you speak to yourself.
5. Savour the moment, like the smell of a good coffee, and take the time to really taste the food.
Announce a “Exercise Everywhere” challenge with your fellow employees.
Did you know that on average, we spend about 9.5 hours a day sitting? Add to that the 7.5 hours of sleep the average person has at night. When you put those two statistics together, it does amount to a lot of inactive time.
We have put together a checklist of our Five Fun and Easy Ways to Include More Movement so why not give these ideas a try this week.
Our aim in this blog is for you to connect with the actions you can take to reduce persistent stress by acknowledging that stress is part of life and that learning how we respond to it is the key to getting better results from stress. The majority of people either do not practice these daily or forget them when they are really stressed, reducing their resilience to respond productively to the daily challenges, big or small. The tendency is to spend less time building up our resources to manage that stress response productively and that is what we encourage you to focus on this month in our challenge.
At Ciall Health, we know that education is really valuable in helping you understand what to do to support your health at work. However at Ciall Health, we don’t stop there, we are highly skilled at supporting you to get busy doing what you need to in order to realise your health goals.
Bridge the gap between thinking about doing it, learning about what to do but how to ACTUALLY get doing those health supportive actions.
1. Yaribeygi, H., Panahi, Y., Sahraei, H., Johnston, T. P., & Sahebkar, A. (2017). The impact of stress on body function: A review. EXCLI journal, 16, 1057.
2. De Palma, G., Collins, S. M., Bercik, P., & Verdu, E. F. (2014). The microbiota–gut–brain axis in gastrointestinal disorders: stressed bugs, stressed brain or both?. The Journal of physiology, 592(14), 2989-2997.
3. Department of Health, Mental Health Promotion and Mental Illness Prevention: the Economic Case (2011), http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publicationsandstatistics/Publications/PublicationsPolicyAndGuidance/DH_126085.
4. McIntyre, C. K., & Roozendaal, B. (2007). 13 Adrenal Stress Hormones and Enhanced Memory for Emotionally Arousing Experiences. Neural plasticity and memory: from genes to brain imaging, 265
5. McEwen, B. S. (2019). What Is the Confusion With Cortisol?. Chronic Stress, 3, 2470547019833647.
6. Dhabhar, F. S. (2014). Effects of stress on immune function: the good, the bad, and the beautiful. Immunologic research, 58(2-3), 193-210.