Mental health professionals are well-meaning as they list the negative consequences of stress. But maybe what you really need is not more news about the negative effects of workplace stress. Rather, some health hacks to keep that stress in check.
Don’t have a boss who is actively trying to reduce your stress levels? Not many do. It’s up to you then to set guidelines to keep yourself within a no-stress zone.
Here are 2 moves to implement during your week that will decrease your workplace stress and have you primed for a day of feeling your best.
Move your body to calm your mind and emotions
According to The Barnes Firm, “Stress is a common factor in every job and that stress can sometimes lead to serious illnesses or injuries when a worker is overwhelmed.”
Our minds and emotions are linked to our physical wellness and vice versa. While many people often try to start with mental coping mechanisms for stress, it might be worth approaching your stress by first focusing on your body.
Exercise has long been known to help manage stress levels. And the type of exercise matters little, so long as you boost your heart rate enough so that your body releases endorphins into your system.
Endorphins are that feel-good chemical your body releases that floods your system with a feeling of wellness. Mayo Clinic lists further benefits of using stress to moderate stress:
- Exercise increases your confidence, which in turn gives you a feeling of being in control. This feeling is one that stressed out individuals need.
- Exercise helps you to sleep more deeply at night. Lack of sleep can exacerbate feelings of stress and depression. So being able to get in the needed amount is essential for stress management.
- Exercise leaves you feeling relaxed due to channeling your nervous energy in a productive way.
Why not try this out for yourself? Do you have a day ahead filled with potential stress triggers? Instead of hitting the snooze button, put on your tennis and head out for a mind-clearing run or brisk walk.
You will be doing your emotions, your mind, and your body a favor, which will help you feel good about yourself all over again. This feeling of wellness could last you–if not the whole day–at least until lunchtime.
Use your lunch hour to eat stress-fighting foods
We’ve all heard of stress eating. It is when we feel incapable of coping, so to soothe our irritated minds, we turn to sugary or high-fat foods. Harvard Health Publishing reveals why we do so. Once we down that bag of chips or that chocolate bar to deal with our stress levels, it appears that such food types inhibit our stress response. But only for a time.
After the food daze ends, you are faced with blowing your diet on junk foods—foods that you might have sworn you would never touch again – which could trigger your feelings of stress all over again.
But aside from stress eating, stress could be linked to what you are not eating? This is because certain foods contain the key to boosting your mental function and your body’s ability to process negative emotions.
For instance, foods like yogurt, chicken, oatmeal, chickpeas, milk, green beans, and lentils are all great sources of B vitamins. B vitamins help your body produce serotonin and dopamine, another set of feel-good chemicals. If your diet has been low on vitamin B, you could be feeling it mentally and emotionally, which your body might interpret into a stress response.
Another vitamin that could impact your stress levels?
Omega-3s are essential for keeping inflammation away. In an inflamed state, the brain often interprets this into feelings of anxiousness. So if you want to feel less anxious, make sure you are eating foods high in Omega-3 fatty acids.
During your lunch hour, this means eating fish, not fries. Salmon is high in Omega-3, as is mackerel. But if fish is not your thing, don’t feel too badly about that. Certain nuts and seeds can provide you with your daily dose of omega. Turn to chia seeds, walnuts, and flaxseeds. The easiest way to eat them for lunch? Sprinkle them on a salad, and you’ll be good to go!