STEP 2: Relaxation for the Mind
Your Mental Wellbeing is affected with both an emotional and physical response when the pressure you are under outweighs your ability to cope.
Pressures from the outside world are normal, and an element of pressure can be a good thing, but sometimes our coping capacity can feel overwhelmed when these pressures become a strain.
According to mental health charity Mind 1 in 6 workers are experiencing anxiety and stress – they call it the elephant in the room.
Research has shown that those who are active and have a greater sense of health and wellbeing have lower rates of anxiety and deal with stress more effectively.
It’s time to take control.
Warning Signs and Symptoms
Are you showing signs of being over stressed? If you can spot early signals that you may be suffering from stress you can deal with the issues and avoid any serious effects.
Being aware of your life pressures will help you become familiar with your body’s warning signs and situations which may trigger stress.
Stress indicators can be physical or mental.
PHYSICAL: tiredness, lethargy, sleep problems, breathlessness, dizziness, drinking or smoking more, altered eating habits, nausea, heartburn
MENTAL: loss of concentration, irritability, depression, anxiety, difficulty coping, unable to prioritise, lack of self worth, feeling isolated
Results over the long term can be:
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Physical exhaustion and muscle tension
- Illness – such as diabetes, ulcers and cardiovascular disease
- Sleep problems
Achieving your life balance
How can you deal with everyday pressures? Life can be complex and demanding, but a balanced lifestyle can help you to cope with these situations well.
Identify your main sources of pressure at work and at home. You may be able to influence and reduce some but there will also be those which are out of your control.
Understanding your own pressure responses will help you notice the warning signals when you enter the stretch (good), strain (not good) or panic (bad) zones.
With the right amount of pressure our performance is enhanced – known as the stretch zone. If you exceed this you enter the strain zone, where your coping capacity lessens and performance begins to suffer. Beyond this point, in the extreme, you reach the panic zone where you no longer cope and cease performing altogether.
Remember your comfort zone needs visiting occasionally too to help you recharge your batteries and work to your optimum level.
To achieve your balance focus on those areas that you can control, exercise regularly and take time out to relax.
We can all learn new ways to manage and relieve the stresses of daily life – why not consider:
- Deep or focused breathing
- Taking time out to rest
- Healthy eating habits
- Exercise regime
- Yoga or pilates
7 Basic Relaxation Steps
- Find time and choose the right place – set the right environment
- Let physical tension go – close your eyes and relax your muscles
- Breathe deeply and slowly
- Switch off your thoughts and get the right frame of mind
- Allow 20-30 minutes – let your mind go ‘blank’ and switch off your worries
- Shut out disturbances – allow for some quiet time
- Choose some soothing background music