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Tips to reducing stress

Whether it’s personal or within the workplace, we all require moments of calm to gather our thoughts and relax.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) reported on 2017 work-related stress figures, stating that 12.5 million working days were lost due to stress or anxiety in 2016/17, affecting those in human health and social work activities most.

With yoga and meditation on the rise, it’s clear we all desire a better work-life balance, but how can we reduce those daily stresses that can cause loss of sleep or damage to your health?

1) Kick the caffeine habit

We all know caffeine is a stimulant, so if you’re relying on more than one cup of coffee or tea a day, it might be time to address it. Increasing your water intake and taking a break from your desk, coupled with this simple change can make a huge difference, including helping you sleep better.

2) De-clutter your to-do list

Too many notes on your to-do list can become overwhelming. Break it down into manageable chunks, splitting tasks between morning and afternoon, in order of priority and allotting time for each. What is non-essential? Take a moment to think about it and don’t be afraid to ask people in your team if you’re unsure.

3) Meditate or acknowledge being present

Meditation might seem like the buzz word of recent years, but it is becoming more prevalent in reducing stress or the factors that can cause it. To meditate is to focus one’s mind for a period of time, but what if you don’t have the time to attend specific classes? Ironic as it may be, there are many apps available such as Headspace, which help ease you into meditation practices. Start from just a couple of minutes or extend for longer sessions that you can fit into your weekend, whether it’s breathing exercises or taking a few moments to zone in on your own feelings. Forbes Coaches Council suggests taking a moment to pause and breathe, feeling your feet on the ground. This action allows you to be mindfully aware, grounded and present, should you start to feel lost at any point.

4) Spend time with those closest to you

With social media being so accessible, it’s easy to physically lose touch with those you care about. We might feel like we can never find the time but making the conscious effort to have dinner and a conversation or picking up the phone rather than messaging, can make you feel more connected and help you realise what your stress is really worth.

5) Approval isn’t everything

Seeking approval or worrying what others think can cause undue and unnecessary strain. Relieving yourself of self-doubt can unleash freedom and help you see clearly and assess what success looks like to you.