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The Busy Person’s Guide to Reducing Stress

This article is a guest post, written by life and career coach, Julie Morris. 

Living in our fast-paced, modern world can be extremely stressful, especially if you’re a business owner or busy professional. The constant hustle can make anyone feel run down and stressed. However, this stress is often counterproductive to our business and family goals.

According to the Harvard Business Review, stress can be useful to get you rolling and accomplishing tasks, but too much stress can leave you feeling sickly and incapable. Stress can also lead to a variety of health consequences, such as chronic headaches, a decreased immune system, and an increased risk for diabetes and drug or alcohol addiction — especially when it comes to work-related stress. It can be very important for professionals and business owners to control their stress so they can be as productive and healthy as possible.

 

Meditate

 

Meditation is a wonderful way to relax, rebalance, and refocus. It is especially useful if you tend to find yourself scatterbrained. With so many things happening at once, it can get complicated juggling everything in your head. It is not uncommon to feel like you just don’t have much room in your brain left as you near the end of the day. This stress-induced brain fog is surprisingly common and can be remedied through meditation.

“Wait,” you might be thinking, “I’m busy enough; I don’t have time to meditate.” Despite some common misunderstandings, you do not have to meditate for hours on end to get the benefits. In fact, Health.com has a two-minute meditation designed to help you de-stress. Nearly everyone has at least two minutes for a quick breather. This meditation is particularly useful because it can be used at any time, anywhere. If you’re feeling stressed out at work, it’s highly recommended that you take a short break and try a short meditation.

 

Breaks

 

Breaks are extremely important to ensure that you are as productive and stress-free as possible throughout your workday. While it might seem like you would get more work done if you skipped your break altogether, this is untrue. Because you can only really focus on one thing for so long, trying to force your mind to continuously concentrate on the work in front of you will only lead to your brain rebelling and attempting to focus on something else. This will lead to you becoming distracted and ultimately make the quality of your work suffer. Plus, by not being able to concentrate, you will get less work done in the long run.

 

By taking appropriate breaks, you will ensure that the quality of your work stays high and prevent the dreaded afternoon brain fog. But what is an appropriate break? Scientists have discovered that working for 52 minutes and then taking a 17-minute break maximizes productivity and reduces stress. Furthermore, if you are planning on having a long break as well, Business Insider suggests taking a longer break outside in the mid-morning to reduce the risk of burnout and stress-related health problems.

 

Be Mindful

 

Being mindful can greatly reduce stress, help you stay focused, and perhaps most importantly, make you happier. Being mindful is not some wacky, complicated art form. Instead, it simply means being aware of your thoughts and environment. Often, we get sucked into a trance-like state while we work. While this might seem helpful, this laser-focused mindset can prevent us from responding to our body’s cues and actually make us more prone to stress. When work-related topics take control of your concentration, it can be easy to let the small things stress you out. Instead, remember to take a moment to just breath and reconnect with your physical body and the environment around you.

 

Controlling stress as a busy professional or business owner can be difficult. You might think that you simply do not have the time to reduce your stress, but as you can see, it can take as little as two minutes! We might not be able to get rid of your stress completely, but these three practices will reduce your stress and allow you to hit the ground running whenever you are working.

Julie Morris is a life and career coach who strives to help others live the best lives that they can. She believes she can relate to clients who feel run over by life because of her own experiences. She spent years in an unfulfilling career in finance before deciding to help people in other ways. Visit her website juliemorris.org

 

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