Many people know that stress is the leading killer of adults in the United States… but even a statement as strong as that one may not properly convey what a serious issue this really is. According to a study conducted by the American Institute of Stress, an incredible 44% of Americans say that they feel more stressed today than they did just five years ago. One out of every five people say that they regularly experience “extreme stress” – the symptoms of which include shaking, heart palpitations, depression and more. Work-related stress alone causes an unforgivable 10% of all strokes each year.
But the key to solving this epidemic involves more than just acknowledging that stress is a bad thing. You must first understand that stress is a two-headed enemy – one that affects your MIND as well as your BODY. Stress tends to come at you from all angles, so you’ll need to be equally vigilant in your approach to combating it if you want to rid it from your life as much as possible.
Your Battle With Stress Begins Now
The first thing you must do as you begin to work on stress-related issues is properly identify where they’re coming from. Everyone is a little bit different – what one person considers to be a stressful situation at work may just be “Tuesday” to someone else. Because of this, you’ll want to start by first identifying the things throughout your day that trigger stress.
Only by understanding how stress uniquely manifests itself in your life can you really come to terms with the extent of the problem you’re dealing with. Once you’ve identified the rules of the game you’re actually playing, you can begin to work towards that critical balance once and for all.
Along the same lines, it is of paramount importance that you understand stress is not something you can ever truly remove from your life – that’s not what you’re trying to do. If work predominantly causes the stress in your life, the easy answer is to say “quit your job” – but you can’t really do that, can you? Instead, you need to understand what causes stress so that you can adjust your own reaction to it. You’ll never be able to have a completely stress-free work experience (this is why it’s called “work” and not “happy fun time”). Only by acquiring this context will you be able to get started doing what is right for you.
As you work to de-stress your mind and body, one helpful thing that can often help accomplish both at the same time is a little good, old-fashioned exercise. Stress often manifests itself physically, be it in the form of heart palpitations or a sudden pain in your neck that just won’t go away. When this happens, making a POSITIVE physical reaction can be a great way to mitigate the issue. Drop down on the floor in your office and do a couple of push-ups. Go for a jog on your lunch break instead of sitting in your car and listening to the radio.
Do something – anything – physical to combat stressful reactions. Not only can it help clear your head and remove the weight of the world from your shoulders, but if you get into this habit enough you can also help prevent similar reactions from arising in the future. You’ll also go a long way towards improving your overall health if you prioritize exercise, which is very much a good thing on its own.
These are just a few of the essential tips you’ll learn about in the following Infographic, appropriately titled “10 Ways to De-Stress Your Mind and Body.” Created with Visme, it’s an invaluable resource that you can use to not only remove stress from your day, but to cut it out of your life wherever you can. You need to understand that there is no magic bullet when it comes to defeating stress. It’s not like you can flip a light switch and suddenly you’ll be relaxed and calm 100% of the time. As with most things, it’s often a series of small-yet-critical steps that, when taken together, add up to a pretty powerful whole.
Payman Taei is the founder of Visme, an easy-to-use online tool to create engaging presentations, infographics, and other forms of visual content. He is also the founder of HindSite Interactive, an award winning Digital agency specializing in website design, user experience and web app development.