It’s an inescapable part of life and affects each of us in different ways. Bondi Beauty chats to fitness expert Tiffiny Hall and psychologist Cass Dunn on effective ways of managing stress.
We all have a to-do list that stares us in the face as it seems to be never ending (who added all this stuff on here?). It’s time to make a Not Do List and pop all of the “urgent but not urgent urgent tasks” on there. Be realistic and look at your commitments and responsibilities and move anything that is creating unwarranted onto your new NOT Do list. Now make yourself a herbal tea, your list is already getting lighter and more manageable.
Seriously, the tortoise and the hare knew the secret – well, the tortoise did. We think our multi-tasking is the be all of end all, and let me tell you, it’s actually contributing to our stress levels rather than helping divvy out our responsibilities.
When we switch between tasks and bits and bobs, it actually takes longer to re-focus our attention to what we’re doing, wasting time and energies. We need to re-introduce the lost art of mono-tasking.
Put your full attention on one thing at a time. Turn off your notifications, put your phone away, the TV off and just focus on one task at a time.
When you split your attention you have to work even harder just to keep your mind on the task at hand. One thing at a time, slow and steady wins the race. By having a single focus, you will find you are able to concentrate better
On the topic of concentrating, try and switch your screens off as often as you can. Take breaks from staring at a screen; uninterrupted computer use has been associated with stress, lost sleep and depression in women. Take 5 minutes and do a few power lunges around the room, go and water a plant or have a 3-min dance party.
Try surround yourself with as much love and positivity as you can. Social hostility is considered one of the major causes of stress, and I’m talking anything from having an argument with a spouse, having a fight with a friend or colleague or even an intense bout of road rage.
Do what you can to rid your life of negative, toxic relationships and put your energy into developing positive connections with people who support you. Make time to be with your people (or dog or cat) and don’t ever be afraid to reach out and ask for help.
We are our own worst enemies and sometimes our self talk (originally meant to be motivating and inspiring) can spiral into a distress-based self talk, bringing unnecessary anxiety to the table. By preaching to yourself that “you’ll never get it done, it’s too much”, this causes a stress reaction in your body. It’s then easy to continue kicking yourself when you’re down by adding self-criticism into the mix.
By swapping negative thoughts for a more positive and optimistic mindset, you are encouraging positive things to happen. Instead of saying “it’s too much”, try “This too shall pass. It will be ok”. You might like to try on a favourite self-love mantra: “I am enough. I do enough. I have enough”.
This is in capitals for a reason. It’s important to take some time out of your day to take full, deep breaths, release and feel your body relax.
Introducing daily meditation into your routine allows you to tune into your body and research supports its positive physical and emotional benefits, including reducing stress, anxiety and depression.
Deep diaphragmatic breathing (belly breathing) activates the parasympathetic nervous system and induces the relaxation response in your body, which is a counter to the stress response.
Everyone’s release of stress is different. It’s a case of finding what best works for you and brings you the best release. It’s a case of mind over matter (and mindfulness can be your best weapon). What I am trying to say is, listen to your body, be present and don’t ever be afraid to reach out.
For more information on Tiffiny Hall’s online health and fitness program, head over to www.tiffxo.com
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