IS STRESS AS BAD AS IT’S MADE OUT TO BE?

Posted on Sep 12, 2018

Sometimes, yes. And sometimes, no. A little bit of stress can be a good thing. The pressure of a deadline at work can help you focus your mind and boost your performance to get the job done. What if the pressure keeps up? That’s when you might have to take a few simple steps.

What is stress? Stress is a physical response to situations where we feel threatened or under pressure to take action. Our body protects us by creating energy and releasing hormones and chemicals that throw us into ‘fight or flight’ mode, diverting blood flow to where it’s needed most and enabling us to focus and react. It’s really pretty handy — in small doses.

Why do we need to manage stress? While short-term stress can help us get stuff done or get out of a tight spot, long-term stress makes us produce too much cortisol which can affect our physical and mental health in a serious way.

Stress has been called ‘the silent killer’ and can lead to heart disease, high blood pressure, chest pain as well as impacting our relationships at work and home.

Tips for managing stress

  • Stay connected — Text a mate and arrange to meet up after work — socialising with friends and family helps reduce stress.
  • Stretch it out — Relax tense muscles by doing head rolls, shoulder shrugs and touching your toes – being in a cramped position or sitting for long periods can increase stress.
  • Meditate — Sit quietly and concentrate on your breathing. This will slow your heart rate, lower your blood pressure and help you refocus your thoughts.
  • Take a chill pill —Listen to your favourite music – it can lower your anxiety levels.
  • Exercise — Take a walk around the block– exercise will help the body release good chemicals and clear the mind.
If the stress continues and you feel like you might be in the burn out zone call Incolink’s 24/7 Counselling line 1300 000 129 to talk to someone.

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