Perhaps you know that staying stress-free is what will keep you working for another 20 years… Yet you aren’t sure what that looks like on a practical level…
According to The Barnes Firm, “Some of the most severe workplace injuries are the result of overexertion.” They go on to note that when stress is not addressed, it could lead to illness or injuries. Both of which can sideline you, impacting your finances and putting your livelihood at risk.
The good news is that a day without stress is achievable! All it takes is adding a couple key elements into your morning.
Here are the moves to make to let your inner super hero come out to save the day!
Your morning wake-up call from…
A day without stress begins the moment you open your eyes. If you start the morning with a stream of negative thoughts going through your mind, you’ll have an uphill battle to finding inner peace.
Instead, as you wake up, and before you get out of bed, take a moment for exercising your gratitude habit. Studies conducted by Berkeley University show that gratitude breaks the chains of toxic emotions. These effects on one’s brain are long-lasting. So not only will you be doing yourself a favor today, but you’re also doing your future self a whole lot of good.
Gratitude is a habit easy enough to practice. Just start with “I’m grateful for…” and then complete the thought for your first stress-busting move of the day!
Drink a glass of water before your coffee.
Do you consistently wake up feeling sluggish? If the feeling persists, it could be that your body is lacking the hydration it needs to operate properly. As you sleep, your body loses water through regulating your body’s temperature and other functions. The result is that your body needs water as soon as you wake up to get your body back to a good level of hydration.
Your bodily systems require water to function because your brain and heart are made up of 73 percent water. Specifically, your brain needs water to create the hormones and neurotransmitters that regulate your mood. So if you want a healthy, happy brain, drink up!
Visualize yourself killing it!
Visualization is a technique athletes use to improve their physical performance. But it is also a method any worker can use to increase their work performance, too. Why? Visualization can help you keep stress in check because you are visualizing the optimum outcome of your day, which primes your brain to behave in ways that will achieve that outcome.
So as you eat your breakfast, visualize giving your all at work, and exemplifying traits that you admire in others. Use self-affirming statements to help you in your visualization. For example, “Today, I am proactive.” Or, “Today, I am assertive.”
Power up with long-lasting fuel foods.
That sugary doughnut is good for 20 minutes of killer energy. And then it turns into an hour slump that sparks a desire for another sugary doughnut to climb out of that energy pit you fell into. But aside from the sugar high and inevitable crash, unrestrained sugar consumption is linked to inflammation in the body. And chronic inflammation is linked to a host of illnesses, including depression and stress.
Replace that sugary doughnut with foods that heal—not harm—your body’s nervous system.
What’s a meal that will help you power through until lunchtime? Oatmeal topped with berries or fruit.
Oats are a slow-release source of energy because it is a complex carb, which takes time for your body to digest. These complex carbs in oatmeal boost your serotonin levels. Serotonin is a brain chemical that helps you feel calm as you survey your day.
But if you really need a sugar hit, go for 70 percent dark chocolate. Dark chocolate will not only give you a hit of antioxidants. But studies have shown that it can reduce your cortisol levels, aka your body’s stress response.
Do a brain dump.
Sometimes our mind can’t shake a certain thought or feeling. It can get stuck on a negative loop. And persistent negative thinking about a situation can trigger your body’s stress response.
To shake off a negative loop and channel your thinking into a positive direction, take that thought and put it down on paper. Sometimes just seeing the negative thought on paper will help you realize that it isn’t that bad. Or it could help you set it aside for the moment, allowing you to focus on other tasks.