If you want to see an extreme example of what it can do to a person, observe prime ministers as they enter and exit Downing Street.
9 Easy Ways to Stay Mentally Sharp
Before, fresh-faced, they simper for the cameras. Afterwards, they are gaunt, grey and lined. It is like watching an accelerated version of ageing, and a reminder of how stress corrodes the human body. We live in stressful times, though. More people are scratching a living in the gig economy , without paid leave or long-term job security.
Austerity has ripped through communities like bullets through plasterboard, destroying the mental health of those forced into dehumanising encounters with the machinery of the welfare state. The Amazon is burning, a no-deal Brexit is looming and we are hurtling headfirst towards climate catastrophe. It is no wonder that our mental health services are in crisis , more young people are seeking help for anxiety and schoolchildren are being taught mindfulness to cope with the stresses of social media.
The fact is, stress kills. Prolonged stress has been linked to heart disease, depression and diabetes.
But how can you stay healthy when you are stressed? We asked some experts. The salty-sweet smack of snack foods is often the only thing that gets many of us through stressful times. But the crisps you inhale as a deadline looms will make you feel rotten in the long term.
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Taking 10 minutes to eat lunch away from your desk will reduce stress levels and prevent unhealthy snacking. According to research from the American Psychological Association , a third of Americans reach for high-fat, high-calorie foods when stressed. Many of us are guilty of an all-or-nothing mentality when it comes to fitness. We hammer the gym hard before a holiday, but when life gets in the way, our fitness goes out of the window.
However, exercise is a powerful natural stress-reliever that will flood your body with feelgood endorphins. It should be a necessary thing for healthy human beings.
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It is not normal to exist in a state of perpetual stress. If you feel you are approaching burnout, your first port of call should be your GP.
Try water infusions
These could all indicatebe indicators that they were struggling with an anxiety disorder. What am I proud of about the way I handled this situation? Practice Gratitude Noticing and appreciating the positives in our lives offers a great mood boost. To increase your gratefulness, you can: Write a gratitude letter.
Researcher Martin Seligman, PhD, asked subjects to write a letter thanking someone who had been particularly kind to them and then deliver it in person.
13 Ways To Stay Positive at Work
The letter-writers enjoyed impressive positive effects even a month later. Keep a gratitude journal. Write down anything large or small that makes you smile, including terrific achievements, touching moments and great relationships. Remind yourself to savor. Yes, stop and smell the roses-and look at them and touch them. Share your good news. Studies of people's reactions to positive developments suggest that those who tell a friend about a happy event enjoy it even more.
Avoid Negative Thinking If you want to feel positive, it pays to decrease the downers in your life. Avoid dwelling on downers. Focusing on negatives isn't just unpleasant, it also can make you less effective in tackling tasks you face. In a study of test-takers, those who fixated on worrisome thoughts performed worse than those who were distracted from their worries.
To stifle your obsessing: Ask yourself if the issue is really worth your energy. Will this issue matter in a year, for example? Tell yourself you'll worry about it at a specific time later. Chances are you'll feel better by the appointed time. Distract yourself: Go to a movie, pump up some music, find something fun to do.
Change unhealthy self-talk. You may have been running negative messages in your head for a long time. But research shows that you can learn to shift your thoughts and that, over time, you can literally change your brain.
Consider trying some techniques from cognitive-behavioral therapy, which works in part by looking at how changing your thoughts can change your life. Some tips include: Ask yourself if your negative thought is really true. Are you really a terrible mother if you didn't make it to the class play? You're probably involved in innumerable other ways.
Remember any achievements that disprove your insecurity.
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