Stress, occupational and otherwise, is a global epidemic. And South Africans seem to be affected more than is their fair share. A recent study carried out by researches of the University of the Orange Free State says that around 80% of visits to healthcare providers in South Africa are due to work stress related conditions.
Researches believe that the uncertain economic times are at the root of the problem. Caught between the looming threat of retrenchment and the bosses who push them to overwork themselves, employees are seriously stressing out.
There is not much most of us can do about the wider economic environment, but we can adjust our behaviour and habits to reduce the impact of stress on our bodies and minds. We liked these ten tips we found on the internet:
- Smell the roses. No, really. Roses, lavender, basil, oranges, grapes, mangoes – they all contain linalool, a chemical that helps reduce stress.
- Laugh. Laughter triggers production of endorphins, the brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters. It also relaxes your blood vessels and increases blood flow, which is the ideal antidote to tension and stress.
- Listen to the music. Relaxing music will make you feel calmer by helping slow down your breathing and your heart rate. The other kind of music can make you more edgy and aggressive. (Do bear that on mind when driving.)
- Eat well. Make sure your diet contains foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids and magnesium: spinach, oats, beans, nuts, etc.
- Read a good book. The beauty of the written word can calm and de-stress you. So, ditch the TV and read fiction before going to bed.
- Gaze out of the window. An American study found that students sitting at window seats recover faster after performing stressful tasks than the colleagues deprived of a view. The more time they spent gazing, the faster their heart rates dropped back to normal.
- Take a walk, or exercise. Just like laughter, physical exertion produces endorphins. You will reap double benefits if you step out. A Japanese study found that walking outside, especially in a forest, is excellent for combating chronic stress.
- Have a cuppa. Tea is rich in antioxidants and amino acids, and that is just what is called for when you need to calm down. We recommend rooibos tea.
- Get a pet, a dog, a cat, or even a bird. It’s great for stress reduction. If pets get on your nerves, settle for watching a video with cute animals. Just ten minutes is enough to lower your heart rate and blood pressure.
- Choose your friends wisely. If someone always drains you emotionally, see less of her or him. Instead, spend more time with people who make you feel good.
And here’s our bonus + 1 stress-reducing tip:
- Trade on bidorbuy! Sell on the site from time to time to earn some extra cash. Sell all the time and you may end up saying bye-bye to that overbearing boss (for inspiration, take a look at the stories from our sellers). As for buyers, bidorbuy is great for reducing financial stress because it helps you stretch your rand.
Not to forget that trading on bidorbuy is fun, and having fun is one of the best ways to reduce stress!
Do let us know what helps you go from this: