It is important to recognize that stress can be both a cause and an effect of other issues, specially in the field of legal consulting. It may seem like it’s just making your life worse, but oftentimes it’s because you’re already dealing with something else that is causing you undue anxiety. Whatever the case, there are plenty of ways to reduce stress in your life if you commit to trying them out. Here are some tips that will surely help you reduce stress while you are dealing with any amount of it:
- Listen to your body. When you are stressed, your body will often give physical indications of it through muscle tension, fatigue, or sleep problems for example. These physical symptoms can be treated with medication if the level of stress is high so as to cause mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. If you do not address this early enough though, they might become chronic illnesses that require professional treatment.
- Make time for yourself daily. Whether it is meditation, yoga, or just switching off from work for an evening per week; schedule some time every day when work is completely off-limits. Starting small is better than nothing at all and making a habit out of this one step at a time will help reduce stress levels in the long run.
- Work on breathing and muscle control exercises. Alternate your breath every 5-8 minutes by exhaling and inhaling deeply and on each exhalation, tense and release your muscles five times before relaxing them on the inhalation. This simple exercise will help you to be more aware of how your stress manifests itself in both body and mind.
- Create a ‘stress’ file where you keep all the notes that remind you of things that are stressing you out or are likely to cause stress for example if someone has breached the policy if there is too much work pending etc. Keep this file with you at all times so that it can act as a reminder not to worry about these things until later when you have time for them.
- You need to set specific goals for yourself or you will be less likely to achieve them. Make sure that they are realistic and attainable so that you can feel definite satisfaction when you have met your goals. This is one of the most important steps in stress management so take your time with it and try not to rush through it just because there are other things on your ‘to-do list at work. If the goals are unrealistic, then you might become demotivated when you fail to meet them which can lead to increased stress levels.
- One of the quickest ways of relieving stress is by keeping physically active, whether it be going for a run after work or taking a few dance breaks during the day at your desk. An increased heart rate is known to release endorphins which are mood enhancers, making you feel more relaxed for up to 6 hours after the exercise. After 3 months of regular moderate physical activity, this effect can remain constant even when you are not exercising.
- Doing something nice for someone else will always put you in a good mood and often lift your spirits if you are feeling low. So look around at work or in your circle of friends/family and see who might need some help achieving one of their goals or just cheering them up with a small token of appreciation on occasion. Even helping out an elderly neighbor by taking out their garbage might be enough to give yourself a lift while doing the world some good.
- Simplicity is often the best way to combat stress. Keep your life as simple as possible at all times by sticking to a routine, making lists of things that need doing and then checking them off when they are done, taking care of one thing at a time rather than trying to multitask, etc. The more complicated you make your own life, the less likely it will be for you to achieve anything in it! Researchers believe that only 10% of happiness is predicted by our genetics while 90% comes from how we live our lives. So simplify where possible!
- Learning how to say ‘No’ is important for both managing stress levels and achieving goals that require lots of hard work because if you agree to do everything that is asked of you, then you will never have the time or energy to do what you really need to. It can be difficult to say no though because it goes against your nature as a nice person and saying ‘No’ feels like letting yourself down. Yet, if you set boundaries and stick to them by turning down tasks that don’t fit into those boundaries or make life overly complicated and stressful, then you will soon see an improvement in your stress levels.
- Meditation is a great way of finding clarity amidst confusion and the best part about it is that once you begin practicing this daily, there are no further costs involved as it takes up hardly any of your time yet gives back such huge benefits So give some thought as to when in your day you have the sparest time to practice this for example in the mornings when you have just woken up or at night before you go to sleep. You can also do it while traveling in the subway, during lunch breaks, etc. for 5 to 10 minutes. Meditation is great because everyone has a different goal for it e.g., some people meditate to achieve good health, and others have good relationships with their family and friends (etc.). Once you get into a routine of practicing daily, however, then not only will that initial purpose be achieved but many more positive impacts on your life will follow such as reduced stress levels, improved overall well-being, and better self-control over how you react and respond to stressful stimuli.