vivacity’s top stressbusting tips

Stress

An overwhelming number of people suffer from stress at some point during their lives. A survey in 2018 showed that 74% of the UK was ‘overwhelmed or unable to cope’ because of stress at some point in the preceding year.1

Stress is the body’s natural response to pressure or threats. That heart-thumping, sweaty-palmed feeling that many of us feel before delivering a big presentation at work is your body protecting you from perceived danger. In small doses, stress can be beneficial; for example, it can help push you through challenging situations such as meeting tight deadlines. However, our bodies are primed to respond only to short-lived stress and not the sustained periods of stress that many of us experience. Persistent stress can lead to serious health concerns, for example an increased risk of heart disease, reduced quality of sleep, and immune system damage.1,2 Psychologically, stress can lead to anxiety, irritability, depression, and even suicidal thoughts.1

Sadly, many of us are far too familiar with stress. Therefore, it is important to recognize the signs of stress and find ways of alleviating the symptoms and consequences.

These are vivacity’s top stressbusters:

  1. Being active
    A runner
    While you can’t run away from your problems, research has suggested that running, or other forms of physical activity can help you deal more effectively with your problems. Being active can help clear your head and make you feel more in control. Members of the vivacity team keep active by practising yoga, running half marathons, going to dance classes, cycling to work, or walking the dog. This week, the vivacity team have all been walking up three flights of stairs instead of taking the lift.3
  2. Having ‘me’ time
    Taking some time away from a stressful situation may seem counterintuitive; however, allowing yourself time for your hobbies or enjoying a personal indulgence can help you feel refreshed. Some vivacity team members relax by reading novels, getting their nails painted, gardening, drawing, or doing a crossword.
  3. A cuddle with Rufus
    Rufus
    Our office hound, Rufus, is an active warrior against stress! He’s always ready for a quick cuddle to help release you from any tensions. What’s more, research has suggested that having dogs in the workplace boosts morale and can even reduce the level of stress hormones in the body.4
  4. Time-out with friends and family
    Whether it’s talking through your problems or simply hanging out with friends and family, spending time with other people can help ease the symptoms of stress.
  5. Volunteering
    Doing something worthwhile and helping other people is a proven stressbuster. Volunteering can increase your sense of worth and put your problems into perspective. You are also likely to meet new people and expand your social group, which may also help to reduce symptoms of stress. Best of all, volunteering not only helps you, it also helps other people. Members of the vivacity team volunteer at homeless shelters and for Thames Valley Air Ambulance.

What’s your stressbuster? Share it with us by tweeting @VivacityADV

References:

  1. Mental Health Foundation. Available at: mentalhealth.org.uk.
  2. McEwen BS. Eur J Pharmacol 2008; 583: 174–85.
  3. Ströhle A. J Neural Transm 2009;116: 777-84.
  4. Barker RT, et al. Int J Workplace Health Manag 2012; 5: 15-30.