"It is very difficult to be patient and kind with yourself and others, when you are filling yourself with stimulants such as too much caffeine and refined sugars and eating a diet high in processed foods that is virtually devoid of nutrients. "
-Dr. Libby Weaver
There are two types of stress: positive and negative. Stress is a normal reaction to exciting events like falling in love, getting a new job, or buying a home. Stress is also a hard-wired survival technique built into your body as a means of protection.
Unfortunately, the big problem is that your body doesn't know the difference between a bear chasing you and work-related anxiety. Your body's stress response is perfectly healthy when there's a real emergency (like a bear chase), but if your body is constantly getting stress signals for every day issues (work-related anxiety), you'll burn out over time.
So, how can you avoid this? One of the major contributors to a high stress response is the over stimulation of the nervous system... I'm talking about COFFEE! There are countless people who work at a desk all day and are drinking cup after cup to make it to 5 o'clock. Well, in this situation, the truth is that coffee causes your adrenaline to go up and up when you're not physically working it off! So essentially what I'm saying is, maybe it's time to cut back on the caffeine.
What happens if you don't? Believe it or not, patience and kindness are affected by too much caffeine and processed foods. If you can't physically work off the adrenaline, it can burst out of you in other negative ways such as anger or becoming short-tempered in simple situations.
More tips for reducing stress:
Calming activities- Activities like meditation and exercise can go a long way if they are practiced regularly. Benefits of these activities include regulating blood pressure, improving cognitive function, cardiovascular health, creativity, and self-expression, boosting the immune system, improving perspective and empathy, reducing negative emotions and stress.
Plan your schedule- See PBP Tip #1!
Organize you workspace/living place- Procrastination anyone? Organizing my desk area is one of my favorite things to do when I'm putting off tasks that I don't want to do. But it's not for nothing! I always feel better after and ready to focus since the distraction of clutter in my workspace is no longer present. However, be careful that this doesn't take up too much time so that you can actually get that work done. Perhaps plan ahead for your organization so that you still have plenty of time to do what needs to get done. Also, having a clean and organized living space makes all that mind clutter seem less daunting.
Prioritize- This is something I'm still working on every day. I constantly have 100 things I want to do bouncing around n my head. While writing down a schedule is helpful here, it's also important to decide what needs to happen first. You have to decide what that thing is and focus on that alone until you are ready to put it aside completely to work on the next thing. Trying to do all 100 things at once may seem more productive, but try to prioritize quality over quantity. One thing at a time!
Delegate tasks- Know your tipping point and stop before you reach it. Rather than pounding down the coffee when tasks start to pile up, understand that it's okay to let others help you. Choose the task you think deserves your attention the most and dish out the rest. If you're not in a work/living space that involves many team members (or family members), delegate to your future self. That's right! Sometimes you just have to let future you deal with some of the work, and that's okay!