Not all stress is bad—short-term stress due to excitement can help motivate, inspire, or increase focus. But when your people are under constant pressure for days, weeks, or months, chronic stress can take a drastic toll on their physical and mental well-being.
Right now, Americans are more stressed than ever before1. 47% of American adults indicated they feel nervous, anxious, or on edge for several days or more over a two-week period and 22% live in this stressful state more than half of the time2. We’re seeing it across vast populations – employees, stay-at-home caregivers, adolescents, and retirees. No one is exempt from stress.
While there are many factors that contribute to and compound stress, these three strategies can help you—and your people—calm down in the heat of a stressful moment, slow the physical reaction, and help you better manage stress.
- Trade “fight or flight” with “rest and digest” using deep breathing. Take a series of deep breaths to create a pause and re-center yourself in a stressful time. It takes about 10 breaths to bring down your stress response. Start with three or four breaths each morning upon waking. Add on gradually, work up to 10. Doing this on a daily basis is a healthy practice even when we’re not experiencing stress
- Take a mindful walk. With each step, notice how your feet contact the ground. Feel your leg muscles lengthen. Notice the rhythm of your arms swinging and the softness of your gaze as you look forward. Take in the sights, sounds, and smells of your surroundings. Breathe in how relaxing it feels to move your body through space while creating space for clearer thinking and wiser choices.
- Bring the outside in. Place a green plant, succulent, or even a cut flower on your desk or kitchen counter. In just a minute or two, you can give yourself some visual relief as you breathe in the beauty of the planet and re-center yourself amid a hectic day.
For more tips to help you and your population mitigate stress, read our latest white paper, Ten Tips to Stress Less.