Working long hours and fighting to beat tight deadlines, our animators are very familiar with stress and the toll it can take on them. So in honor of Stress Awareness Day this week, we decided to share some tips on how to reduce the stress levels in your life.
First, what is stress? The National Institute of Mental Health defines stress as: “the brain’s response to any demand. Many things can trigger this response, including change. Changes can be positive or negative, as well as real or perceived.” Some of stresses can be positive, even life saving, such as the stress when facing a threat. However, the stress that we all experience regularly and that can be so taxing on our minds and bodies is that of chronic stress.
The pressures of daily life, work, school, family and so on can be overwhelming. You may feel like there is nothing you can do about stress. However, here are five tips you can use to help lower your stress regularly.
• Get moving. Exercise is a natural mood booster. By regularly exercising just 30 minutes per day you can reduce your stress, improve your mood, enhance your self-esteem, and increase your energy levels.
• Don’t sweat the small stuff. Things will not always go according to plan, so be flexible. Develop your own method of handling changes as they come up and focus on remaining calm. Avoid dwelling on your problems.
• Breathe. Take a five-minute break and focus on slow deep breaths. Deep breathing can act as a self-soothing method and lower your heart rate.
• Watch your diet. Foods containing caffeine and alcohol can cause anxiety, trigger panic attacks, and increase feelings of nervousness and irritability. So especially when under stress, watch what you are eating and drinking.
• Get some rest. The University of Pennsylvania conducted a study that showed losing just a few hours of sleep increases feelings of stress, anger, sadness, and exhaustion. So get a full night’s sleep to help lower stress daily.
Hopefully you will use these to help control your daily stress levels and mange the pressures that life may throw at you. Managing stress is all about taking back control of your thoughts, emotions, schedule, and the way you deal with problems. Be aware of your stress and don’t let it control you.