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Take 5: Save the Stress

by Editorial Staff--South Jersey Biz

Workplace stress isn’t good for anyone, physically or mentally. Not to mention the trickle-down effect it can have on other employees and productivity. We spoke with Lisa Warech, Human Resources Director for The Protocall Group in Cherry Hill, to find out the best ways to combat anxiety without feeling overwhelmed.

1. Breathe
Deep breathing is one of the best ways to lower stress in the body. When you breathe deeply, it sends a message to your brain to calm down and relax. The brain then sends this message to your body. Those things that happen when you are stressed, such as increased heart rate, fast breathing and high blood pressure, all decrease as you breathe deeply to relax.

2. Eat a Balanced Breakfast
Why is breakfast known as the most important meal of the day? A healthy meal in the morning can balance your blood sugar levels and give you the fuel you need to handle physical and mental stress. Without it, you will be less likely to be able to handle physical and mental stress in a healthy way. Be sure to have plenty of protein and fruit, not just caffeine.

3. Exercise
If you don't have time to go to the gym, you can save time by bringing sneakers to work and walking during your break. You probably won't get as sweaty as you would if you were doing more strenuous exercise and you'll get a good workout without taking much time out of your schedule. Exercise causes endorphins to be released into your bloodstream, considerably improving your mood.

4. Humor is a Great Stress Reliever
Laughter reduces the level of stress hormones like cortisol, epinephrine (adrenaline) and dopamine. However, it increases the level of health-enhancing hormones like endorphins. You sometimes experience a cleansed feeling after a good laugh. Laughter provides a physical and emotional release.

5. Take It Easy–You Are Not Perfect
Striving to do your best is a sign of a hard worker and can be a positive trait that leads to excellence. However, perfectionism can cause excessive stress. What’s the difference between striving for excellence and being a perfectionist? Perfectionists beat themselves up if everything isn’t perfect, whereas hard workers are happy with a near-perfect job well done. Be happy with being a hard worker as being perfect is not human.

Published (and copyrighted) in South Jersey Biz, Volume 5, Issue 3 (March, 2015).
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