Two surefire stress reducers

stress

Who doesn’t have stress? It is a part of our daily lives, and we know that constant or excessive stress can truly endanger health.

Reacting negatively while under stress can threaten our relationships, both personal and professional.  There are many reasons to be stressed, and many strategies for minimizing stress in our lives. It isn’t likely that you can eliminate stress, but it’s always good to have some coping and relief strategies at hand during your work day. Here are two of our favorites.

Breathe
Sure, you breathe all the time, but studies show that when we are stressed we tend to breathe more shallowly, and even hold our breath. The most immediately calming thing you can do when under stress is to concentrate on your breathing. Breathe deeply. You might be surprised to learn what proper and effective deep breathing is and how to do it. This inspiring Ted Talk “Breathe to Heal” may really open your eyes, and mind about how transformational proper breathing can be. The actual breathing lesson is at the end of the talk.

Listen to music
Research shows that listening to music improves our mental well-being and boosts our physical health in surprising and astonishing ways. Listening to music you enjoy decreases levels of the stress hormone cortisol in your body, which counteracts the effects of chronic stress. When you use music as a stress relieving tool, it’s easy to understand why English playwright and poet, William Congreve wrote, “Music hath charms to soothe a savage beast, to soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak.” If you have that “knotted oak” feeling in your chest, a music break could be the answer. Head phones and a few minutes of soothing music can be an amazing mood changer.

If you are not loving your job is a source of stress, maybe we can help.

This post was authored by Actuarial Careers Staff.

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