A Little Toolbox To Combat Stress

Even with all the new advances in technology we see each year, it’s not likely we’ll ever  reach the point where businesses are fully run by AI’s and robots.  People will always be at the heart of any enterprise, and as such, stress will an inevitable and unchanging part of the human condition.

With the constant stress we are bombarded with daily,  what makes it feel worse is that it can look all but impossible to halt the assault.

  • Work environment: People are pressured more to produce more in less time, and are driven to unhealthy and unsustainable levels of performance. Without downtime to rest and detach from work-pressure, the mind and body cannot take needful rest in peace.
  • Technology tethers: We are exposed to constant, unrelenting stimulation via technology and work culture.  We deal with alerts, pings, and messages that can interrupt our focus and break our concentration.

We are overwhelmed with choices, and yet can be made to feel we have no choice.

Hey,  welcome back to Jrox Resources. Today’s article is targeted towards managing stress by using techniques to help you keep calm, or help you calm down, either by  practice, soothing sounds, or by  simple creative activities.

 

While stress will always be a part of our lives, we are also equipped with the intelligence, the will, and the sheer stubbornness to face it and deal with it productively.

You can face many irritants, challenges, and stressful situations in the course of a day.  What follows are a few tips to get on top of your day-to-day responsibilities while keeping calm and centered, then  an assortment of  websites with the intent of helping you relax, get your mind off what’s bothering you, and perhaps even help you calm yourself down when you’re already worked up. None of the sites require any log-ins or sign-ups, so go and have fun exploring.

DAILY PRACTICE
Planning ahead
Before diving straight into the day’s work, block some time before-hand to look at where you can leverage the best use of your energy, focus and time towards your goals. You can use weekends to plot out the week ahead, or evenings  after work to prepare for the next day. Making a list helps you remember and keep track, and seeing the check-marks line up after you get a task done can help keep the momentum going.

Related articles: Focus and Planning 1, Focus and Planning 2

Get up early
Stress can come from feeling out of control or rushed. Anxiety from feeling that you’re behind can knock you off balance before you even hit the office, so  get a head start on the day. The less rushed you feel, the  more breathing room you’ll have  to move in and approach your work calmly and with clarity.

Related articles: Start Early , and Finishing Early

Fuel up, and don’t skimp.
Healthy snacks are an important part of keeping yourself strong enough to get through the day. Odds are you’ve experienced enough mid-afternoon slumps to understand that low blood sugar can make for foggy thinking and irritability, or what’s known as the ‘hangries’, (meaning ‘hungry+angry’).  Remember to keep healthy snacks on-hand so even when the day gets really full, you’ll have something to help you keep going.

Block off time for your fears and worries.
It sounds counter-intuitive to actively face your fears, but think of this way: shining a light in dark corners can show you what’s really there. Facing worries, fears, and dark imaginings calmly and with reasoned thinking takes away the emotions that fries your brain and make it difficult for you to think, decide, and act.

Even if it’s just for a 5 minute block, write it down on paper so you can see it in black and white.  Identify the cause of your worry, why it worries you, and the worst-case scenario — in many cases, the probability of that actually happening is very low, so that can take a load off the emotional and cognitive burden you’re carrying.

Worrying harder doesn’t help, and only wears you out.  Rest and fuel –mental, emotional, and physical — is simply taking care of your best asset, you. Away from work, really take time out; spend time with your VIP – your very important people, with or without fur.

Plan quiet time. Don’t be afraid to ask for help — insisting on going it solo even when it already is hurting you is an increasing sign of burnout.  Learn to delegate, and to say no.

Be organized. Skew your personal productivity to reasonable and sustainable levels. Take control where you are able to.  Be kind to yourself.

 

Now, ever been so overstimulated by all the stuff on your to-do list that some mindless game is the only outlet? Here’s a few very low-stress interactive activities:  Jellotime by Rafael Rosendal, or Pop the bubblewrap.

Feel the weight of the world on your shoulders? Put things in perspective:

100,000 Stars is an incredible, interactive start chart that lets you see just how and where we stand in the Milky Way. Take the tour, it’s amazing!

Watch Carl Sagan’s famous ‘The Pale Blue Dot’ speech, which was featured in the 2014 show ‘Cosmos: A Space Time Odyssey’ – Episode 13 ‘Unafraid of the Dark’

Need to step away and go to a clean, calm place away from everybody?

Calm.com – Pick your visual focus (golden light carving its way through clouds, a rainy forest, a river flowing, the sun peeking over the horizon) and let the accompanying  sounds sooth you –whether it’s soft rain, birds and instrumentals, water running softly, the sound of the wind moving over the tree tops)

Can you stay still for just 120 seconds? Are you sure?
Listen to the waves and watch for 2 minutes…if you can without touching your mouse or keyboard, actions which would start the count all over.

How about a little art therapy?

You can design  your own  galaxy at this cool site. The slow, meditative pace at which the colors appear makes for a relaxing, appealing visual experience.

Silk is is an interactive generative art designing website, where you can draw and save your own art. You can also go to This Is Sand and create and share amazing colored sand-scapes using your mouse.

Need ambient sound?
MyNoise.net is an amazing ambient sound source and online mixer that helps you tailor your own relaxing and soothing sounds, whether its for ambient background noise, relaxing, or sleep. The sounds range from nature sounds, synthetics,  soundscapes, industrial noises, ‘brainwaves’ and ‘patternscapes’, just to name a few.

Labuat – A Soft Murmur can take a while to load, but when the song “Soy Tu Aire” plays, you can use your mouse to guide the line. It even records your movements for your playback.

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