A strange thing happened the other day. It was an extremely busy morning during an extremely busy time at work. I had already taken care of three problem telephone calls, four problem emails, with several more waiting for my attention. I was sitting at my desk trying to decide which fire I wanted to put out next when I noticed my right arm jumping. I looked down in surprise for a few seconds as my bicep muscle jumped beneath my sweater. It was a strange feeling and one I had never experienced before. Then I realize that my heart was beating fast and I was breathing hard. I was feeling overwhelmed. This strange jumping in my right arm had done its job. It had gotten my attention.
How many of you reading this have had this happen? Not necessarily the jumping arm, but the feeling of being overwhelmed? Of feeling like you are moving at warp speed all the time? Like you are being pulled in too many directions? Of having too many irons in the fire? How many of you just continue to go on and on like the energizer bunny until you get a jumping arm, or worse.
My jumping arm was a wake-up call. I had been rushing from the time I arrived to the office. I knew I needed to get myself under control. Feeling all wound up and pressured I might have said or done something that might have gotten me fired or written up. I needed to put myself in timeout. Closing the door to my office I took some steps to get myself back on track.
The first thing I did was take some deep cleansing breaths. Inhaling and exhaling slowly. I closed my eyes and just concentrated on slowing my heart. While my eyes were closed I visualized peaceful places. One of my favorite is the beach in Puerto Rico. I said a prayer of thanks that I had realized that I needed to calm myself down and then I just sat still for several minutes.
Stress is very harmful to the body and can cause some of the symptoms that I experienced that morning. Over time stress can cause long term health problems. We have to be careful that we don’t live our lives in stressful situations, which is very easy to do in this day and age of moving at warp speed. Below are ten things you can do to help prevent stress in your life.
1. Prepare the night before for the next day
2. Have a morning routine
3. Create a “to do” list with the things you want to get accomplished
4. Stick to the list
5. Get up and walk away from your desk
6. Take a lunch break
7. Disconnect from your technology for a while
8. Eat healthy snacks and don’t binge on the junk in the vending machine
9. Drink water during the day
10. Don’t forget to breathe
Photo: Photography is Everything