That gut-wrenching, stress-induced churning feeling in the pit of your stomach isn't a good way to start any day – especially when the start of your day influences and impacts the rest of the day.
Stress is going to be part of your working day today. Trying to avoid or deny that fact traps you in a cycle of more stress and anxiety. Avoiding and denying stress will have you waking up feeling the same way every morning (anxious and stressed).
Break this cycle of stress and anxiety by making your mornings better with these five stress-reducing techniques to use before work.
#1: ACCEPT STRESS
Carl Jung put it best when he said 'What you resist, persists'. Don't aim for a stress-free day. Don't try and avoid stress. Don't play tough and think you can deny stress. Instead, use stress as the necessary motivator to get you out of bed in the morning. Use it as your fuel. By working with stress, you'll feel 100% more focused and energised compared to working against it.
#2: SHIFT YOUR ENERGY
You can use the energy that comes with stress to create more stress, or you can channel it for something good. The instant you get that gut-churning feeling in the morning, get yourself out of bed and don't procrastinate. Focus that energy and get the blood flowing by doing something physical. The exercise doesn't need to be anything too strenuous that it wakes up the entire house. Stretching will do – star jumps if you're feeling extra perky. A brisk 10-minute walk in fresh air is said to cure-all.
#3: GET INSPIRED
Music offers an instant inspirational lift. Put that song on you like. Use it as your alarm on your phone so its the first thing you hear when you wake up. Rather than jump straight into your emails or social media, watch or read something that inspires you – a book or motivational talk, for example. (Viral funny animal videos also included.) If you've got the time in the morning to check your emails or social media, you've got the time to spend on yourself.
#4: CHECK YOUR BELIEF SYSTEM
Have you watched Usain Bolt before a race? You might see him talking to himself as he looks toward the finish line. He's picturing himself winning the race before it's even started. Believing he can win is half the battle. What do you believe about work? Do you think today is going to be a challenging day full of unwanted stress? Do you think you're going to struggle to cope? You might want to check your belief system and alter it if necessary. It's uncanny how what you think and believe comes true.
#5: USE YOUR PREP
If you didn't prepare for work the night before, you're already at a disadvantage when you wake up. Stress and anxiety cling onto the 'unknown'. Without a good routine, including knowing what the plan is for today, you are more likely to stress about it. Having a clear plan and strategy gets rid of the unknown. Make sure your to-do list is done the night before, and focus on it as soon as you wake up. You've got your plan, now go for it. With this level of prep and focus, there is simply no time for bad stress.