Stress is a complex chain reaction, happening on a physical and hormonal level. In other words: Stress not only happens in your mind but in your whole body. And this is actually good news, because it enables you to control your stress by managing something which is easily managed: Your body.

As a rule of thumb, you can say that a healthy body is less easily stressed. And the foundations of a healthy body are well known. Healthy nutrition, enough sleep and a sufficient amount of exercise. Those things are not exactly new insights. Since ages, people more or less know about what makes or breaks a healthy body. However, what is much less known are the positive consequences of a healthy body. For example the ability to better cope with stress.


Taking care of your body by exercising regulary, reducing the amount of processed food and sleeping for at least 7 to 8 hours per day will improve the resistance of your body in a relatively short amount of time. You will not only feel better but also feel less exhausted.


But maintaining a healthy body is not the ultimate answer to stress. You also need to take care of the other part. Your mind.

When we or somebody different set ourselves tight deadlines we tend to panic. We start questioning if we will be able to deliver not only on time but also within the expectations of our boss or ourselves. In such situations, our mind can become our worst enemy. Fear is an ancient mechanism to help us survive. It helped us to flee dangerous situations or fight in situations were fleeing was not an option. However, today we seldom need to choose between fleeing and dying. Our environment changed, but our brain is still the same.

Therefore it is not uncommon for our mind to start panicking when we are confronted with difficult tasks. Nevertheless, instead of helping us to overcome the situation, our panic just worsens it. By worrying or panicking our mind creates new stress, which gets stacked on top of the existing stress. Not a good situation to cope with difficult situations.

It’s important to find a way to let panic and fear go, especially when facing difficult tasks, tight schedule or almost impossible deadlines. But while that sounds easy in theory, how can you realize this practically? The first step lies in recognizing this mechanism. Start observing your reactions, when you face stressful situations. Ask yourself, what causes the stress right now. Your environment or your reaction to it?

Observing won’t let your stress disappear, but it creates the foundation of reacting to it in a better, more healthy way. By observing you will enable yourself to start focusing on what’s happening around you and instead of wasting your energy and concentration on worrying you will actually be able to start executing.

By focusing on what lays in front of you, you also avoid getting crushed under the pressure of what comes next. Step by step you will be able to check the boxes on your to-do list, reducing the pressure bit by bit.

Sometimes working hard just doesn’t cut the edge. Instead of working at full speed all the time, you should start considering working smart instead. Creating breaks for regeneration and focused work. Start prioritizing, organizing and asking for help where it is possible. By investing in those skills you will not only become more productive it will also improve your quality of life. Not only at work but also in your free time.

Another important aspect is to be realistic. No matter how good your time management skills are or how focused you’re at work. If the workload is too much, you won’t be able to deliver on time. Try to be honest, adaptable and realistic to yourself and make the most out of your given time.

If you find it hard to concentrate, prioritize or focus, you could start practicing mindfulness, meditation or yoga. Those practices will not only improve your wellbeing and your health, but they will also teach you how to be more present, which directly translates in the ability to work focused and deliver your best work.

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