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The Need to Rewind The Clock

We shouldn’t have to remind ourselves to be balanced, but unfortunately as imperfect creatures who too often get lost in the daily grind, we need to prompt ourselves to be better adjusted.

Though the act of actually telling yourself to be more balanced may seem counterproductive, it is necessary that we realize stress triggers take up time and channel our focus in negative ways.

As important as the many things around us are, it is also essential to take a moment to self-sustain.

Not getting enough rest, heavy schedules and too much work to do can have detrimental effect on health and wellbeing. One study found that a group of students who concentrated on their studies for more than 16 hours a week with late night work sessions actually performed poorer on vocabulary assessments, and when reassessed 5 years later they did not score as well on reasoning. Researchers on this study concluded that operating long hours and successive late nights could decrease mental function and compared it to being as unhealthy as smoking.

Though it is much easier said than done, it is important to take your time to do things and try to not take on too many things at once. We can not only overschedule our time but also our brains. Then we end accomplishing less even though we think we are doing more because we are multitasking. Some levels of stress can be motivational, but when it goes beyond more than what is realistically capable it becomes easy to get overwhelmed.

A lot of us go back and forth between being relaxed and then highly stressed, or sometimes just being in a constant state of stress for long periods. This causes an emotional and physical toll, makes our systems react and then they can become unbalanced as well. Our sympathetic nervous system responds to this stress and its opposite counterpart, the parasympathetic nervous system is a key component in reducing stress. When it is activated, it causes a sense of calmness and allows the body and mind to relax.

Taking time to reassess what really counts is important, especially when you are exhausted from the day’s events. It may be hard to steal some time each day, but at least a few times a week try de-cluttering the mental lists that have built up and reorganize. Doing what sustains you, whether it is spending time alone or with others, getting adequate rest, participating in a hobby, exercise, eating energy packed foods or staying hydrated, is needed to reduce stress.

We all have never-ending to-do lists, but knowing that they are just that, perpetual lists that will not end no matter how many chores we cross off, can help put things in perspective. There will always be things that have to be done, but when undertaking daily feats raises the tension bar, remember to regroup and check your balance.

Bernhard, T. September 13, 2011. Four Tips for Slowing Down to Reduce Stress. Retrieved from PsychologyToday.com


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