Stress can be inevitable, especially during current times of crisis that demands some radical life changes. Unfortunately, for those experiencing chronic stress, the issue can result in high blood pressure, heart disease, or even severe weight gain.
Dr. Kevin Dalby, Austin, Texas-based advocate and activist of cancer treatment as well as chemical biology and medicinal chemistry professor at The University of Texas, sees the effects stress daily. Through his cancer studies as well as his exposure to the college environment, Dalby witnesses how toxic stress can be for the human body. To assists others in what ways he can, Dalby takes a moment to explore further a few proven and effective ways to cope with stress during the workday.
- Focus on your reaction
There is a saying that goes along the lines of the only thing we, as humans, have control over is how we react to a situation. High-pressure circumstances can enable stress hormones, and turning on those types of hormones all time can be damaging to your mental and physical health. By targeting your focus on how you react to a situation, you will more likely be able to control your emotions consciously.
Also, consider practicing proactive perspectives that allow you to objectify situations rather than take them personally. You can drop toxic reactions such as anger and defense when learning to depersonalize unexpected issues.
- Be kind to yourself,
Especially when the rest of the world is not such a kind place, it is essential to be your best critic. Around 60,000 thoughts go through your head a day, and when those moments of thinking orbit negativity, it makes it that much easier to lose your cool when you feel stressed. It doesn’t help that it is human nature to gravitate towards the negative, either.
Be your biggest cheerleader, and think positive and uplifting thoughts during the day. When you make a mistake, instead of beating yourself up with how you could have been better, try seeing the cup half full. There is a lot you can learn from mistakes to help you further grow.
- Take breaks
It is healthy for your overall well-being to take breaks during your time spent at the office. Allowing yourself to have a moment alone to unplug or debrief throughout the day will help keep your stress levels low. Taking time away from the office scene is also beneficial to give your eyes a rest from the computer screen. Try stepping outside and sitting in nature or taking a walk for a breather. Exercise can aid in starting the flow of endorphins, which support positive thinking.
- Breathe and Sip
Feeling overwhelmed? Warm-up a cup of chamomile tea and try to practice breathing exercises. Chamomile tea is known to help induce sleep, so it will assist in finding relaxation and calming nerves. Controlled deep breathing, or even a yoga-like breath, can beat back the feelings of anxiety from stress.
About Kevin Dalby:
Dr. Kevin Dalby is a professor of chemical biology and medicinal chemistry, currently working on cancer drug discovery. Kevin Dalby has been interested in the “why” of chemical reactions since he was a student at the University of Cambridge, where he graduated with a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Organic Chemistry. At the College of Pharmacy at The University of Texas, he is examining the mechanisms of nature and cancer to develop new treatments, and teaching and motivating students to conduct research. Dalby is optimistic about the future of cancer treatments.