No chance for stress: how everyday life can be slowed down
New Year New luck. For many, the turn of the year means not only exuberant partying, but also review and plans for the coming year: less stress, more time for family and friends, quitting smoking or more exercise. Especially those who look back on a year with a lot of professional stress and pressure usually have the intention to want to step a little shorter in the new year - precisely because there is always talk of how quickly stress can have a negative impact on health.
Remain realistic with future plans
But it is precisely the good intentions that can quickly put you under pressure: So future plans are fundamentally a good thing, according to the psychologist and fitness economist Korinna Ruthemann from the German University for Prevention and Health Management - the important thing is not to undertake too much, because Excessive stress can have numerous negative effects on the body: back pain, tension, digestion and sleep problems, but also irritated or extremely thoughtful moods could be the result of too much pressure and hectic pace in everyday life, for example.
Too many or unrealistic resolutions for the new year would also cause another problem, because too many appointments and too little time for togetherness would often lead to trouble with the partner. The psychologist therefore advises you to plan ahead with caution: "So that you don't get into the hamster wheel in the New Year because of all the good intentions."
Do not do things in parallel In order to end up having less, rather less, stress in the new year, Korinna Ruthemann recommends that you do not do things at the same time, but one after the other, because it is now known that “multitasking is not really possible. It makes no difference whether this happens in thought or actually - it is generally not possible to focus on several different things at the same time, instead it would simply jump back and forth between the tasks. The result: energy and power would be "pulverized" and could no longer be used effectively.
Doing consciously promotes inner peace and brings the "flow" The principle "one by one" brings yet another advantage, says the psychologist. Because if you only do one thing, you can turn to it very consciously - and conscious action in turn promotes inner peace and the achievement of the so-called "flow", which means a "creative or activity frenzy", i.e. a feeling of complete deepening and merging into one activity.
In order to achieve more inner peace, the expert would often suffice for very small things or changes in (everyday) work. For example, everyday routes, for example to the copier, could be used to become aware of your own movement, your own steps, so that you can automatically pick up some pace. But everyday housework also offers many opportunities to incorporate small "brakes" into the routine and often hectic daily routine - for example, by consciously noticing the water on the skin when washing or concentrating on the scent of the detergent.
Relieving tension through simple breathing exercises According to Ruthemann, doing consciousness pays off in many ways, because “if you do things more consciously, you will notice more quickly when you are tense”. A clear gain, especially in hectic everyday life - because under stress and pressure to perform, many people do not even notice that they have actually run out of energy for a long time and continue to challenge themselves. Often far beyond personal limits. The result: complete exhaustion, burn-out, depression, but also far-reaching physical risks e.g. for heart attacks, allergies, infections or intestinal and stomach problems.
In order to counteract this early on, the expert recommends reducing mental and physical tension with short relaxation exercises. "Just direct your concentration into your body for a moment, tense all muscles with each inhalation and consciously release this tension with the exhalation," Korinna Ruthemann's tip. Through this exercise, those affected could feel how both muscle tension and mental tension would be released. Alternatively, conscious breathing would also be effective in relieving tension: breathing in and out slowly and concentratedly several times a day for one minute at a time could help to slow down your everyday life and achieve more inner peace.
Restricting accessibility Another tip for a 2013 with a little more inner peace sounds simple, but is probably hard to imagine for many in practice: Restricting accessibility. Technological progress makes it possible for us to be reachable anytime and anywhere and often feel that we are literally flooded with information. Even if today's possibilities certainly have many advantages - according to Ruthemann, the constant accessibility and flood of information are a burden for many people "and contribute to the feeling of being caught in the hamster wheel."
Therefore, it is important, according to the expert, to set availability times and, conversely, to consciously switch off the cell phone or PC in the other moments. Here she advises to pause from time to time and consciously avoid the Internet, TV and cell phone - in order to feel “free” from time to time and not to get into the famous hamster wheel. (sb)
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