Overview

Find your personal way to balance out stress

Life becomes more hectic all the time. A quarter of Swiss employees are stressed and exhausted. That's 1.3 million people. Find the right balance to stay fit. Too much stress causes illness.

Whether Pilates, boxing, slacklining or knitting – your personal relaxation and refuelling methods depend on your preferences and interests. People who mostly sit in an office will perhaps require a physical challenge to remain balanced. Those who perform strenuous physical work might better achieve work-life balance with autogenic training. There is no magic formula, as we each have our own special ways of finding a balance. But for all of us, it is true that we need a healthy balance between activity and relaxation in order to remain fit. Chronic stress leads to illness, resulting in sleep disturbances, dizziness, stomach problems, headache and back pain, allergies, memory troubles, even depression and burnout. Be aware, notice warning signs, and increase your personal resilience. Whether or not a situation becomes stressful also depends strongly on our personal attitude and how we deal with challenges. Various coping strategies can help you better handle difficult situations.

Tips and inspiration to help you achieve balance

Saying no
You don't have to handle everything on your own or right away. Set priorities and learn to say no. Not everything depends on you.
Breaks
During your work, take a five-minute break at least every 90 minutes. Briefly leave your workstation, drink a glass of water, or stretch your back muscles. You won't lose time this way – you will be more productive.
Perfection
You don't need to do everything perfectly. Doing something well is usually perfect enough. The Pareto principle states that 20% of effort leads to 80% of results. Substantially more energy is needed for the remaining 20%. This is not always worth it.
Mindfulness
Mindfulness means focusing on the present moment instead of jumping ahead in your thoughts to future tasks. Brain research shows that mindfulness affects our body. Everything becomes more relaxed, endorphins are released, complaints and problems grow smaller, and decisions become clearer. Learn about mindfulness in an eight-week MBSR course.
Exercise
Exercise is the most effective way to reduce stress, says training expert Thomas Mullis. Especially endurance sports such as hiking, jogging, cycling and swimming. Do you prefer dancing? Anything you find fun is allowed.
Sleep
Sleep deprivation causes stress and stress leads to insomnia. Are you sleeping deeply and long enough? Most people need between seven and eight hours of sleep every night. Anyone who sleeps much longer without an alarm clock should start going to bed half an hour earlier. Avoid looking at screens before going to bed. LED light wakes us up. Trouble falling asleep can be helped with teas containing lavender, honey, balm, orange blossom, hops and valerian. Would you prefer a bath with essential oils? Calming music? Give it a try!
Fresh air
Nature has a refreshing and calming effect. Go for a walk outdoors. Why not have lunch by the water, or enjoy dinner as a picnic in the park or woodlands? A change of routine is always welcome.
Humour
People with a good sense of humour are better at handling stress. Laughter helps regulate emotion, reduce tension, change your perspective and restore optimism. It stimulates the release of hormones that are good for our health, such as beta endorphins, which combat depression, and human growth hormone (HGH), which supports a strong immune system.
Breathing
Calm, deep breathing immediately relaxes the mind and body. SOS tip: Inhale slowly and deliberately while counting to four, filling first your abdomen, then your chest. Exhale very slowly while counting to six. First empty your chest, then your abdomen. Repeat this exercise four times. You can intensify the experience with breathing exercises and autogenic training.
Nutrition
Balanced and varied nutrition powers your brain and body. Avoid processed foods, which contain a lot of sugar and fat. Take time to eat. Don't just gulp down a sandwich, and don't skip meals, either. This will only harm your productivity. And don't eat alone, because company is good – and not only when cooking and eating. Socialising with others is the most important stress buffer of all. You can also get inspiration from these anti-stress nutrition tips.
Staying calm
It is almost always our thoughts that make us stressed, not external events. Positive thinking is an important coping strategy. We often get annoyed by small things, such as a long queue or a missed train. But how bad is the situation, really, on a scale from one to ten? Distance yourself from the problem. This makes room for new solutions.
Go off-line
Take time away from digital devices – a "digital detox". We become overwhelmed when we are always available, with messages piling up and a constant flow of information. True rest only comes from deliberately turning off our mobile phone, TV, computer, etc.
Relaxation training
Muscle relaxation (PMR), meditation, tai chi, qi gong, MBSR and other targeted relaxation methods help to reduce stress symptoms and restore calm. Ideally, you should build a daily set of exercises into your routine.
Volunteering
People who volunteer to help others, the environment or a good cause find life to be more meaningful and enjoy a greater sense of self-esteem. Volunteering can also open up new perspectives.

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