5 Modern Day Stresses To Avoid At All Cost

We live in a fast-moving, ever-changing VUCA world. Stress, depression and burnout symptoms are more apparent than ever before. Our long lives are filled with all sorts of stress. Fortunately, the 5 things listed here are easy to avoid…

 

STAYING UP LATE LEADS TO SLEEP DEPRIVATION

I have a friend who is always staying up late (working). He is overweight, smoking and tired. A little more sleep would change his world.

The physiological effects of sleep deprivation are numerous, ranging from yawning and minor irritability to confusion and depression …passing by headache and obesity. How much sleep does an adult need?

  • According to the American National Sleep Foundation, a sufficient amount of sleep is defined as “a sleep duration that is followed by a spontaneous awakening and leaves one feeling refreshed and alert for the day”.
  • Simple and quick research suggests that 7-9 hours between the hours of 8pm and 8am is about right
  • In his book “The 4 Hour Body“, Tim Ferris says that these common sleep patterns are not always what is needed. The minimum effective dose of sleep is what gives us enough REM sleep and physical rest over a 24 hour period. It really doesn’t matter if you get that in one go or in several smaller sleeps (regular polyphasic sleep or just an occasional good old fashioned siesta).
  • A 1 hour reduction in sleep on one night (compared to your average) is all it takes to creep into the effects of deprivation.

 

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

As a general rule, if you are wondering if you sleep enough, you probably don’t.

  • Tip number 1 = go to bed just a little bit earlier 🙂
  • Tip number 2 = turn off your alarm when you can. Some highly productive people set their alarms even when they don’t need to, as if it were a sin to sleep in. Don’t. Let your body wake you up when it wants to.
  • Tip number 3 = try a mini-siesta. If you have 10 minutes during the day, jump in bed. If you are at work, nip out from the office to your car, or just put your head on your desk for 10 minutes. Even if you don’t sleep, its better than nothing.

 

 

DANGEROUS MULTI-TASKING

Although productive and efficient people consider multi-tasking to be a strength, the risks of today’s most classic multi-tasked tasks are enormous:

 

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

  • Tip number 1 = Try doing one thing at a time for just one day and see how it goes.
  • Tip number 2 = The next time you have to chop vegetables or vacuum the house, try a little mindfulness. Concentrate fully on what you are doing, instead of rushing to get to the next job. And don’t listen to music for once. Even if you think that’s boring, focus on the movements and actions you are actually doing.

 

 

MINI-FOCUS ON MINI-SCREENS (ALL DAY LONG)

The use of smartphones continues to rise at a crazy rate:

 

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

If you, like me, love your smartphone, follow these eye-gonomics tips from The Vision Council:

  • Tip number 1 = Take regular breaks
  • Tip number 2 = Maintain an appropriate distance
  • Tip number 3 = Remember to blink!

 

 

TOO MUCH TV If you don’t use a smartphone or computer all day, you might feel like its OK to watch as much TV as you do. But how much are you watching? According to AC Nielsen, the average Americans watches 4 hours a day. That’s 1460 hours a year. And if you start at 16 years old and live to 80, that’s 11 years over a life time ! And according to a study by the Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board (BARB) referenced in the Independent, the average Brit is watching more TV than ever.

 

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

  • If you watch TV every night, make a promise that for just one night this week you will do something else. Read a book, play a game or just go to bed.
  • Watch a movie. Pick a short one, but watch a DVD, turn on the TV just before a film starts or watch something you have recorded. Anything to be sure there is a finite start and end time.
  • Stop watching TV series that never end. If you are “on” season 6, this is a good sign it is going nowhere!

 

 

SUPERSIZING IMPLIES STRESS AND “EXTRA WEIGHT”

Food. Houses. Cars. Special offers. We always seem to supersize our purchases. I think this is a modern-day sickness, based on our ever-evolving obsession with growth and instant gratification.

In the comedy-drama-documentary “Supersize Me” (2004) Morgan Spurlock looked at the impact of this phenomenon by only eating McDonalds for one month. No surprises for guessing the result: Yep – fatty fast food leads to fatty slow body!

Supersizing your house might seem like a great way to have more space, but it doesn’t last long. Before you know it you are filling every space with more and more stuff you don’t need. This blog from the New York Times discusses how accumulating things doesn’t make you happy.

 

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

  • Tip number 1 = Don’t take the extra size up because you can. The marketeers know that by offering more for a relatively lower price, you are more likely to buy. But 3 for the price of 2 doesn’t mean you needed the extra one.
  • Tip number 2 = Take some time to reassess what is essential for you. What is the 20% of your house that you are most spending time in and why do you need the other 80% ? For some good ideas, check out this wiki post on how to downsize your home.
  • Tip number 3 = Eat more slowly. How many chips do you actually need to eat to be full up?

 

 

That’s it. Just stop it. Get some sleep, stop multi-tasking, turn off the screens and stay small. Easy!

 

Thanks for reading.

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About Dan Steer

Wandering corporate trainer, learning and development consultant, conference speaker and professional El-Magico. I help people get better at stuff by creating and facilitating Infinite Learning © opportunities. The world would be a better place if everyone was doing what he loved and doing it well. I am working to bring out the "El Magico" in everybody. Training in presentation and communication skills, leadership, social media for learning and marketing, learning and development management + personal effectiveness.

Posted on March 20, 2013, in Self-Effectiveness and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Some great points here and certainly more than a few things I could pay attention to. Our health need not be compromised in order to run a business they we’re proud of!

  2. Great tips.Sleep is something many people take for granted, and truly does affect our stress levels. Thanks for sharing.

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