Nov Blog Posts

Stress and Saying Thanks: Preventing Burnout with Gratitude

11/04/2021
Blog Post
Author: Abby

We’ve all been there. You’re in back–to-back meetings, have a huge project that needs to be started, and about a hundred things to do after work. It feels like you just can’t catch a break or take a breath. I had one of those weeks recently. My schedule was packed, and all I needed was an hour to myself. Plus, I needed to get groceries, drop off a package, and pick-up a prescription as soon as the clock hit five.

I wasn’t sure how I was going to get through the day. Thankfully, one of my meetings ended about 20 minutes earlier than expected, and I was able to sit back and re-prioritize. I remembered something from a session I took a while ago, that being mindful and expressing gratitude, even internally, can help decrease stress and improve your mood. In that moment, I centered my breathing, tried to think only in the present, and thought about the things I was grateful for. Even though I only spent a few moments doing this, I felt much calmer and more prepared, knowing that even though everything around me felt hectic, I was going to be okay.

Stress can have negative effects on our bodies and minds, and can lead to health issues like anxiety and depression and increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke. A new study has found that practicing mindfulness, including expressing gratitude, can help reduce the amount of stress-hormone cortisol found in hair. The more we’re stressed, the more cortisol our body produces, which accumulates in our hair. Researchers found that when subjects practiced more mindfulness, the levels of cortisol in their hair decreased. In plain English, mindfulness can decrease stress.

With burnout on the rise, protecting yourself from unnecessary stress and learning healthy coping strategies is more important than ever. Practicing mindfulness and gratitude can help, here are our top tips for grappling with everyday stress.

Gratitude is attitude

It’s easy to be mad and upset when we feel overwhelmed. Who hasn’t wanted to cry thinking about their never-ending to-do list? Instead, work on re-framing your emotions while acknowledging your stress. There’s nothing wrong with feeling overwhelmed, but remind yourself that you are strong and resilient, and you will get through it. Try to focus on one task at a time, slowly but surely, things will feel more manageable. If you start to feel like stress is significantly affecting your life, it may be time to seek professional help. Your HR rep can help you figure out resources and options that are available to you through your benefits, make sure to reach out, they’re happy to help and want you to succeed.

Make a list

If you’re anything like me, you love a good list. That’s why I like to write down a few things I'm grateful for when I start to feel stressed. Even if it’s something that seems small or insignificant, like being grateful that the train was on time this morning, all the way to bigger things, like having access to clean water. I try to write down three things I’m grateful for. It helps me focus and take stock of good things in my life, and I create a handy list to refer to when I start to feel overwhelmed. Putting this list on paper has the added benefit of disconnecting me from my phone or computer for a few minutes, which also helps me focus on gratitude instead of getting distracted by texts or emails.

Busy hands

Picking up a hobby might seem like the last thing you want to do when you’re stressed out. Working on something that keeps your hands busy can help you center your thoughts and focus on the present. Knitting is a perfect example. Your hands are busy with the stitches, helping your brain concentrate only on what is happening now, instead of stressing and worrying about what needs to get done or what you should have done differently. And if you don’t like the finished project, you can always unravel your stitches and start over. Or if knitting isn’t your thing, try origami. This ancient paper folding art will keep your hands occupied, allowing you to concentrate at the task at hand, pun intended.

With Bundle, you can schedule a number of mindfulness sessions for yourself or your work team, like Mindful Knitting Basics for Beginners, Zen Origami, or Demystifying Mindfulness. Contact us today to start your mindfulness journey.

Wellness Wellbeing Gratitude Burnout
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