If you’ve ever been stressed, you can probably pinpoint a time when your mind wasn’t quite as focused as you wanted it to be. It’s not easy to collect your thoughts during frazzled moments.
But refocusing your mind during stress requires understanding, managing, and even preventing your stress triggers from the very beginning.
Here are 9 tips on how to do this:
Take a Brain Break
Both your body and mind can max out. Take a one- to five-minute break every hour and a half to allow your brain time to recharge. After, you might be surprised that you are even more focused and productive.
Technology can support your brain function by helping you keep track of your tasks and time, or facilitating your work with more accuracy and efficiency. While doing this, though, it can also overstimulate your mind. Take a screen break by getting some fresh air outdoors, going for a quick walk, connecting with a friend, or closing your eyes and taking a few deep breaths.
Organize and Prioritize
Stress can mount when your mental checklists become a jumbled mess. Try prioritizing your tasks in three columns: “have to,” “need to,” and “love to.” This allows you to filter your to-dos based on your obligations, goal-based tasks, and things that make you happy.
We talked about cleaning up your task list, but what about your work space? Organized, clean work areas are soothing to the brain, create less distractions, and help you find things easily, which prevents the stress of scrambling to find something important when you need it.
It’s hard to say no. Fear of missing out or worrying about of not living up to others’ expectations are stressful feelings; however, if you are feeling overwhelmed and you —and your mind—are spread thin, say “no” when you need to.
Physical exercise is one of the best ways to cope with the symptoms of stress because it gets your heart rate up, increases your blood flow, and helps your mind focus on something positive.
It also increases the “happy” hormones in your body, so you can feel better emotionally and physically. Even short bursts of physical activity in your day can help your mind refocus and even perform better.
If you’re mentally exhausted, take a minute to reach out to a supportive person in your life.
Hearing the voice of a friend or family member can help you feel more connected to others, which improves your sense of support and clarity in completing tasks and achieving goals.
Stress is a response based on how you perceive the world around you, causing a cascading chain of events when you experience negative feelings: fear, disappointment, sadness, or being overwhelmed —to name a few. So, refocus your mind on the positive aspects of your life (things for which you are grateful) to create a calmer state of mind.
Ask for Help
Friends and family can be lifesavers for you when you have more on your plate than you can currently handle. But for those times in life when your responsibilities may become overwhelming, Disney offers an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to help with finding balance in your life. Relationship, financial, self-care concerns and more are all areas you can discuss your needs with a counselor. Your first five visits per issue are free under the Disney EAP. For more information on Disney EAP benefits, click here or call 1-800-952-6676.
It’s important to note that symptoms of stress are different for each person; they can show up as a wide range of emotions, physical feelings and behaviors. That said, take some time to think about how your stress tends to appear. Recognizing these frazzled moments will cue you to refocus by putting these tips into practice.