Science

The Importance of Relaxation: Why You Always Need to De-stress Yourself

By Emil Sarmiento , Oct 18, 2016 05:11 AM EDT
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We've all experienced it in one way or another: stress. When we go through stress, our health suffers, both psychologically and physiologically. A stressful job, in that case, where we're constantly bombarded by problems every day, could be disastrous for our lives, even fatal.

"...Stressful jobs have clear negative consequences for employee health when paired with low freedom in decision-making, while stressful jobs can actually be beneficial to employee health if also paired with freedom in decision-making," said Erik Gonzalez-Mulé, the lead author of a recent study that correlated stress in the workplace and the employee's mortality. In the study, it showed how a stressful job can lead to death.

In an article from Medical Daily's Vishakha Sonawane, it was discussed how a research team from Indiana University led by Gonzalez-Mulé delved into how stressful jobs affect a person's well-being. From the 2,363 participants' seven-year worth of data, the results showed that employees who had little to no control over their jobs had a 15.4 increase in the likelihood of death, as opposed to those in less stressful professions.

Surprisingly, the research also yielded that a 34 percent decrease in the likelihood of death is for those participants who had stressful jobs but had high freedom and full discretionary control over their decisions. This meant that even if a job is stressful if it entailed more problem-solving and critical-thinking, could be beneficial.

"You can avoid the negative health consequences if you allow them to set their own goals, set their own schedules, prioritize their decision-making and the like," Mule concluded. It is, therefore possible, that a stressful job with more responsibilities, is energizing rather than debilitating, as the Hindustan Times article surmised.

Thankfully, there are many ways in order to de-stress and allow us to relax. It isn't just limited to vacations or expensive wellness treatments. Jessica Dilullo Herrin, CEO of Stella & Dot, has a simple way of relaxing.

In her book "Find Your Extraordinary," Herrin believes that taking a few seconds to tune out things that demand your attention can reset your brain.

"By taking three brief mental vacations throughout the day, you're better able to focus and think creatively," Herrin explained. "I tried to break down this idea of mindfulness into a very tactical, actionable and easy way of meditating through the day."

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