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There are few things more dread-inducing than the prospect of staring down a packed tube platform full of stressed out and aggressive commuters at eight in the morning or, even worse, getting gridlocked in that notorious London traffic.

The intense crowds, frequent breakdowns and that wonderful quirk of the Tube wherein it has zero air conditioning or ventilation can make your morning commute feel like a battle march.

Not to worry, though; with a few simple steps you'll soon be bossing that commute like a pro and the stress will soon feel like a distant memory.

Here's how to survive London in rush hour.

Source: Pixaby

Know the Rules of the Game

Anyone who has been in London for more than five seconds will know that there is a Byzantine etiquette system comprising of dozens of rules that must be followed in order to avoid the ire of your fellow passengers.

Most of these rules are honestly just a combination of noise, urban myths and personal preferences, so definitely don't spend too much time getting worked up over whether your platform posture in on point.

As long as you know the few simple essentials, your trip will go more smoothly.

These are; keep your Oyster card ready and in-hand the second you enter the station, stick to the right on the escalators, don't talk loudly and, most importantly, never make eye contact with your fellow commuters.

Come Prepared with Distractions

Chances are you'll be dealing with the same commute every day, to the point where you could travel the whole route with your eyes closed.

This kind of commuter autopilot is common, with the positive side being that you should be able to zone out and immerse yourself in less stressful activities during your journey – just remember to keep your wits about you on station platforms and road crossings!

A good online game is always the ideal way to get through the journey, ideally something engaging like a puzzle game or online escapade.

For example, there are now lots of roulette games online, from European to American, that you'll be able to play at any point during your commute when you need to zone out, thanks to that sweet and brand new Tube WiFi.

Your commute is also valuable time in your day that you can use to catch up on things you've been neglecting.

So, read that novel that has been gathering dust, finish that podcast, or simply burn through your emails.

Source: Pixaby

Mix It Up

A morning commute doesn't have to be something to just get through, to be banished to the annals of memory and not thought about until 5 pm. You can actually enjoy it. The best way to do this is by occasionally mixing things up.

Explore your city by walking part of the journey, which might involve having to get out of bed a few minutes earlier but is definitely worthwhile in such a beautiful and varied city as London.

Even just going via a different bus route might feel like a refreshing and pleasant surprise, as seeing your city as new again will remind you why you moved here in the first place.

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We're prone to blaming that belly bloat and break out of chin blemishes on hormones, but now it seems that they can impact your appetite too. 

According to a study, those of us who are inclined to eat late in the evening could blame it all on the hormones.

A report published in the International Journal of Obesity examined the connection between late eating and hormonal spikes and dips. 

In fact, the report found that the hunger hormone levels rise and satiety hormones drop in the evening, which can lead to stress eating.

'Our findings suggest that evening is a high-risk time for overeating, especially if you're stressed and already prone to binge eating,' said Susan Carnell, Ph.D, who conducted the study. 

'The good news is that having this knowledge, people could take steps to reduce their risk of overeating by eating earlier in the day, or finding alternative ways to deal with stress,' she said.

The participants fasted before undergoing a stress test, after which they were presented with a buffet. 

Those who over ate at the buffet had spikes of corresponding hunger and stress hormones in their system.  

So, if you're finding yourself snacking into the night, you may want to check your stress levels and practice some mindfulness. 

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Through good times and bad, the humble chocolate bar has always been there for us. 

Whether we're treating ourselves after a hard day's work, trying to drown our period cramps in a sea of hot cocoa, or simply just giving in to those pesky sugar cravings, chocolate is one of the few things we can always count on to put a smile on our face. 

Sure, it's all about moderation, but there are definitely worse ways to relieve stress – and science can prove it. 

Two studies from the Loma Linda University in California have found the the consumption of chocolate can have a positive effect on stress levels, as well as inflammation, mood, memory and immunity. 

However, before you start chomping down on that last emergency Easter egg, you should know that not all chocolate is made equal.

If you want to enjoy all the benefits listed above, you need to be eating dark chocolate with over 70 per cent cocao. 

The study looked at how the flavonoids contained in dark chocolate impacted the human brain, and found that the higher concentration of cacao, the more beneficial effects are to be had.

"For years, we have looked at the influence of dark chocolate on neurological functions from the standpoint of sugar content – the more sugar, the happier we are," says lead researcher Lee S. Berk.

 "This is the first time that we have looked at the impact of large amounts of cacao in doses as small as a regular-sized chocolate bar in humans over short or long periods of time, and are encouraged by the findings.

"These studies show us that the higher the concentration of cacao, the more positive the impact on cognition, memory, mood, immunity and other beneficial effects."

We can't argue with that…

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It's official – millennials are the most stressed-out generation. 

A study commissioned by the American Psychological Association found that millennials are the most stressed of all demographics, from Gen Z to Baby Boomers. 

From the housing crisis to work crisis to the fight for body autonomy, it's no wonder we're all feeling the pressure.

Nearly 40 percent of Millennials said their stress had increased last year, with most rating their stress as a 5.4 on a scale of 1-10. 

While 5.4 might not seem that high, over half of all millennials said that their stress levels had caused them to lose sleep in the last month alone. 

Sleep is a signifiant factor when it comes to setting you up for a productive day, leading to a negative cycle of further stress and sleep loss. 

The main cause of our stress? Why, our careers of course. 

According to the study, 76pc of people named work as a signifiant stress trigger for them. 

Only 39pc of older people found work as stressful. 

With the changes in workplace pace and environment happening on the regular, unemployment levels and rising rent costs despite no rise in wage expectations, it's no wonder some of us are on edge when it comes to work. 

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Sleep deprivation, anxiety, and worries about finances – these are just some of the concerns Irish workers reported in a new study highlighting the significant wellbeing issues that exist among the country's work force. 

It's a scene that has become all too common in workplaces across the country, with more and more employees feeling the mental effect of the stresses of modern working life. 

Laya healthcare collated results from 13,266 health screenings carried out across industry sectors. 

Result show a high level of distress among workers, with 80 per cent admitting that lack of sleep has affected their energy and mood in the past month, while one in five said that sleep deprivation was an ongoing issue. 

With that, 53 per cent said they experience General Anxiety "some" or "most days", meaning that more than half of Irish workers are struggling with mental health issues on a daily basis. 

When it comes to financial stability, 24 per cent said they were "often barely managing" from pay day to pay day. 

Commenting on the findings, Patricia Hyland, Director of Wellbeing and Corporate Sales at laya healthcare, says that emotional health and wellbeing is now the single biggest driver of Health & Wellbeing Programmes in companies and it’s all about the data for employers:

“We are being asked more frequently now by clients how we can help them improve the emotional wellbeing of their employees and how can we measure an uplift in happiness and wellbeing in the workplace. With our technology, we can now deliver anonymised data points that give a revealing 360-degree view on the health and wellbeing of a company." 

The results come ahead of National Workplace Welling Day on Friday, April 13, which aims to promote workplace health and wellbeing among Irish businesses. 

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So, the whole point of taking a holiday is to relax, unwind and indulge in that all important 'me time', right?

Wrong.

According to Cpl Resources' latest Employment Market Monitor, one in three of us actually feel more stressed after taking some time off work.

The report suggests that the expectation to be in constant communication puts many workers at the risk of burning out.

The findings also stressed the importance of having incentives and benefits in place in order to maintain employee moral.

Peter Cosgrove, Director, Cpl Resources said: "New opportunities still appeal to contented workers, so it is important to provide employees with enough incentives and benefits to keep them.

"Companies often invest a lot of time and money in hiring new candidates, but these figures show that it is worth focusing on managing the talent already in the company."

It also emerged that 60 per cent of workers prefer email for communication and while this might be an efficient means of getting messages from one place to another, workers are missing out on vital colleague interactions.

Mr Cosgrove said: "More typing and less talking may be good for efficiency, but it negatively impacts the amount of face to face interaction and relationship-building within the office and with clients."

But hey, even if our stress levels are set to peak, we probably won't care when we're sipping cocktails by the pool.

Sayonara! 

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So, we're all aware of the physical benefits of cycling.

The low impact exercise can greatly improve cardiovascular fitness, increase muscle strength and flexibility and even lead to lead better posture and coordination.

But, the health benefits don't end there. A new study has found that choosing a bike over a car for your morning commute could actually help reduce stress and improve your work performance.

Researchers at Concordia University compared how different modes of transport affected the stress levels of workers.

The results suggested that cycling to work is the best way to start your day if you are feeling stressed.

Lead author, Stéphane Brutus, said, "Employees who cycled to work showed significantly lower levels of stress within the first 45 minutes of work than those who travelled by car.”

123 employees at Autodesk, an information technology company in Old Montreal, were asked questions about their mood, perceived commuting stress and mode of travel through an online survey.

Researchers only assessed answers from respondants who completed the questionnaire within 45 minutes of arriving at work to ensure a more accurate report.

Brutus notes that this time specification was the study's major innovation.

"Recent research has shown that early morning stress and mood are strong predictors of their effect later in the day," he explains.

"They can shape how subsequent events are perceived, interpreted and acted upon for the rest of the day."

He added, "There are relatively few studies that compare the affective experiences of cyclists with those of car and public transport users," says Brutus, an avid cyclist himself. "Our study was an attempt to address that gap."

What's more, previous studies have found that cyclists perceived their commute as being less stressful than those who travelled by car.

So, if you find you're constantly starting the day off on the wrong foot, a pedal-powered commute could be the answer you've been searching for. 

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We all know music can have a soothing effect, but how many of us automatically reach for it in the height of stressful or anxious period?

Well, according to neurologic music therapist, Elizabeth Nightingale, listening to music during an anxious period can have a profoundly positive physiological impact.

From lowering your blood pressure and slowing your heart rate to reducing stress hormones, the power of music cannot be underestimated.

“Classical music has been found to induce relaxation and increase dopamine, which is a neurotransmitter that helps elevate mood,” Eliazabeth of Chiltern Music Therapy explains.

“But music is subjective, so anything that you find calming will have these physiological benefits and will help to reduce anxiety."

It is, however, important to remember that you need to give your chosen music your complete focus if you want it to have the desired effect.

"If there aren’t any competing stimuli, the music is given the maximum chance to benefit," Elizabeth continues.

This theory has been examined in recent years by Daniel J. Levitin, PhD, who studies the neuroscience of music at McGill University in Montreal

Levitan found that music improves the body's immune system function and reduces stress.

His research which was published in Trends in Cognitive Sciences in 2013 and established that listening to music was also found to be more effective than prescription drugs in reducing anxiety in a patient prior to surgery.

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You walk back into the office at 9am sharp. You take a seat and soon realise you have five meetings to attend, your computer has burst into flames and you have 150 emails to reply to.

And then you think, 'this time last week I was having breakfast by the sea'.

Image result for back to work gif

Yep, going back to work after taking a trip away is a bit of a bummer, but you'll soon settle back into normality.

So, if you have even a sliver of the post-holiday blues hanging on your shoulders, here are four ways to make it better.

1. Buy your favourite coffee

Take a few minutes before work to buy your fave three-shot mocha, and just sit back and relax.

Winding yourself up about all the work you have to do will do you no favours. So, just chill for a minute. You can handle it.

café, coffee, cup

2. Catch up with your work wives

You might dread being back in the office setting, but we're sure your work wives are just dying to find out how your holiday was.

Grab a cuppa (you will have a lot of hot beverages on your first day back), and take a minute to chat to them in the kitchen.

Just talking about your fab holiday memories will turn that frown upside down.

Woman in Yellow Long Sleeved Dress Standing Beside Man in White Blue Crew Neck T Shirt

3. Take a walk at lunch

Just a mere two days ago you were walking along the beach, we know, we know. Now your back sitting in your office chair for eight hours.

Do yourself a solid and take a walk a lunch. It'll clear your head after replying to those 100+ emails.

adult, audience, celebration

4. Plan something exciting

We know you literally just stepped off the plane, but having nothing to look forward to can be a bit… well, sh*t.

So, whether it's a small getaway a couple of months from now, or simply a night out with the girls, start planning something that you can get excited about.

Black Pen on White Writing Spring Notebook Between White Ipad and White Ceramic Mug With Latte on White Plate

Going back to work after some time off can be hard, but it really isn't all that bad. You'll no doubt be back up to speed in no time.

Image result for i slay gif

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A high-pressure working environment can be one of the leading contributors to stress levels, and in turn can take a toll on your physical and mental health.

Or at least that’s what we thought?

Well, a recent study from Indiana University revealed that those of us with stressful careers are actually around 30 per cent less likely to die young than our chilled out peers.

But, there’s a catch. It all depends on whether or not you have control over your own workload.

Researchers surveyed thousands of working professionals in their 60s about their work life, and the results showed that those who had the ability to control their own workload were 34 per cent less likely to have died.  

Head researcher, Erik Gonazlez-Mule, had this to say about the results:  

‘‘These findings suggest that 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.’’

‘’When you don’t have the necessary resources to deal with a demanding job, you do this other stuff. You might eat more, you might smoke, you might engage in some of these things to cope with it.’’

So, if you’re lucky enough to have a high-pressure job that also allows you to make your own decisions, get ready for a long and healthy life. 

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The pressures associated with today's career-driven society means your mental health can suffer, and caring for it can take a backseat as you attempt to make strides in your chosen field.

A recent study by the Institute of Directors found that only 14 per cent of businesses have a policy in place to help an employee who is suffering with mental health issues.

And to further that, staff using sick days for their mental health has risen by 25 percent over the past number of years.

Image result for stressed in work

Work can be hella stressful, and even the best of us can be brought down by deadlines, bad reports, or simply, just a few bad days.

So, to help you when you're feeling a bit down, here are five steps to take to boost your mood and not let work get the better of you:

1. Take notes

Keep a work notebook and write down the various situations and tasks that make you feel the most stressed or give you anxiety. 

Recording your thoughts and seeing them on paper can be great for clearing your mind, and combating whatever issues you may have.

 

2. Create boundaries

With today's technology, it can seem like you're on the go 24/7. Even if a work email arrives in your inbox at 9pm, most people feel inclined to reply.

Establish some boundaries for yourself and make sure you switch off by a certain time each day. Relax your mind and forget about work.

 

3. Recharge

While a lot of Irish businesses don't have mental health guidelines in place, there's no issue with using your holiday days.

Plan to do some of your favourite activities on those days, and don't even think about work. By letting yourself recharge, you'll be more relaxed when stepping back into the workplace.

 

4. Have an open conversation

If work is really getting you down and you feel like it's making a negative impact on your mental health, talking to your boss/supervisor could be very beneficial.

Have an honest conversation about how your feeling, and clarify what might make things better. It might be scary to open up, but a weight will be lifted off your shoulders when you do.

 

5. Speak to a professional

If you feel like your mental health is on a downward spiral, help yourself by talking to a professional.

There are numerous websites, call lines and counselling services here in Ireland that can help you with any issues you might have.

You can check out Mental Health Ireland for a list of services or visit Grow to look at resources in your area.

Image result for counselling services

Remember, you are more important.

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We all have good and bad days in work – that's a given.

There are, however, some professions which really know how to bring it on the stress front.

From looming deadlines and inordinate demands to physical hazards and the risk of death, some career moves aren't for the fainthearted, and job opportunity website CareerCast has gotten busy compiling a list of the ten most stressful ones out there.

According to their survey, a round of applause is needed for anyone who is currently employed in any one of the following ten jobs.

10. Broadcaster

9. Taxi driver

8. Public relations executive

7. Corporate executive

6. Newspaper reporter

5. Event coordinator

4. Police officer

3. Airline pilot

2. Firefighter

1. Enlisted military personnel

Oh, and if we're giving props to those who have taken on any of the above, let's doff our caps to the lads and ladies who 'apparently' had the sense to choose a job which eventually made its way on to CareerCast's Least Stressful Jobs of 2017 list.

Take it away, lads…

10. Medical Laboratory Technician

9, Pharmacy Technician

8. Operations Research Analyst

7. Jeweller

6. Medical Records Technician

5. University Professor

4. Audiologist

3. Hair stylist

2. Compliance Officer

And the least stressful job for 2017?

1. Diagnostic Medical Sonographer

Hmmm… we're sure the good folk working these gigs will have something to say about that…

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