Feeling a little worried or anxious occasionally is relatively normal, but when it starts to take over your life it’s time to take back control…
Stress seems to be all around us these days… whether it’s coming from you, a colleague or a family member. It can be due to a busy work schedule, family commitments, money worries or organising an important event – regardless of the cause, stress, although transferable, is very individual to the person it affects.
Most people can handle a minor mistake or a tricky situation, however when all these ‘little things’ build up and get thrown into the general busyness of life it can cause your body to go into a mini meltdown. This is extremely common in today’s society.
There were 440,000 reported cases of work related stress in the year up to April 2015 – that’s 1,380 per 100,000 workers – so you are not alone. To help you cope a little better check out these top ten tips…
Exercising regularly is a great way to dispel stressful tension and take your mind off certain issues. Strenuous activity will also stimulate the release of endorphins – brain chemicals that improve your mood.
Connect with people
Spending time with friends and family can drastically improve your mood. They can provide vital support or just a shoulder to lean on. Also, by acknowledging that you are worried about a situation and venting to someone who loves you will help you calm down and logically evaluate the issue.
No matter how busy you are you must make time for food. Not only does it give you a brief moment to chill and focus on what you are eating but it will also help you maintain steady blood sugar levels which will help you stabilise your mood.
What was once reserved for toddlers and playtime has now become an international trend. Adult colouring books have topped many a bestseller lists in recent times partly due to its therapeutic properties. Put under the term ‘mindfulness’ it is a way for people to express themselves in something other than their worries, as well as being a calming influence.
Caffeine is a stimulant that will increase your body’s adrenaline levels – not something you want to add to if you are already stressed. Steer clear of coffee, fizzy drinks and too much tea. How about opting for decaf or a herbal tea?
Laughing feels great doesn’t it? This is probably because having a giggle releases feel good endorphins. Laughing also stimulates circulation and aids muscle relaxation. By allowing your body to freely express emotion will also help to dislodge emotional tensions that can pile up from too much stress.
Getting a reasonable amount of sleep is extremely important. It allows your body to rest and gives you enough energy to be able to deal with situations you have to face the next day.
Breathe and meditate
When you are starting to feel uptight, try to take a mental moment and focus on your breathing. Breathe in for three and out for four, while trying to relax your muscles. Regular meditation is great for people with stressful lives too.
No matter how hard it is sometimes, staying positive is vital. Firstly write down all the things that you are stressed about and get them into perspective. Then try to find something positive – however small – to focus on. A great way to start your day is by reciting three positive things in your life to get yourself into a good frame of mind.
Seek help if needed
If your stress becomes too much and it is affecting your day-to-day life then you need to seek help. Talk to a loved one of course but if it’s more serious you need to find a qualified counsellor who can give you professional advice. Try your GP for a referral or recommendation.