Are you constantly worried? Is it difficult for you to make decisions? Do you feel overwhelmed, irritable and anxious? Or maybe you are eating too much or too little? All these are some of the common symptoms of stress and if you are experiencing any of them you are not alone.
Stress affects us all and it can easily undermine our physical and mental wellbeing when being overlooked – up to 74% of people felt unable to cope due to stress in the last year. But don’t worry, stress is a natural mechanism of our body that help us take on threats or difficulties. The good news is that there are easy ways to cope with it and when managed correctly stress can even help us perform better!
What causes stress?
Take a minute to think about what may be causing you stress. Things like financial troubles, work deadlines, arguments or even positive life changes such as moving to a new house or going on holiday could be taking some of your sleep time at night.
Make the connection between feeling tired or irritable and the pressures you are facing and consider whether you are taking on too much. Sometimes it could be as easy as asking for an extra hand to help you deal with the tasks that are stressing you out!
Unhelpful things you shouldn’t do? Drinking or smoking. These unhealthy choices may make you feel relief in the short-term, but they are doing nothing to help you control and overcome your stress.
How to turn stress into a positive thing
Prioritise your work and focus on the tasks that will make a real difference. Crossing some of these from your to-do list will make you feel like you accomplished something useful that day. Oh! But don’t expect to get rid of all your tasks - this is probably too unrealistic and one of the very first causes of stress.
We all experience events in different ways. For some, losing a job may be a total disaster that affects how they behave and feel. For others, it is a new opportunity to move on to something better. How you choose to see a situation like this is completely up to you.
The best way of controlling your stress levels is by monitoring how you respond to stressful situations. Breathe, think and solve your problem in a structured manner! When everything has been dealt with you could ask yourself: what can I learn from this experience?
Put your problems into perspective. Helping others through volunteering programs may help you understand that your issues are not as hard or difficult to deal with as the ones other people face every day.
Put your trainers on and go for a walk, a run or whatever you feel more comfortable doing! A bit of fresh air feels so good when the pressures are too much!
Yes, being relaxed is also important. Take time to indulge yourself with a nice cup of tea or coffee, do the things you like and make sure you do a bit of them every day!
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