Stress can be stressful. It can make you have no clue which direction to go in, it can make you flustered, indecisive, anxious and physically unwell. So what IS stress, and what are some simple ways to manage it?
'Stress isn’t always bad. In small doses, it can help you perform under pressure and motivate you to do your best. But when you’re constantly running in emergency mode, your mind and body pay the price. If you frequently find yourself feeling frazzled and overwhelmed, it’s time to take action to bring your nervous system back into balance. You can protect yourself—and improve how you think and feel—by learning how to recognize the signs and symptoms of chronic stress and taking steps to reduce its harmful effects.
Stress is your body’s way of responding to any kind of demand or threat. When you sense danger—whether it’s real or imagined—the body’s defenses kick into high gear in a rapid, automatic process known as the “fight-or-flight” reaction or the “stress response.”
The stress response is the body’s way of protecting you. When working properly, it helps you stay focused, energetic, and alert. In emergency situations, stress can save your life—giving you extra strength to defend yourself, for example, or spurring you to slam on the brakes to avoid a car accident.
Stress can also help you rise to meet challenges. It’s what keeps you on your toes during a presentation at work, sharpens your concentration when you’re attempting the game-winning free throw, or drives you to study for an exam when you’d rather be watching TV. But beyond a certain point, stress stops being helpful and starts causing major damage to your health, mood, productivity, relationships, and your quality of life.'
READ MORE HERE
So, now we know what stress IS how can we start to manage it? Well, this can take a little while but there are simple steps we can all take now to reduce it and over time we can start to utilise techniques to assist us in keeping it in check..
Watch this video for some simple tips...
Articles on how to manage Stress...
'If you're stressed, whether by your job or something more personal, the first step to feeling better is to identify the cause.
The most unhelpful thing you can do is turn to something unhealthy to help you cope, such as smoking or drinking.
"In life, there's always a solution to a problem," says Professor Cary Cooper, an occupational health expert at the University of Lancaster.'
Read Article HERE
Using Self-Help Techniques for Dealing with Stress
'It may seem like there’s nothing you can do about stress. The bills won’t stop coming, there will never be more hours in the day, and your work and family responsibilities will always be demanding. But you have a lot more control than you might think. In fact, the simple realization that you’re in control of your life is the foundation of managing stress. Stress management is all about taking charge: of your lifestyle, thoughts, emotions, and the way you deal with problems. No matter how stressful your life seems, there are steps you can take to relieve the pressure and regain control'
Read Article HERE
So, what are MY tips for managing stress? Ummm, that's a tricky one as if I am honest I am still working on this. But the main things I do are...
2. Get Outside, every day for at least 15 minutes
3. Do all the little tasks that only take a couple of minutes straight away e.g dishwasher, washing, call my Mum, answer those emails...
4. Keep my home tidy - it is true, tidy home, tidy mind. This really helps me feel better if my environment is tidy
5. Listen to music
6. Find an animal and engage with it! Be it forcing one of my cats to cuddle, or trying to chat to a Robin...
7. Learn to say NO - this is a biggie for me, and one I am still working on as I want to do everything and please everyone!
8. Remind myself that the only adult I am responsible for is ME
9. Ask myself on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being death, how important is this 'thing' that is stressing me out?
10. Find someone to laugh with, laughter is A-Mazing!
The list of things I do is endless, but these are the ones I use every, single day. You can develop your own hit list of techniques, but first you need to recognise what is good stress and what is bad stress. You need to work out at what point have you gone past that happy equilibrium from good stress to bad stress. That is the key. So, when your shoulders are aching, you have unexplained headaches, can't sleep, stop for a moment and analyse your life and consider what small changes you can make. And remember, you can say no, and that self care is NOT selfish.