5 Effective Ways To Manage Stress

Ways to manage stress

How important is it to find ways to manage stress?

Stress gets a lot of negative press. It’s not only bad for your mental health, it affects your physical health too. So, before we jump into ways to manage stress, how big a problem is ‘Stress’?
 
A UK-wide stress survey found that almost three-quarters of adults (74%) have at some point over the past year felt so stressed they felt overwhelmed or unable to cope.
NHS Choices defines Stress as: “The feeling of being under too much mental or emotional pressure.”  “People have different ways of reacting to stress, so a situation that feels stressful to one person may be motivating to someone else.”
So ‘Stress’ comes from the feeling of being under too much pressure, (not from the pressure itself).
Stress Management techniques fall into two categories:
  1. reduce the pressure
  2. increase your ability to cope.
As you know, I specialise in helping clients with Anxiety, Depression and Stress. Many clients come to me because they are under too much stress. It seems that the stress itself isn’t the problem. The problem’s the anxiety, depression & mental exhaustion caused by stress.
 
This fits in with the NHS Choices definition. The negativity in stress is caused by the feelings we have about our situation & our ability to handle it. 

How To Manage Stress

1. Take some exercise

Try to raise your heart rate for 30 minutes at least every other day. This could be anything from a brisk walk to jogging, going to the gym, swimming and so on. Not only does it put those stress hormones to good use, it’s good for your health and fitness too. Research shows that both of these can benefit your ability to cope.

2. Eat a healthier diet

Even small changes can help. We often find that in stressful times, we eat ‘comfort food’. Our unconscious mind associates certain foods with the love and affection of childhood. We crave chocolate, biscuits, cakes & fast food. These take us back to our childhood when someone was looking after us.

3. Make time to relax

Taking time out to relax helps your mind and your body to recover. You could try listening to music, reading, yoga or use this stress relief hypnotherapy mp3.
 
Be aware – television, computers/laptops/tablets etc don’t provide relaxation. They work more like a pause-button. You might stop thinking about the stress but it doesn’t actually help you recover.

4. Mindfulness

There’s a lot of research about how mindfulness can help you cope. I created this therapy based mindfulness mp3. Many people just like you have found it beneficial in reducing stress. If meditation is for you, then this is a good place to look. It’s great value for money too!

5. Take micro-breaks

Whatever your day holds, however busy it might seem to be, there are always times you can sneak in just for you. Anything from 30 seconds upwards is enough. It all counts.

Here are some ways you can sneak in a micro-break:

  • Walk to the drinks machine/water fountain without your phone. 
  • Have a chat with a colleague about anything except work
  • Take a 60 second time out in the short space between meetings (Here’s a great video to show you how)
  • Do 2 minutes of gentle stretching at your desk.
  • When you get in your car, sit on the bus or train, spend a few moments just breathing quietly.

What’s next?

It can help to find other ways of thinking about stress. Done in a positive way, this can dramatically reduce the negative effects of your stress.

If you want to improve your relationship with stress and the pressures of modern living, just get in touch. Like many others before you, you’ll discover a world where negative stress melts away.


 

Sources

http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/dayslost.htm

https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/news/stressed-nation-74-uk-overwhelmed-or-unable-cope-some-point-past-year

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