Stress affects us all. Every so often, life seems to throw a curveball. How we respond to this external or internal factor can be described as a symptom of stress. It can manifest in different ways for all of us. The key is to recognise these changes as a symptom of stress and try to understand and manage it.
WHAT IS STRESS?
Stress is the body’s reaction to a real or perceived harmful situation. It can be produced from different sources such as a car accident or as pressure from home, work, family, relationship, health, financial or social situations. Stress can have an overwhelming effect on our being.
Symptoms can manifest as:
Physical - E.g. sleepless nights, headaches.
Emotional - E.g. agitated, low self-esteem, feelings of loss of control.
Cognitive - E.g. worrying, poor judgement.
Behavioural - E.g. changes in appetite, use/increased use of alcohol/cigarettes/drugs.
Gone are the days where we need to hide these symptoms and pretend that we are okay. There are many psychologists, counsellors and medical professionals available to help those struggling with the symptoms of stress.
16 TIPS TO HELP REDUCE STRESS:
Talk to someone that you feel comfortable with. This can be a friend, family member, neighbour or perhaps a health professional.
Try to understand what could be causing your stress and the steps needed to possibly ease it.
Take a walk in nature, listen to the birds singing.
Watch a comedy. Laughter can help lighten the mood.
Read a light-hearted book. Books are a wonderful way to escape reality for a bit.
Make your favourite meal. This can bring a sense of joy.
Eat healthy meals. Well-balanced nutrition can prevent illness in times of stress.
Reduce alcohol consumption and try to hydrate the body with water rather.
Try to sleep well. Reduce caffeine consumption. Put your phone away and try to get a peaceful sleep.
Listen to music and dance. If not a distraction, it gets you up and moving.
Try doing at least 20min of your favourite exercise. This can bring on the feel-good endorphins post-exercise.
Try meditation and calming techniques. Try a new form of exercise or relaxation like yoga.
Avoid negative talking and spend more time with people who are positive in their approach.
Spend time with friends or family. If people are far away, the wonders of technology allow us to video call each other so that it still feels like a social visit in your living room.
Organise any clutter in your life. Perhaps that bedroom or passage cupboard that you can’t find anything in. Reorganising something as simple as a cupboard can generate feelings of control and order again.
Learn a new skill. This can give feelings of empowerment and an improvement in self-worth.