There are many reasons you can feel stressed at any given time, it could be due to a job or a strain on a relationship or any personal reason. Whatever the cause, it is best to aim to identify it from early on. Please keep in mind that the worst thing you can do to try and deal with your stress is to turn to unhealthy methods, such as drinking and/or smoking. Furthermore, ignoring the problem will only amplify your feelings of stress.
The best thing you can do is try and gain some control over the situation, build up some emotional strength, utilise and communicate with your social network and aim to adopt a more positive outlook on everything.
Here are some tips of how to reduce your levels of stress.
Try not to remain passive. If you think there is no way out of the problem, chances are you are wrong and that you haven’t yet considered how you could gain control over the situation. One of the main causes of stress is in fact the feeling of the loss of control. Make it your priority to gain even just a bit of power of the problem, and your stress will consequently become reduced.
Have some time to yourself
In some situations which cause stress, time to yourself is needed in more ways than one. You need time for yourself away from work to relax and socialise, after all in the UK requires the longest working hours in Europe.
You may also need some time away from the situation to think it through and come back with a solution. This is not an opportunity to ignore what is causing the stress, this is so that you can remove yourself from the situation in order to make a clear judgement.
Connecting and communicating with your friends, family and colleagues can act as a way to ease your worries because you can talk things through with them and receive third party opinions. In times of stress we often overthink, so talking to others can put things into rational perspective. You may find reassurance in connecting with others, which can really help when under a lot of pressure.
Even just something as simple as having a laugh with friends can help you relax – laughter is a fantastic stress reliever.
Set yourself goals
Challenge yourself. Take yourself out of your comfort zone. Set out a few goals whether that be at work or in your daily life. This could be learning a new language or recipe or simply aiming to do housework to make sure your environment is pleasant. Learning something new is great as it gives you something to focus on and will help to build up confidence.
Put things into perspective
Helping others who are in need of it can help you feel a sense of fulfilment, as well as helping to put your own problems into perspective – others may be in a far worse situation than you at the given time.
If you have time to spare, consider taking up volunteering. If not, consider helping someone out each day, no matter how small that may be – it could simply be offering to make the round of teas and coffees.
Try to be positive and look at all that is right with your life, rather than what is wrong at this current moment – chances are, the stress you are going through is temporary, for example when going through the motions of preparing to sell a property which can be very stressful at the best of times (although it may not feel that way). If necessary, write a list for all the things you are grateful for, this should really help to clam you down by putting things into perspective. You could even do this daily, write down three things that went well and that you are proud of each and every day.
And finally for putting things into perspective, you may need accept the things you cannot change. Try to focus on the things within a tricky situation which you do have some control over.
Avoid unhealthy habits
In times of stress, do not let yourself rely on alcohol, cigarettes, drugs or caffeine as means of coping. Studies have shown that men are far more likely to do this, whereas women are more likely to seek out help from their social circle – which is obviously the healthy option.
Unhealthy habits are likely to lead to knew problems rather than solving the ones you already have. While they may provide temporary relive, they will never be able to make your problems go away.