What is Stress?
Stress is a normal physical and psychological reaction to positive or negative situations in your life. What’s important is how we deal with stress. Stress can build up over a period of time and if not addressed can lead to physical and mental problems within the body.
Identifying the cause of stress
If you know what is causing you stress then it might be easier to find ways to manage it or to avoid a stressful situation although that may be easier said that done.
Some examples of things that contribute to Stress include:
- Moving house
- New Job
- Financial difficulties
- Mental Health Issues
Some ideas to help you reduce stress:
- Prioritise workloads, write a list of things to do and mark in accordance of their importance or urgency. At times we all feel overwhelmed with our “To Do” lists and this has been highlighted as a common cause of stress. Try to delegate to others as much as possible. Of course the opposite can apply, if you have too little to do or not enough challenges or you are out of work, then daily stress can heighten.
- Meditation and breathing exercises only takes a few minutes each day. Either standing or sitting, breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Try to aim for 5 seconds of breath intake and 5 seconds of breath out take. Take it slowly and build up to 5 seconds. Evidence suggests slowing down your breathing will help you feel calmer and improve your mental health and wellbeing. There are some useful apps such as headspace which guide you through meditations.
- Yoga/Pilates are great stress busters. Find a good class to enrol on and practice in a group or with a partner. Yoga has been around for over 5,000 years and there are more than 100 different forms of yoga. The more common ones are Hatha which is a series of basic movements and breathing. Vinyasa is a series of poses that smoothly flow into one another. Yoga does more than burn calories and tone muscles. It is a mind and body workout combining stretching, strengthening poses with breathing and relaxation techniques.
- Take time out and read a book or listen to music, do not feel guilty about your “To Do” list. It is important to lose yourself in a book and the mind and body will thank you for this.
- Meeting up with friends and family to stay connected is important for mental wellbeing. Friendships are so vital to share experiences and help each other especially in times of stress. Having a conversation with a friend to find out how they cope with stress in a similar situation may help you to try something different you never thought about.
- Research has showed that learning new skills can help improve your mental health and wellbeing. Learning something new is exciting and helps you connect with others. Raising your self esteem and boosting your confidence.
- Treatments such as Massage, Reflexology or Indian Head massage can help you to manage stress, anxiety, insomnia and will promote a feeling of well being. Treating yourself may feel a little indulgent however looking after yourself can benefit every area of your life.
One of my favourite quotes:
“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.” so true !!!