Well, it’s not an epidemic. But it is widespread. The mental health charity Mind says that 1 in 6 workers at any time is suffering from stress, anxiety, or depression – so there are a lot of us around who are susceptible to these mental health issues.
Stress isn’t always bad
Small amounts of stress are natural and healthy – it helps us get out of bed and take the train to work on time, study for exams, and all sorts of other things. Too much stress, however, can be a real problem and increases our risk of specific health problems such as high blood pressure.
Stress can be caused by significant life events such as bereavement, relationship breakups, and having too much needing done. Symptoms can include headaches and upset stomach. So it’s best to find a set of stress management tactics if you ever feel overstressed.
Luckily there are lots of things we can do to combat stress, and we’ve listed our top ten below:
- Identify what’s causing the stress.
- Healthy Attitude to life. Avoiding alcohol and eating healthy foods will help you cope with stress.
- Good quality sleep. Sleep works wonders at helping us relax and re-energize.
- Relaxation. There are lots of very effective relaxation techniques out there, from controlled breathing to meditation. Find some that work for you and practice them often.
- Exercise – this one is a handy tool in fighting stress. And getting exercise doesn’t just help keep us fit – exercise is known to help with stress levels.
- Communication. Don’t deny that stress exists if you’re suffering from it. Be open with a loved one or close friend about it.
- Research stress. By knowing the causes of stress – as well as the effects of it, you’ll gain a greater understanding of what stress does. And the more insight you have into anxiety, the better you’ll be able to manage it.
- Work smart. It might sometimes seem like there’s way too much to do and too little time do get it done. Look at prioritizing all the things you need to get done and avoid just diving in without having drawn up a list of priorities.
- Get fresh air. It’s incredible how brief few moments outside can have a positive effect on our mood.
- Watch your posture. Are you habitually tensed up, bent forward? Be aware of your body, and if you catch yourself in the wrong position, breathe deep, and put it right. Instantly you’ll feel better.
Stress is a daily fact of life for many of us, but by continually looking for ways to manage it, we can help make the day run that bit more smoothly and enjoy our downtime all the more.