This National Stress Awareness Day we thought we'd share some stress busting tips about keeping your cool…
Do you experience high levels of stress?
When people are stressed, they can worry so much that they find it difficult to concentrate on other things and lose out on enjoying life. Stress can make us feel tired, miserable, bad-tempered, angry and tearful. It can lead to panic attacks, insomnia, poor eating habits and depression. Stress can cause physical illnesses like headaches, asthma and eczema. Long term, stress can play a part in damaging our immune systems and contribute to other illnesses including heart disease and cancers. Stress can also affect the way parents relate to their children. Unhealthy ways of coping with stress such as misusing alcohol or drugs can often make the quality of our lives worse. By recognising the signs of stress and trying to address them early, more serious kinds of mental illnesses can be prevented from ever developing.
Recognise what makes you feel stressed…
A stress-free life is impossible to achieve. Stress can be triggered by many pressures, including money worries, unemployment, injury, family and relationship issues, parenting, loss and bereavement. Often, stress can’t be removed from our daily lives.
Describe how you feel when you are stressed…
Symptoms you may notice include a tense body, clenched fists, fast heart rate, clenched jaw, gritted teeth, feeling hot and you may find yourself pacing. We can learn tools to help manage stress better and become more resilient individuals. Healthy coping strategies can be effective when we encounter risks to our wellbeing.
Look after yourself…
Self-compassion - “Compassion is not the soft option...acting with compassion requires us to build courage, mental and emotional strength and wisdom”
Laugh - surround yourself with people and places that make you feel well.
Use distraction - When you feel your stress increasing, take 10 slow breaths, remind yourself that the moment will pass, go outside for a moment of fresh air. Plan treats for yourself to look forward to.
Become self-aware - Recognise the triggers for your stress, recognise your moods at different times of the day.
Be active - Activities such as cycling, talking a walk or digging the garden can help when feeling uptight or agitated and can promote relaxation
Get organised and plan ahead - Take time off when you can. Strive for a home/work-life balance. Change your routines when possible.
Avoid self-pressure and self-criticism - Challenge any irrational thoughts
Try not to compare yourself negatively to others - We all have individual lives, experiences and pressures to endure
Think positively - Remember what you’re good at, your talents, interests, your strengths and your positive experiences. Recognise and congratulate yourself for your achievements.
Try to relax - Listen to some music, do, watch, or read something you enjoy, go somewhere quiet.
Remember that stress is catching - By addressing your feelings of stress, you will be improving the lives of the people around you, including your children.
Don’t keep stress to yourself - Talk to someone you trust, a person who you think would listen
Get help - Contact Hidden Wounds here.