In order to deal with stress, we should first look at what stress is…
Stress is the feeling of being under too much mental or emotional pressure.
Pressure turns into stress when we feel unable to cope.
Stress is a mismatch between demands made on you (real or perceived) and your ability (real or perceived) to cope with them. It is the balance between how you view demands and how you think you can cope with them, that determines how stressed you feel. People have different ways of reacting to stress, so a situation that makes one person anxious, may be motivating for someone else!
Sometimes you may feel stressed because of insufficient pressure to drive your life forward. Being stuck in a boring rut with little simulation can be just as frustrating and unpleasant as being loaded with too many tasks and not enough time.
Many of life’s demands can cause stress. In my work I see people suffer with money problems, relationship difficulties and work pressure.
Common Signs of Stress:
Stress can affect how you feel, think, behave and even how your body works. Common signs of stress include loss of appetite, weight gain, sleep problems, and difficulty concentrating. Also you may feel anxious, irritable, have racing thoughts, worry constantly or go over and over things in your head. You may experience headaches, dizziness, muscle tension or pain.
Stress causes a surge of hormones in the body. These stress hormones are released to enable us to deal with pressures or threats – the “fight or flight response”. Once the threat or pressure has passed, your stress hormone levels usually return to normal. However, if you are constantly under stress, these hormones remain in the body, leading to symptoms of stress.
Stress it not an illness itself, however, it can cause serious illness if not addressed. It is very important that you recognise the symptoms of stress early. Recognising the signs will help you figure out ways of coping and stop you from adopting unhealthy strategies like over-eating, smoking or drinking too much alcohol.
There is little you can do to prevent stress however, you can learn to manage your stress more effectively. For example, by keeping a diary to help you recognise your stress triggers; taking regular exercise, introduce relaxation techniques, talking things through with a friend or Coach.
Professor Cary Cooper, an occupational health expert and researcher at the University of Lancaster says, “Not taking control of the situation and doing nothing will only make your problems and stress levels worse”.
Professor Cooper’s top 10 stress-busting techniques:
- Be active
Physical activity can get you in the right state of mind to be able to identify the causes of your stress and find solutions. Exercise won’t make the stress disappear, it will however reduce some of the emotional intensity you’re feeling, clear your thoughts and enable you to deal with your problems more calmly.
- Take back control
The feeling of loss of control is one of the main causes of stress and lack of wellbeing. The act of taking control is in itself empowering, and is a critical part of finding a solution.
- Connect with people
Talking things through with a friend or coach can help you find a solution. Activities we do with friends can help us relax and laughing with them can be a great stress reliever.
- Have some ‘me time’
Set aside a couple of nights a week for some ‘me time’. We all need time to socialise, exercise, relax, switch off.
- Challenge yourself
Set yourself pleasant goals or rewarding challenges, or take up a new hobby. By continuing to learn, you will become more emotionally resilient.
- Avoid unhealthy habits
Don’t rely on sugar, caffeine or alcohol as these are all stimulants and could create greater problems in the future.
- Do volunteer work
There is evidence to show that people who help others by volunteering or doing community work, become more resilient and focusing on others helps reduce the time we spend worry about our own problems.
- Work smarter not harder
You need a good work/life balance. Time management is helpful. Prioritise what needs to be done concentrate on the tasks that will make the biggest difference. Leave the least important tasks to last. Hire a coach to help you.
- Be positive
Make a conscious effort to train yourself to be more positive about life. Problems are often a question of perspective. If you change your perspective, you may see your situation from a more positive point of view.
- Accept the things you cannot change
Changing a difficult situation is not always possible. If this is the case, recognise and accept things as they are and concentrate on all the things you have control over.
How about you, do you need help with stress? Let me help you.
Read my previous blogs here.
This is really good information to have at my finger tips and on point.