PROVEN EFFECTIVE WAYS TO BETTER MANAGE STRESS

If you’re reading this, the likelihood is that you will experience some form of stress on a regular basis, however how you chose to let it affect you is in your control. Read below to find out some proven effective ways to better manage the stresses in your life.

Exercise

You don’t need to run marathons or climb mountains, but a little bit of exercise a day can help you clear your head and de-stress. Any form of physical exertion will release endorphins which can help relieve stress and tension. Getting some fresh air by going for a walk in the morning, on your lunch break or in the evening will help you to clear your head space and add some clarity by giving you something else to focus on. You may not fancy it at the time but trust us; it will do you the world of good. Scientists believe that regular exercise can reduce overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, improve sleep and improve self-esteem. [1]

Keep your calendar busy

Whilst busy schedules can make catching up with friends and family difficult, make sure you’re finding the time to socialise outside of working hours. By meeting up with friends and family you can offload the troubles to those closest to you; or you could even ban the mention of work and focus on something else for a while.

Switch Off

In a world full of smartphones and tablets hooked up to Wi-Fi, it can often be hard to leave work in the office (or physically leave the office yourself). It’s tempting to make sure you’re keeping on top of things by checking emails whilst at home, but by never switching off you’re bound to be making your stress levels worse. Give yourself a cut-off point, for example make the decision that you won’t be turning your laptop on once you’re home, or no checking emails past 8pm. Setting yourself a limit and giving yourself space to switch off and focus on something other than work will help you feel calmer and more relaxed.

Positive Thinking

When you’re stressed your judgement can often be clouded by negative thoughts. Instead of feeling like there is no way out, channelling your negative thoughts into more positive/manageable ones could make a big difference. Try thinking around the problem that’s causing you stress; could you ask someone for help or is there an option you haven’t explored? If you can’t think of a solution straight away, try doing something to take your mind off it and go back to it later.  It’s believed that having a positive outlook enables you to cope better with stressful situations, which reduces the harmful effects that stress can have on your body. [2]

Time Management

Good time management can often make you feel more in control of the things that are causing you stress. Begin your day by writing yourself a list, and then prioritise that list beginning with the most urgent and ending with the least. If you feel you have too much to do, see what items you can delegate to your colleagues. Don’t forget that if you can’t physically take on any more work, it’s ok to say no!

Sleep

Tiredness can make you feel agitated and can increase stress levels. 21% of adults have reported increased stress levels when they don’t get enough sleep. [3] Getting a good night’s sleep can help you wake up feeling fresh and often gives you a new perspective on the problems that are causing your stress levels to rise. Getting enough sleep leads to improved mood and well–being. [4]


[1] http://www.adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/related-illnesses/other-related-conditions/stress/physical-activity-reduces-st

[2] http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/positive-thinking/art-20043950

[3] http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/stress/2013/sleep.aspx

[4] http://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/need-sleep/whats-in-it-for-you/mood