Whether it is related to relationships, work, study, illness, life changes, general daily duties or a combination of these – stress can happen to anyone. So how do you know if you’re suffering? And how can you manage it?
The symptoms of stress can fluctuate between each individual but some of the most common symptoms to be aware of are:
– Irritability or moodiness
– Interrupted sleep
– Worrying or feeling of anxiety
– Back and neck pain
– Frequent headaches, minor to migraine
– Upset stomach
– Increased blood pressure
– Changes in appetite
– Rashes or skin breakouts
– Chest pains
– Making existing physical problems worse
– More susceptible to cold/flu and slower recovery
Suffering from stress inhibits quality of life therefore making it extremely important to manage.
If you are feeling stressed, 5 tips to effectively manage is to:
1. Identify your stressors
Do you find your stressed when at work? Completing studies? At home managing a household? This is the first step to managing stress. Finding what leads to your stress enables you to formulate a plan to effectively manage it. For example, if you find you are stressed at work because your job is focused on deadlines, you could formulate a plan to better handle these stressors by focusing on your time management. If you find your stressed with your studies, is it because you are placing too much pressure on yourself to receive high grades? Or have you not devoted enough time to your studies? If it is general household management, perhaps you could ask a housemate to help you with any of the duties that are stressing you.
2. Exercise regularly
Exercise is a way to destress the body and encourages feel-good hormones to circulate, as well as forming part of a healthy lifestyle. Now, we’re not telling you to join a gym if the moment you step into one your skin burns! We’re encouraging any type of physical movement that gets your heart pounding faster than if you were sitting down. May we suggest a walk around the block, beach or park; kicking a ball around with a mate or your family; dancing in the privacy of your own room or out on a girls night; running around with your doggies; playing a game of tag in the yard; star jumps in the ad breaks! “Exercise” doesn’t have to be a bad word, change your attitude towards what it means to you and see the benefits for yourself.
3. Take time out
Making time for you to relax, do something you enjoy or spend time with family / friends is one of the most important habits to get into. This is not only important to continue building strong relationships with those around you but also important to keep yourself in a healthy, balanced mindset. A good way to begin this healthy habit is to schedule an hour a day or a day a week.
4. Effectively problem solve
We have all stressed when we are confronted with a problem that is hard to handle. Learning how to problem solve can limit stress and enable you to better control the outcome. A successful way to problem-solve is to list pros and cons to each technique/outcome that are relevant to your problem.
5. Train your mind for Mindfulness
Mindfulness is all about experiencing the ‘here and now’ and will free oneself from automatic and unhelpful ways of thinking and responding. The core features of mindfulness are to observe thoughts, feelings and bodily sensations; describe what you are observing; participate fully and aim to notice all aspects of the activity with your full attention; be non-judgemental and make no attempt to evaluate an experience as good, bad, right or wrong nor aim to control the experience; and finally focus on one thing at a time aiming to not drift off from the current experience. Although this is a skill that won’t be learnt overnight but one that is slowly developed over time with effective training, the habit of focusing on mindfulness in your everyday life is a positive addition that leads to a better mindset.
If you find the above tips are hard to incorporate into your life, Self Reflections Psychology can help you transition to a healthier, happier mindset.
If there is anything you think was important to add into this weeks’ blog that was not included, or if you’d like to share your thoughts on managing stress to encourage others, we’d love to hear from you.
Wishing you all a lovely week, from the team at Self Reflections.
This blog was based on the information found in Centre for Clinical Interventions.