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11 Stress busting tips

by Edwin Asiedu 17 Nov 2022 0 Comments

11 Stress busting tips

If you're stressed, whether by your job or something more personal, the first step to feeling better is to identify the cause.

The most unhelpful thing you can do is turn to something unhealthy to help you cope, such as smoking or drinking.

"In life, there's always a solution to a problem," says Professor Cary Cooper, an occupational health expert at the University of Lancaster.

"Not taking control of the situation and doing nothing will only make your problems worse."

The keys to good stress management are building emotional strength, being in control of your situation, having a good social network, and adopting a positive outlook.

What you can do to address stress

Be active

Exercise won't make your stress disappear, but it will reduce some of the emotional intensity that you're feeling, clearing your thoughts and letting you deal with your problems more calmly.

Virtually any form of physical activity can act as a stress reliever. Even if you're not an athlete or you're out of shape, exercise can still be a good stress reliever.

Physical activity can pump up your feel-good endorphins and other natural neural chemicals that enhance your sense of well-being. Exercise can also refocus your mind on your body's movements, which can improve your mood and help the day's irritations fade away. Consider walking, jogging, gardening, housecleaning, biking, swimming, weightlifting or anything else that gets you active.

Take control

There's a solution to any problem. "If you remain passive, thinking, 'I can't do anything about my problem', your stress will get worse," says Professor Cooper.

"That 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 it's a crucial part of finding a solution that satisfies you and not someone else.

When you hand over control of your feelings to life’s circumstances, you move through life on autopilot reacting without thought. If positive things happen, you have a positive response and vice versa. If you simply react to life, you’ll become trapped on an emotional rollercoaster that never stops—you just go round and round through the highs and lows.

What you don’t realize is that when you plummet into negativity, you’re not guaranteed an upswing around the corner. You drag more negativity into your life, and down and down you go.

You might think, “Well, it’s natural to feel bad about forking over half your savings when your car breaks down,” and you’d be right. But your negative focus on how much money you’re losing is putting you on the frequency of losing money. The law of attraction has no choice but to bring you more circumstances that deplete your savings.

You have the power to change your circumstances by changing your actions and reactions. It doesn’t matter how you’ve approached life circumstances in the past, from now on, act,, don’t react. Change your feelings today to get on a positive frequency and erase the past.

Connect with people

A good support network of colleagues, friends and family can ease your work troubles and help you see things in a different way. "If you don't connect with people, you won't have support to turn to when you need help," says Professor Cooper.

The activities we do with friends help us relax. We often have a good laugh with them, which is an excellent stress reliever. "Talking things through with a friend will also help you find solutions to your problems," says Professor Cooper.

Have some 'me time'

Here in the UK, we work the longest hours in Europe, meaning we often don't spend enough time doing things we really enjoy. "We all need to take some time for socialising, relaxation or exercise," says Professor Cooper. He recommends setting aside a couple of nights a week for some quality "me time" away from work.

"By earmarking those 2 days, it means you won't be tempted to work overtime," he says.

If you don’t prioritise “me” time then you’ll feel more exhausted, more run down and more rushed. Being constantly under pressure will increase your stress levels and eventually you burn out. Take time out to unwind, recharge your batteries and bring your stress levels down.

Having a never-ending list of tasks and working from the moment you wake up until the moment you fall asleep is not healthy. The human brain wasn’t built for extended periods of focus. You need to take regular breaks if you want to stay productive. Doing something enjoyable in those breaks will refresh you and get you back on track.

Challenge yourself

Setting yourself goals and challenges, whether at work or outside, such as learning a new language or a new sport, helps build confidence. This will help you deal with stress.

"By continuing to learn, you become more emotionally resilient as a person," says Professor Cooper.

"It arms you with knowledge and makes you want to do things rather than be passive, such as watching TV all the time."

If you want to change your life, you have to get honest. Getting real with yourself, about your life, your goals, relationships, and ultimately happiness, requires blunt and candid transparency. If you’re tired of being tired, you need change.

Falling down the rabbit hole of laziness happens to the best of us because let's be honest: we’re all guilty of slacking. Everyone can’t be ultra-motivated like Jiro in Jiro Dreams of Sushi, (If you haven’t seen this documentary, you need it. It’s like a pep talk for the soul.)

We want time to read, to hit the gym, to cut down on the burgers, to move beyond middle management, to see the world, to make an impact on the savings account, to make new friends, to establish better relationships. There’s a lot that goes into being human, and honestly, it’s exhausting.

But, what if, instead of throwing down your gloves and stepping out of the ring, you made an effort to adopt a curriculum of self-improvement? What if you made a small commitment to changing the little things? What would happen?

Challenging yourself and breaking old habits, might be easier than you think.

Avoid unhealthy habits

Don't rely on alcohol, smoking and caffeine as your ways of coping.

"Men more than women are likely to do this. We call this avoidance behaviour," says Professor Cooper. "Women are better at seeking support from their social circle."

In the long term, these crutches won't solve your problems. They'll just create new ones.

"It's like putting your head in the sand," says Professor Cooper. "It might provide temporary relief, but it won't make the problems disappear. You need to tackle the cause of your stress."

Help other people

Professor Cooper says evidence shows that people who help others, through activities such as volunteering or community work, become more resilient.

"Helping people who are often in situations worse than yours will help you put your problems into perspective," says Professor Cooper. "The more you give, the more resilient and happy you feel."

If you don't have time to volunteer, try to do someone a favour every day. It can be something as small as helping someone cross the road or going on a coffee run for colleagues.

Work smarter, not harder

Working smarter means prioritising your work, concentrating on the tasks that'll make a real difference.

"Leave the least important tasks to last," says Cooper. "Accept that your in-tray will always be full. Don't expect it to be empty at the end of the day."

Try to be positive

Look for the positives in life and things for which you're grateful.

"People don't always appreciate what they have," says Professor Cooper. "Try to be glass half full instead of glass half empty," he says.

Try writing down 3 things that went well, or for which you're grateful, at the end of every day.

Have a prayerful life

"Now, that’s what we do. Sometimes we go off on a tantrum somewhere and not think about God, not pray over it, ask the Lord whether we should do it or not, and we find out that our supply of blessings is cut off. Then we wonder sometimes, “Well, wonder why I can’t have no more blessings.” You don’t watch, you let down in your prayer life. You say, “Well, I’m a Christian.” Well, that’s the more sign you should pray, more than ever. Read the Bible every day. Pray every day. Don’t make any decisions too harshly or too quickly, without first considering God about it. Ask Him, “Shall I do this, Father?” Ask Him, “Is it Your will for me to do this?” Then see what the Holy Spirit will speak to you. He might not give you a vision, but He will speak in some way to you, to let you know, if you’ll be sincere and ask Him." says Rev. William Marrion Branham

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