Top 10 tips for managing stress
Finding out the root cause of your stress is usually the first step to reducing stress levels – whether this is work-related or to do with your personal life.
Try to avoid using unhealthy coping mechanisms for stress which often give a “quick-fix” such as turning to alcohol or smoking.
1. Take control: Finding ways to feel in control of aspects of your life that are making you feel stressed is a good place to start and goes a long way to making you feel empowered and able to better cope with your stress as well as helping you find solutions to your problems.
Making lists, writing things down or simply talking to someone about what is causing your stress are some of the ways that this can be achieved.
2. Try to get or stay active: Exercise can release endorphins – the happy hormones that can help us cope better and clear our minds to allow us to deal with our issues.
3. Make sure you set aside time for yourself: “me-time” is so important – this could be socializing, learning something new or just relaxing.
4. Make connections: Having a support network of friends, colleagues and family members can be very helpful in stressful times – for advice or to offer a listening ear or a shoulder to cry on or even just to relax and have a laugh with. Others can help us see things from a different perspective and talking things through with someone can often help us find our own solutions.
5. Ditch unhealthy habits: Unhelpful coping mechanisms like alcohol or smoking might provide stress relief in the short term but turning to these as “solutions” just means we are avoiding dealing with the root cause of our stress and thereby creating even bigger problems for ourselves in the long run.
6. Find ways to help others: Volunteering in the community can help us in so many ways – making us more resilient, giving us a sense of purpose and helping us to stay busy with doing something meaningful. This can come in many forms and doesn’t have to mean a big time commitment – like checking in on an elderly neighbour or taking some shopping to somebody who may not be able to get out.
7. Work smarter: this is all about deciding what your priorities are and focusing on the things that will make a real difference in your life thereby reducing your stress levels. Accepting you will always have things that need doing can help too, while leaving the least important things for last.
8. Set goals: having challenges or goals to work towards can help you deal with stress by allowing you to focus, building confidence and resilience.
9. Accept things you have no control over: Focus on the things that you feel you are truly able to change – this can go a long way in helping you keep your stress levels manageable.
10. Positivity always wins: being grateful for the good things in life and trying to speak positivity over your life can help us focus on the things that are going well.
Try keeping a positivity journal where you record something - however small - that went well each day.
Disclaimer: The content of this page is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. References are available on request.