Stress is not harmful in short bursts and in fact necessary to cope with life’s demands and challenges. In situations where you sense danger, whether real or not, your body kicks into action automatically in the form of the “fight or flight” reaction. This stress response is your body’s way of protecting you and it helps you stay focused, alert, motivated, energised and ready to face anything. It is only when the levels of pressure do not subside and become prolonged and ongoing that stress can become harmful. This in turn causes damage to your health, relationships at home and at work, mood, productivity and quality of life.
We all deal with stress differently and what may adversely affect one person, another may thrive upon. The key thing is to understand what causes your stress, the emotional and physical impact of long term stress and how to put in place coping mechanisms to manage that stress.
My top 10 tips for managing stress:
- Keep a diary of your feelings and emotions. What are your stress triggers?
- Get plenty of sleep
- Eat healthily and exercise regularly. Avoid relying on smoking, alcohol or any other harmful habits as coping mechanisms
- Make time to socialise with friends and family
- Do more of the things you love – hobbies, interests
- Keep a positive attitude and accept the things you cannot change
- Manage your time effectively and learn to say no if demands are being made on your time. Break down your to-do lists into bite-size chunks to avoid overwhelm
- Be aware of your physical and emotional state and DON’T be afraid of asking for professional help
- Remember the positive things in your life! Give yourself a much needed pat on the back and celebrate your many achievements
- Pamper yourself!
Taking some “me time” out on a regular basis is very important for your emotional and physical health and wellbeing. It is essential to give yourself the space to reflect, refocus, reboot and re-energise in order to maintain inner calm and peace in an otherwise demanding world.