I hardly get stressed, but recently due to work load and dealing with complex project, I felt not necessarily stressed but definitely a bit down. I followed the NHS advise and it was very effective, so I want to share it with all those who feel a bit low.
First, if you’re stressed, whether by your job or by something more personal, the first step to feeling better is to identify the cause.
- The only way you can deal with stress is to identify the underlying cause of it.
- The most unhelpful thing you can do is turn to something unhealthy to help you cope.
In Real Life, there’s always a solution to a problem. The Real Life is different from our perceived life and value system.
You need to get closer to the Real Life (look around you and stop looking inward) Start taking control of the situation, doing nothing will only make your problems worse.
Next, the keys to good stress management are building emotional strength, believe in yourself, adopt a positive outlook, having a good social network can be helpful.
What you can do to address stress
Carry on with your normal work, exercise, keep in touch with your social network, these 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 to deal with your problems more calmly.
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. 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.
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. 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 an independent advisor or a real friend, who is not shy to tell you the truth, will also help you find solutions to your problems.
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, exercise, have a walk in the park or read a book.
Setting yourself goals and challenges (not too many), whether at work or outside, something you enjoy, something you always wanted to do but didn’t have the time to do it. This will help you to realise to see there is a big world out there.
Avoid unhealthy habits
Don’t rely on alcohol, smoking and caffeine, mooning, binging, laying about, feeling sad, seeking sympathy, … as your ways of coping.
We all do some of these as a way of coping with stress, but none of them works. These behavior is called “avoidance behaviour”. Women are better at seeking support from their social circle. Where man usually keep it to themselves.
Over 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. 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
Research 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. Getting closer to Real Life. The more you give, the more resilient and happy you feel.
If you don’t have time to give, then there is something wrong, make the time available. It can be something as small as helping someone to cross the road or visiting a hospital. See more on giving for mental wellbeing.
Work smarter, not harder
Working smarter means prioritising your work, concentrating on the tasks that will make a real difference. Leave the least important tasks to last, and stop the time wasters. Don’t try to do everything in one day. Read some tips on how to manage your time better.
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.
Try writing down three things that went well, or for which you’re grateful, at the end of every day.
Accept the things you can’t change
Changing a difficult situation isn’t always possible. Try to concentrate on the things you do have control over.
“If your company is going under and is making redundancies, for example, there’s nothing you can do about it,” says Professor Cooper.
“In a situation like that, you need to focus on the things that you can control, such as looking for a new job.”
I actually did take these steps and already feeling better. Very effective simple rules, as long as you take action and act quickly.