How to manage stress
Stress is a normal part of life and is experienced by everyone from time to time. Some people experience stress frequently and it can impact on their quality of life.
There are many stressors in our life such as relationships with others, work related issues such as multitasking, coping with illness, life changes such as marriage, positive events such as holidays or parties.
Some people do not even notice that they are experiencing stress until symptoms become more severe, such as: Irritability and moodiness, low libido, sleep difficulties, back and neck pain, headaches, migraine, stomach issues, blood pressure, changes in appetite, rushes and skin breakout, chest pain and slow recovery from illness.
Steps to manage stress:
1. Identify your stressors – write down all the things you are stressed about and see if there are some things within your control or not. Develop a plan to change things you have control over.
2. Build healthy habits such as regular exercise – according to research physical exercise can be as effective as medication.
3. Eat healthy and prioritise your sleep – diet is important and it gives you energy to deal with stressful situations.
4. Socialise and meet your friends on a regular basis.
5. Learn calming techniques such as box breathing exercises – inhale the air for 6 seconds; hold your breath for 6 seconds; Slowly exhale through your mouth for 6 seconds; old your breath for 6 seconds; repeat.
6. Learn communication skills and conflict management – this can help you to deal with stressful and challenging situations.
7. Avoid negative thinking – be aware of your thinking pattern and try to reframe to a more positive perspective.
8. Apply a half smile even when you feel stressed this will keep you calmer and help your body recover from the effects of stress.