Wednesday, 02 November 2016

10 Ways to Handle Stress

Niels Eék, Co-Founder at personal development app Remente ( comments on ways to handle stress.

Identify the source of the stress
While it is easy to identify what is causing you stress after a major life event, like moving home, it can be more challenging in everyday life. To figure out what is increasing your stress levels, assess your everyday habits and emotions. Do you always think of stress as an integral part of work, do you blame it on external factors, do you feel overwhelmed with numerous tasks? Once you identify the source, the stress will become significantly easier to manage.

Gain control
Part of the reason behind the feelings of stress is a lack of control. Once you identify the source of your stress, you need to decide if it is in your power to change it. If it is inability to stick to deadlines, distractions should be minimised as that is something you can control. If the issue is outside of your control, you should accept that you can't change the situation, and instead concentrate on positive action you can take.

Get Active
While exercise by no means makes the source of your stress disappear, it can make the feeling much more manageable. Exercising, whether intensively, or simply taking a stroll in a nearby park will help control the 'fight or flight' hormones that get triggered by stress. Taking a brisk walk will help clear your thoughts and give you perspective, enabling you to deal with any issues in a calmer manner.

Take some me time
It can be difficult to find the time to do the activities you enjoy. This is especially true for the UK, with the longest working hours in Europe, which means that often activities that help us relax and unwind do not get enough time dedicated to them. Set aside a couple of evenings a week to do something you truly enjoy, as that will drastically decrease your stress levels.

Relaxation techniques
With hundreds of tried and tested relaxation techniques available, there are guaranteed to be a few that will work well for you, regardless of your location or the reason behind the stress. It definitely takes time to find a technique that works for you, but you can experiment with techniques like meditation or breathing exercises or anything else that you like the sound of.

Minimise bad habits
Turning to drinking or smoking and other unhealthy patterns, in order to alleviate your feelings of stress is called avoidance behaviour. It doesn't help you address, or deal with what is causing the stress, instead creating a temporary escape and additional reasons for stress as a result. Instead, do something else you enjoy and return to your problems when you feel calmer.

Having friends, colleagues or family members that you can speak to can help you deal with stress. Discussing an issue with someone else will help you see the issues facing you in a different light and perhaps lead you to a solution. Even if you don't find a solution, socialising with friends will leave you feeling more relaxed and optimistic.

Set a goal
If you know that there is a particular area of your life that is causing you stress, setting yourself a new, manageable goal will help you deal with stress in a constructive way. Alternatively, if the stress is outside of your control, setting yourself a goal of learning something new will help you increase your confidence, which will help you manage stresses in the future.

Say No
Often, stress can be caused by lack of sleep and tiredness, all of which can come from doing too much and trying to please too many people at once. Learning to say no and acknowledging that it won't hurt someone else's feelings is an important skill, one which will help you manage your time better and build your confidence.

Step Away
While some stressors might demand your immediate attention, others can be postponed to a later date, or simply to a more appropriate time. If the stressor isn't an emergency, make a note to think about it later and dedicate a time to it. This way, the stress won't control your life and you will get some perspective, before tackling the issue.

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