We all know what it’s like to feel stressed and of course it can become overwhelming at times. It’s been reported that over 500,000 people in the UK feel ill as a result of their level of work-related stress. Identifying when and why you’re stressed is the first step in tackling it, then follow these simple steps to reduce stress.
Take deep breaths
Breathing exercises can help you relax as they make your body feel like it does when you’re already relaxed. Deep breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system which can help to put the brakes on stress. Breathing exercises can be easily learnt and used in stressful situations. Mental wellbeing company MyMindPal has released some free breathing exercises to help relieve body tension.
Exercise to reduce stress
Exercise isn’t a cure for stress, however it can help reduce the intensity of the emotions you are feeling and boost your mood. By clearing your thoughts, it will help you to deal with problems more calmly. Vigorous exercise releases the feel-good endorphins and battling stress hormones.
Meditate for mental clarity
Meditation can help you find mental clarity, relieve stress and teach you to better respond to negative situations. Practicing meditation can help ease anxiety, tension and worries plus you can practice it wherever you are. The goal of meditation is to help focus your attention on what’s happening around you. You should become aware of what you’re feeling in that moment.
Cycle to work
Cycling to work can help reduce stress, leave you with a more focused state of mind, improve work productivity and performance. The repetitive action of pedalling in itself can actually help your brain release stress!
Even though a good night’s sleep is crucial to stress management, your sleep could be affected with stress manifesting itself in not being able to turn off your mind, having tense muscles or having a racing heart. Stress-lowering tactics can help to improve the quality of your sleep. Some ways are smelling lavender, practicing relaxation techniques like yoga or meditation and writing down your thoughts – all before bed. More includes taking deep breaths, listening to calming music and sticking to a sleep schedule.
Whatever may be happening in your life, you should try to draw on the positives around. Thinking positively can reduce the negative impact of stress – you could try writing down what’s gone well in your day or what you’re grateful for. Remind yourself throughout the day of positive aspects in your life and keep thinking of the good. It’s a really worthy way to reduce stress.
Focus on you
Nothing is more important than your own health and wellbeing. The NHS discusses the importance to take time for socialising, relaxation or exercise. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and too busy, try slowing down and prioritising what is important to you. Take each day as it comes and don’t stretch yourself thin. Make time for you.