How to tackle stress

We all know what it is like to feel stressed and it can become overwhelming at times. A shocking 526,000 workers suffered from work-related stress, depression or anxiety in 2016/2017 and 12.5 million working days were lost because of the conditions. Identifying when you are stressed and why is the first step in tackling it, simple habits can be used to help manage it.

Take deep breaths
Breathing exercises can help you relax as they make your body feel like it does when you are 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, a variety of them exist it is about finding what works best for you. Different types of breathing include Belly breathing, 4-7-8 breathing, Roll breathing and Morning breathing.

Exercise to minimise stress
Exercise isn’t a cure for stress, however, it can help to reduce some of the emotions you are feeling and boost your mood. The NHS explains that exercise can reduce the emotional intensity you are feeling and can clear your thoughts helping you to deal with problems more calmly. Vigorous exercise releases the feel-good endorphins making you feel good and battling stress hormones.

If you are looking to save money on a gym membership My Gym Discounts can help. It is a voucher based or discount code scheme which offers employees the opportunity to benefit from discounted gym memberships at hundreds of gyms, leisure centres, health clubs and class studios across the UK and Ireland. The memberships are set up and paid for in club or online directly by the employee. Discounts are available on a variety of contracts, meaning employees don’t necessarily need to commit to a 12-month agreement!

Meditate for mental clarity
Meditation can help you to find mental clarity and teach you to better respond to negative situations. Practicing meditation can help ease anxiousness, tension and worries, and you can practice it wherever you are. The goal of meditation is to help focus your attention on what is happening around you and becoming aware of what you are 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 can help your brain release stress as it helps to block out stress from the day and give your brain a break. 

If you are looking to invest in a bike, My Active Discounts provide savings on up to 15% off Cycle Solutions bikes and equipment. For more information please visit the website.

Sleep well
Getting sufficient sleep is important for emotional wellbeing. However, stress can affect your sleep by manifesting itself in not being able to turn off your mind, having tense muscles or having a racing heart rate. Stress-lowering tactics can help to improve the quality of your sleep such as smelling lavender, practicing relaxation techniques like yoga or meditation, writing down your thoughts to clear your mind, taking deep breaths, winding down before bed, listening to calming music and sticking to a sleep schedule.

Stay positive
Whatever may be happening in your life, you should try to draw on the positives around you and avoid negative situations. Thinking positively can reduce the negative impact of stress, you could try writing down what has gone well in your day or what you are grateful for. Remind yourself throughout the day of positive aspects in your life and keep thinking of the good. 

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 are feeling overwhelmed and too busy, try slowing down and prioritising what is important to you. Take each day one day at a time and don’t stretch yourself thin. Make time for you.