Stress is combined pressure from external circumstances that can cause increased tension, anxiety, and a sense of being overwhelmed. Stress is unfortunately part of life.
If you are experiencing stress symptoms or feel increasingly out of control, you probably need to reduce the pressures in your life. Sometimes just taking one or two small steps in the right direction can ease the strain. Here are some ways to help you manage stressful circumstances more effectively:
Deal with the underlying cause(s)
If stress is connected to your relationship with a person, talk out your differences. If you are feeling tense about an unfinished task, restructure your priorities so you can get that responsibility out of the way this will avoid you constantly thinking about it.
Learn to pace yourself
It isn’t always possible to be on top of things all the time. When you have a number of tasks, deal with them one by one in order of urgency then set aside the remainder for the time being. Make sure to reward yourself with a break or a rest before working towards the next goal.
Realise your limits and plan around them
Prioritise the tasks you have to do, then give yourself a realistic amount of time to deal with them. Don't take on more than you can handle.
Don’t try to be perfect
We cannot always control the circumstances in our environment. So stop trying be perfect and do the best you can. Remember to give yourself a pat on the back for the things you accomplish, or manage to do well.
Eat sensibly and get plenty of rest
When your physical resources are depleted from lack of nourishing food or sufficient sleep, many things look worse than they really are. Poor diet and fatigue will also reduce your ability to cope with problems. Eat well and sleep more when life is busy. Turn off phones, tvs etc. at least half an hour before you go to sleep to give your mind a chance to relax.
Escape for a while
When things threaten to become overwhelming, it sometimes helps to escape from the problem for a while. Lose yourself in a film, a book, a game, or a brief change of scene.
Work off your anger
If you feel like lashing out at someone who has provoked you, try holding off that impulse for a while. Use your pent-up energy to do something physical such as walking, running, dancing, or anything that you will distract you from your negative feelings.
Give in occasionally
If you repeatedly get into conflict with people, or frequently feel stubborn and defiant, ask yourself, "Is this really worth fighting for?" If not, give in. Competition and criticism are contagious, but so is cooperating with people.
Recreation and exercise are essential for good physical and mental health. Plan to do something you enjoy as part of a regular routine. Going for walks, meeting friends, going out for a meal together, swimming (which is particularly good!) laughing with your friends are all small pleasures that can make a difference.
Accept and plan for change
Life can be full of surprises and unexpected events- good, bad and everything in-between. You can’t control this fact, but you can control your reaction. Be patient when there are inevitable or unexpected changes, and try to accept change and look ahead.
Adopt a more positive outlook
Negative thinking can often lead to a focus on what is wrong with you or the situation you are in. Realistically you are not as bad as you are telling yourself. Everyone gets things wrong sometimes so try and focus on the things you are good at and keep reminding yourself. Learn to accept praise or compliments from others rather than concentrating solely on failures and disappointments. A positive disposition will help combat stress, while a negative outlook can produce or intensify stress.
Talk over your troubles
Talk over your problems with a person you can trust. Sharing your concerns or worries can release stress, boost your spirits, and help you see things more clearly.