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How to cope with stress effectively

“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.” — William James

Stress is defined as “a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances” and according to research 85% of people in UK experience stress regularly. Most common causes of stress are money, work, health related issues, families and relationships.

Signs of stress can be sleep issues, loss of appetite, difficulty concentrating, feeling anxious or irritable and having racing thoughts. Stress can have a big impact on your mindset and can prevent you from living your life positively and calmly. Suffering with stress can have a negative effect on your life, therefore it is important to find a positive way to manage it.

We have created a list of steps which can be implemented in your daily routine and help you cope with stress. Each step might work differently and some might have a better effect than others.

Have some “me time”

Stress can often be caused by not having time for ourselves and not having time to focus on our emotions and feelings. Due to work and family commitments, we often forget to care about our own body and mind so we let issues build up and then we start feeling stressed. You need to have some time each day for yourself where you spend quality time working on your mind and body. Whether it is reading, having a cup of tea in silence, relaxing before bed, meditating when you wake up or going for a walk during your break it is important that you try to find time for that. Remember in order to give to others you need to feel good within yourself and you need time for yourself.

Avoid unhealthy habits

Many of us start introducing unhealthy habits when feeling under stress. We rely on junk food, alcohol, smoking and caffeine as methods of coping. By doing this, you are feeding into your stress symptoms and therefore it will not help the problem but rather make it worse. We are aware that these are coping skills for many, but try to use them in moderation rather then abuse them. When possible, try replacing each of the substances with a healthy one. Instead of having a few coffees a day try drinking hot water with lemon, instead of having unhealthy junk food try cooking a wholesome meal at home.

Accept things you can not change

Changing difficult situations we are in can sometimes be difficult and not possible. When we give too much time and energy to things that we can not change, our stress levels get higher as we fail to change them and we remain in the same situation. Focus on the things that you can change, they might be smaller than you expect but it will be a progress which will make you feel better, empowered and in control.

Be positive

Often we forget to look for the good things in our lives and focus only on the bad or ugly. During your day, try to look for the positives in your life or possibly practice gratefulness. Before going to bed, try writing a few things that made your day better. Your list can include people, animals, landscapes, emotions and positive attributes about yourself. Writing a gratitude list will help you become mindful of positive experiences during the day and help you be more optimistic about the day ahead and less stressed.

Get enough sleep

One of the symptoms of stress is having lack of sleep which makes us feel tired, irritable and unproductive, therefore your stress levels increase. Each night you should aim for 6 to 8 hours of sleep in order to get the full benefits of your rest. Getting enough sleep will enable us to feel well rested, finding it easier to solve problems and have a brighter mindset. For tips on how to create a better bedtime routine and get enough sleep check our previous blog post

This are steps that can be implemented into your everyday routine for reducing stress levels. If you try some of them, let me know in the comments how it was for you!

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