A state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances.
The Oxford dictionary definition for stress. We have all felt it for different reasons, some more than others. It seems it is an inevitable state of life to be in at some point. As humans, we have ideas, dreams and aspirations. We all would love to have a situation where we achieve everything in life in one smooth journey. The reality is something very different; the journey of has red traffic lights, empty gas tanks and road blocks that need to be overcome. Stress is something that can effect our day to day life, making it hard to focus on even simple tasks. It also has a negative effect on our physical health and can worsen pre-existing health conditions.
It is important to have techniques to battle stress. Even if your life is running at a steady, smooth speed at the moment, there may come a time when it is you are tested. Be prepared and ready to deal with stressful situations! I have put together some tips to help you combat your stress.
Figure out what is stressing you out
Sometimes we feel stressed over one or two particular things but reflect this into every action we do. It can make it seem like even deciding what to have for dinner is a mountain to climb. Take a breath, sit down and make a list of the things that are actually causing you worry or stress. Is it school work? Is it a relationship? Is it a project? By identifying where the problem lies, you can actively think of ways to resolve the problem.
Now that you have identified what is causing you stress, ask yourself if it is something that you can actually change yourself. Is it within your control? Your parent’s divorce may not be something you can physically change nor the death of a loved one. However, how you deal with your upcoming exams is. Highlight the problems that you can make an action plan for – what can you do to improve the situation? Though this might not deal with all the issues, being able to control certain situations will decrease stress and help you focus and make you feel better.
Have some ME time
If we continue to delve into the same task or situation 24/7 the chances of stress levels increasing is inevitable. Have a day away from revising or an hour away from the house to do something that is just for you. This could be as simple as taking a short walk, taking up a small hobby or reading a book. Whatever it may be, give yourself some breathing space so you can be yourself – not someone’s sister, mother, teacher, friend or whatever other hat of responsibility you wear.
Leaving tasks to the last minute is something that fuels the fire of stress. Be productive with your time and stay organised to help you deal with the to-do list that you have. Know what you need to do, plan when you can do it and schedule in as much time as possible to chill out too.
Getting a good night’s sleep can do the world of good when you are feeling overwhelmed. Being tired only adds to stress and makes it difficult to think clearly in any situation, let alone one that may be difficult. Turn off your phone and gadgets, get into bed at a reasonable time and let yourself fall into the land of dreams.
This is probably my most important point. Stress often makes us lose our appetite; it can be outside of our control and it feels somewhat natural not to eat unless you hear your belly rumbling. Driving ourselves into a cycle of tiredness and fatigue attacks our abilities to deal with stress. Whatever is going on, try your best to maintain a healthy level of eating. Food plays a big role on our mental health and eating healthy, nutritious meals is fundamentally important to help keep your mindset positive.
Sometimes, when I am busy with work and other projects, I throw myself in and forget to make time to chat up with friends and family. Taking time to see how others are getting on in life not only helps to keep relationships strong but also gives you an opportunity to see life from another person’s eye. This can really shed a new light on your own perspectives on things you are going through. If nothing else, making some time to chat with a friend on the phone or hang out over a cup of coffee will let you put your hair down and enjoy yourself. The best remedy is laughter!