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Managing Stress

Posted by: Jo Banks

Date: 15-10-2015

Top tips for dealing with stress...

Most of us from time to time suffer from stress to a greater or lesser degree, whether is work based stress or personal (or most commonly a combination of both), there are a number of effective ways we can deal with it...

1.  Take a break

When things start to get on top of you and you feel the stress rising, you need to remove yourself from the situation as soon as possible and give yourself a bit of distance between you and the problem. I’ve discussed this in other posts (particularly how to manage your emotions), walking away and getting some space between you and the issue, works wonders.

You may think, “How the heck can I walk away, I’m up to my eyeballs here!” but even taking a small break whether it’s getting a coffee with a friend or even taking a lunch break (God forbid!) can work wonders in putting some perspective back into the situation.

Quite often when we are under stress, we think the answer is to work harder and longer, however, THE very most effective thing is to do take a break and let your brain re-set. You’ll be much more effective for it.

2.  Get some exercise

Exercise is excellent for burning off all those unwanted stress hormones that are running through your body unchecked as a result of the adrenalin and cortisol that is released when you are under stress (part of the ‘fight or flight’ syndrome that we still have from our ancestors).

Exercise really does make a difference in or mental wellbeing. It doesn’t mean you have to run a marathon. Just taking a walk around the block will help immensely. If you can manage just 10 minutes of moderate exercise a day, you will undoubtedly see a difference in your stress levels.

3.  Talk to someone

Don’t bottle things up. Talk to someone whether it’s a friend, a family member, your doctor or a coach who can help you put things in to perspective. Sometimes when we are particularly stressed, we do tend to have a skewed view on the situation. Be honest with someone who you trust and get them to give you honest feedback. You need to avoid the person that will just tell you what you want to hear in this situation as they can just feed your sense of self righteousness and thereby increase your stress. You need someone who’s straight talking and can see the situation clearly and help you work a way through it.

4.  Work on a plan

When I see clients who are particularly stressed, besides talking and dealing with the emotional side of things, I will also work closely with them to come up with a plan in order to ease the pressure.  Quite often whe we are feeling stressed, we become overwhelmed and can't seem to find the right steps to change a situation or we find it difficult to see a way through.

Sit down (preferably with another person if possible) and start to list all the things that you can do to get yourself our of the situation and then literally list them 1-10 and start to work your way through it.  Motion creates motion, so even if you start with one small thing, it will propel you forward and set you on the right path.  Taking positive action is key to managing stress.

5.   Think positive thoughts

When we are stressed, we only tend to see things from our own point of view – like everything else; our perception of what is going on is only OUR perception and is rarely the reality. If we can manage to change the way we think about things and see them more positively then our feelings will also change – again see my post on Managing Negative Emotions for more information on why this is important and how to do it effectively.

This sounds easy and I appreciate that it is hard at first, but the more you are able to see things in a positive light, the better you life will become.

Summary

What’s the difference between people who get stressed and those who don’t? Do you really think that those people don’t have stressful situations in their lives? Of course they do. The difference is they think about them differently and deal with them effectively.  They ask good questions, develop good plans and take consistent action and you can do the same.

If you’d like to discuss any issues or situations that you are finding stressful, contact us for a free, no obligation conversation about how we can help you.

JO's FIRST BOOK: Thoughts Become Things

Visit the website for Jo Banks' first book, Thoughts Become Things now available in paperback and Kindle formats.