MANAGING STRESS – TIPS AND TECHNIQUES FOR STRESS REDUCTION
Don’t ignore stress. It is a warning that something is wrong, and it won’t just go away if you ignore it. You should either see your doctor, or seek professional help from a stress management consultant if you are suffering from daily stress.
Go on a stress management course. Employers are becoming increasingly aware of the issues surrounding workplace stress, and many now offer in-house stress awareness and management courses, or are willing to send employees on external courses. You will learn what stress is, what some of its symptoms are and how to recognise them, what triggers stress and how you can reduce stress through practical yet often simple techniques. If you prefer you can seek more tailored, 1:1 stress management support through speaking to a stress management consultant.
There is a large body of evidence which suggests that healthy diet and exercise are key in helping our bodies and minds cope with pressure and combat stress. If you are feeling healthy, strong and energised within yourself, you will be better placed to cope with all the demands that life has to throw at you. Becoming healthier is not about punishing diets, or necessarily losing weight. It’s about looking after yourself on an ongoing basis by eating a balanced diet and taking regular exercise that you enjoy. Don’t force yourself to eat certain foods or do certain activities, but find ways of exercising and eating healthily that you like and can fit into your life. It will mean making a few changes, but after a few weeks you’ll enjoy the benefits.
Be proactive and deal with issues and problems before they create too much pressure and you become stressed. Deal with potential stressors early on – they will be easier to resolve. For example, if you know you are working to a deadline, don’t put things off and leave them until the last minute – be organised, start working on it early and plan ahead. If the pressure is coming from a person, speak to them about it or talk to someone else. This doesn’t mean you have to confront them. Often just writing down how you feel or speaking to someone else about it releases the pressure and makes you feel better. Once you get it off your chest, you’ll often find that what you were worrying about wasn’t that big a deal anyway.
Become an expert on relaxation. You can get books on relaxation techniques from the library, find free resources on the internet, or join a yoga, meditation or relaxation class. Or you can simply make a list of the things that you do in your everyday life that help you to feel relaxed, such as listening to music, taking a bath or going for a walk. We all make excuses about time and financial restraints, but going for a walk or putting your favourite CD on are neither time consuming or expensive ways to relax.
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