Do you ever feel stressed out, it could be at work, at home or just in general? Maybe you find yourself worrying a lot and anticipating what could happen, or if things are going to go wrong? You might be very overwhelmed and this is causing you a lot of stress, or you may not even know how overstressed you actually are. Stress does affect a lot of us, but by learning some methods for coping with stress, you can hopefully start to feel more under control and not let things overwhelm you too much. So, keep reading to discover how to deal with stress and anxiety today!
Today, we are going to look at some strategies for coping with stress, but first, let’s talk about the psychology behind it!
So, what exactly is stress and why does it happen?
Stress is both the physical and psychological response to pressure or danger. In this day and age, it’s not so much a clear threat of danger, but rather the perception of danger or pressure that may be around you (such as someone yelling at you, or talking to a room full of people).
Our automatic response to pressure or danger is the flight or fight response. What this means is that hormones are released into your body, such as adrenaline, which causes your heartbeat to speed up and prepares your muscles for action, this is why you may feel dizzy or sick. Your body will also take some time to calm down after this response has happened. So, stress is caused when you are in a situation that you see as a threat or very overwhelming.
It’s good to know what the symptoms of stress are so that you can know and understand when you are stressed and what you can do to change the situation. There are both physical and emotional symptoms of stress.
Here is a stress symptoms checklist, so that you can look out for any symptoms you may have:
If you are able to learn how to deal with your stress, you should then start to be able to cope with it in your day to day life and know what coping strategies work for you. Knowing how to deal with stress will be able to help you to face it much easier, and hopefully not feel as overwhelmed. This should then help your symptoms subside, and start to feel better knowing that you can deal with your symptoms and you will know what makes you feel better.
Let’s have a look at how to deal with stress with 7 proactive and helpful strategies.
Alcohol is a depressant, so as you can probably guess, is not great if you are prone to feeling stressed and overwhelmed. Alcohol will increase your stress levels and is not recommended if you are feeling stressed, it will most likely make you feel worse.
Caffeine and Nicotine are stimulants, so again, will cause your stress levels to increase. It’s best to avoid these if you can.
Try and swap caffeine for water and herbal teas; herbal teas are helpful to relax and calm you down too. These stimulants and depressants also won’t solve any problems you may have, they are more likely to create new ones, so it’s best to stay away from these when you can.
Exercise is great for the brain, it releases toxins and also clears your mind. This is normally why you always feel so good after some physical activity.
It also helps us to calm down too, as we spoke about earlier, the flight and fight response happens when we are stressed or overwhelmed and exercise can help with this. As the physical responses to stress include having an increased heart rate and preparing our muscles into action, physical activity will help repress these symptoms.
If you can go for a daily walk, this will help clear your mind and also improve your sleep as you are using up your energy. Exercise also restores your body into a relaxed and calmer state after you have finished your physical activity, which is great for people who are stressed.
Overworking can often lead to stress. If you are constantly working, you can sometimes get caught up in your own time, and time you spend on work. This is why it is always good to have some me time.
This could be something that relaxes you, such as, reading a book before bed, watching your favorite film, talking to a family member etc. It puts you in a calmer state of mind, and hopefully, you can forget about your stresses from the day. It may be helpful to have a look at some of our self-care ideas and see what might work for you.
You can easily get very stressed if there are too many things on your to-do list. You could worry you won’t get them all done, which will only cause more stress for yourself.
A great way to feel less stressed with this is to list down the essential jobs that you have and make a short list, where you can focus on the main things that need doing. Try not to worry if you will or won’t get everything on it done, and as you have a shorter list it will also be easier to get more of your list done too. You won’t feel as overwhelmed and you can feel more focused on your list. This is a great way to manage stress in your life.
Whether you work from home, or in an office it’s always a good idea to have a clean, simple workspace.
The most important thing to do is to get rid of anything that you no longer need so that you won’t be worrying about it. Anything that has already been dealt with or no longer needs to be dealt with, should not be in your workspace. This will create a much nicer working environment for you and you won’t stress over things you don’t need to be worrying about.
It might also be nice to have a picture of a loved one or some flowers on your desk, to keep you in a good mood.
It’s always a good idea to keep a diary. When you write in a diary, you are keeping track of your progress and daily journey. Not only is it nice to write down what you are feeling and getting your emotions onto paper, but you can also keep track of everything.
You will be able to see what situations made you stressed out and how you dealt with it. Consequently, this shows you what you can change and if you want to be in them situations again. You can see if there is anything you can do differently so that you are able to react in a more positive way. then you can reflect on this at a later date, or when you are next feeling stressed.
Lack of sleep is something that can cause even more stress. On the other hand, sleep can also be hard for people when they are stressed as it can keep you awake for most of the night.
If you can, it is good to relax before you sleep. For example, you could read a book in bed, go off your phone or have a relaxing bath before bed. This will help you get into a more relaxed state of mind and should help you with getting to bed easier and having more sleep.
It’s also good to have a routine that you can stick to, where you are constantly going to bed at the same time and waking up around the same time too. If you have trouble sleeping, try this self-hypnotherapy for improving your sleep.