28 April 2017

Written by Lauren Francis
for Daily Focal

April marks a whole month focusing on stress awareness. We all differ in how much stress we can handle and what coping mechanisms we use, we all view stress differently but what unites us all is we all experience it in varying degrees. Stress can lead to a number of health issues including anxiety and depression to the more severe of heart attacks, and it is vital that we try and keep our stress levels in check, which is easier said than done. Here are my 8 stress busting tips to try and help. 

  1. Find Something You Love. Whether this be going for a run or for a swim, taking a class, dancing, colouring in, writing, reading, you name it if you enjoy it and it has the ability to take your mind off things go for it. 

  1. Take Time For You. With our busy lives it is easy for the months to slip by and for us to get caught up in things. Planning regular activities, a cinema trip, dinner with friends, a manicure, a game of football, it gives you something to focus on. For me it is always a massage, I ensure I book a new appointment before I leave so I have something in the diary, and when times are pretty shitty and stressful I know there is something just for me to look forward to. 

  1. Make a Change. This could be big or small. Something simple as tidying up your desk or decluttering and having a spring clean can work wonders in making a big difference to stress levels. 

  1. What is the Root Cause? Sounds obvious doesn’t it but finding what is causing stress is half the battle in improving your stress levels. Take time to figure out what is worrying you and try and make a change that will help alleviate it, and accept the things that you cannot change.

  1. Being Mindful. Evidence suggests that mindfulness not only helps lower stress but also helps to build inner strength and coping mechanisms for the future. There are many mindfulness tips, techniques and even apps out there to help find something that suits you. 

  1. Focus on the Positives. We spend an awful amount of time taking on the glass half empty approach and it is time to take stock of some of those positives that get overlooked. There are books and happiness journals that can really help you focus, but simply writing down five happy or good things that happened that day for the next 30 days can work wonders.

  1. Get Out There. I am the first to admit I love nothing more than coming home popping on those PJs and snuggling up on the sofa, #NetflixandChill and all that. It is easy to fall into the same routine but getting out there and enjoying life is key. Don't cancel those plans or make excuses, go out and you may be surprised by how much fun you have. 

  1. Ask for Help. Please don't be afraid to ask for help. Talk to someone and share your feelings, or ask someone how they are. If talking to loved ones isn’t something you want to do speak with your GP and or search for support services in your area. There are plenty of avenues.

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