Stress is our psychological, emotional and physical response to pressure. We perceive that the demands we face exceed our resources and ability to cope. Prolonged stress can lead to anxiety which can be more debilitating and chronic.
Stress can be be evoked from a plethora of external factors including life events such as marriage and divorce, unemployment, bullying , financial pressures or interpersonal difficulties.
Research suggests that 74% of people have felt stressed over the past year and at least 50% of these are also anxious and depressed. (Mental Health Foundation 2018 )
Are you surprise by these statistics? I think not as we are living in uncertain and precarious times due to brexit, austerity , automation, inflation.
The demands of modern life are as never before especially with technology and social media as we are continually accessible and it can be arduous to switch off at times.
Many of us are juggling many roles and responsibilities such as being an employee, mother , father , manager , entrepreneur, carer, sister and friend to name . All the more reason to be equipped with stress busting strategies.
Signs of Stress
Negative Beliefs such as :
- This is too much – I can’t cope!
- No one understands the pressures I am facing
- I dont have enough time to do this and manage my staff
- I’ll never finish
- I have to get this done
- Irritable, bad tempered
- Depressed and apathethic
The physical response to stress is caused by the body’s adrenaline response – the body’s alarm signal and survival mechanism when faced with a threat. Th e release of cortisol leads to these changes
- poor concentration
- Breathing faster
- Tense muscles – e.g. neck, shoulders, abdomen
- Hot, sweaty
- poor memory and being forgetful
- Difficulty concentrating
- Agitated, restless
- Bladder or bowel problems
- Sleep problems
- Unable to settle and fidgety
- Incomplete tasks
- Reduced or elevated appetite
- Increase in alcohol intake
- Smoking excessively or more often
- Use of illivit drugs and chemicals
Stress Busting Solutions
- S – say no and set boundaries – if you dont have sufficient time to do certain tasks acknowledge this and decline additional requests as this is being kind to yourself. Delegate tasks where possible and focus on urgent and important tasks. Set boundaries and ensure they are clear with others. Don’t be afraid of encforcing them as this is when you will truly discover if people respect and value you.
- T- Take care of your needs as a how can you take care of other if your cup is half empty. Fill your cup and recharge your battery as you know best. This may be a date night, going for a swim. have a lovely meal or simply soaking in a lavendar bath.
- R– Rest when needed as this allows your battery to be recharged and energized. Rest will avoid burnout and becoming physically and mentally depleted
- E – Eat healthily and Exhale by having a balanced diet and letting go of worries through mindfulness or problemSolving. Eradicate toxic people from your life if they sap your energy
- S – self care is a priority so begin defining this for yourself and align with your values. Dont compare your self care to others as you are unique
- S – Sleep hygiene recharges the battery and restores you emotionally and physically. Dont go without sleep for a long time as this effects your cognitive abilities. Avoid drinking caffeine late in the evening as this can effect your ability to sleep
Accredited Cognitive Behaviour Therapist I Health and Wellbeing Consultant I Resilience Trainer
0161 955 4720