5-Point Stress Plan
Stress can be a major problem for both individuals and businesses. It can affect our level of happiness, our work performance, and our general sense of wellbeing. It can impact on us in a number of different ways
Physically : headaches; indigestion; tiredness; aches and pains
Mentally : over-sensitivity; indecision; worrying; loss of concentration; easily distracted
Emotionally : feeling tense; irritability; loss of confidence; feeling nervous; apprehensive; anxious; drained
Behaviourally : too busy to relax; restlessness; taking work home; disturbed sleep; unsociability
These are just a few examples of the ways stress can come out, and if you're experiencing some of these symptoms, what can you do about it? Firstly, if you're suffering from high levels of stress, you might want to speak to your GP about it. The good news though is that stress is a response, and if we want to modify the way we respond, changes in the way we think and behave can very often help.
Here's a 5-point plan for dealing with the symptoms and causes of stress -
If you're starting to feel stressed, pay attention to your breathing, and breathe slowly through your nose, taking deep breaths, without forcing it. (If you're in company, no-one need know you're doing it). You will start to feel a release of tension, and if you're able to do it for a couple of minutes or more, a sense of relaxation.
Very obvious, but when we're at work we don't always take the time to actually do it. Move away from your desk, and do something different for a short while. Go for a walk round the block if you can, when you can see and think about other things. Where possible, you should build in a lunch-break and short breaks during your working day. You're likely to be more effective and clear-headed as a result.
Exercise is the number one stress-buster. It provides benefits for our general health, and is highly effective in reducing stress. It improves blood flow to the brain, which helps us to think more clearly, and releases endorphins, feel-good hormones. If we can build in regular exercise into our busy routines, our stress levels are liable to go down.
Try looking at things differently
If something is 'doing your head in', ask yourself "Is my thinking helpful?". If it isn't helpful, the next question is "What do I need to do to think in a more helpful way?". This is easier said than done, but if we can just take a step back, and try to look at things from a different perspective, this is the first step to handling stressful situations more effectively.
Talk about it (don't keep it to yourself)
We are designed as human beings to communicate, and not expressing ourselves can lead to stress. We all neeed support sometimes, so tell someone close to you/who's a good listener how you're feeling. They may not come up with solutions, but simply 'letting it out' can be a great de-stressor.
Finally, look after yourself, and get enough rest and sleep. You will function better, and be more effective.
For more advice, tips and techniques, take a look at some of the resources elsewhere on this site, or get in touch with us via email or phone 0118 3283246.