Stress Management

What is stress?

Stress is combined pressure from external circumstances that can cause internal tension, anxiety, and a sense of being overwhelmed. Stress is an inevitable and inherent part of life. However, our ability to cope with stress can be undermined by

If you are experiencing stress symptoms or feel increasingly out of control, you probably need to reduce the pressures in your life. Sometimes just taking one or two small steps in the right direction can ease the strain. Here are some ways to help you manage stressful circumstances more effectively:

Deal with the underlying cause(s)

This may seem obvious, but can be easier said than done. For example, if stress is connected to your relationship with a person, talk out your differences. If you are feeling tense about an unfinished task, restructure your priorities so you can get the responsibility out of the way.

Learn to pace yourself

It isn’t humanly possible to be in high gear all the time. When you have a number of tasks, deal with them one by one in order of urgency then set aside the remainder for the time being. Make sure to reward yourself with a break or a rest before working towards the next goal.

Realise your limits and plan around them

In the long run, less stress is caused by turning away tasks than by leaving work unfinished. Prioritise the tasks you have to do, then give yourself a realistic amount of time to deal with them. Don't take on more than you can handle.

Don’t try to be perfect

We cannot always control the circumstances in our environment. So stop trying to do your best and start doing as well as you can. And remember to give yourself a pat on the back for the things you accomplish, or manage to do well.

Eat sensibly and get plenty of rest

When your physical resources are depleted from lack of nourishing food or sufficient sleep, many things look worse than they really are. Poor diet and fatigue will also reduce your ability to cope with problems.

Escape for a while

When things threaten to become overwhelming, it sometimes helps to escape from the problem for a while. Lose yourself in a film, a book, a game, or a brief change of scene.

Work off your anger

If you feel like lashing out at someone who has provoked you, try holding off that impulse for awhile. Channel your pent-up energy into some physical activity you enjoy, such as walking, running, dancing, or an energetic project.

Give in occasionally

If you repeatedly get into conflict with people, or frequently feel stubborn and defiant, ask yourself, "Is this really worth fighting for?" If not, give in. Competition and criticism are contagious, but so is cooperation.

Have fun

Recreation is essential for good physical and mental health. Plan to do something you enjoy as part of a regular routine. Going for walks, meeting friends, sharing a meal together, having a laugh are all small pleasures that can make a difference.

Accept and plan for change

Life can be full of surprises and unexpected events- good, bad and everything in-between. You can’t control this fact, but you can control your reaction. Be patient when there are inevitable or unexpected changes, and try to let things wash over you a bit.

Adopt a new outlook

Challenge any patterns of negative thinking that focus only on what is wrong with you or your situation. Are you really all of the bad things you tell yourself? Or are you a mixture- sometimes getting things wrong, sometimes doing things well? Try to adopt a more balanced view. Learn to accept praise or compliments from others rather than concentrating solely on failures and disappointments. A positive disposition will help fight stress, while a negative outlook can produce or intensify stress. 

Talk over your troubles

Talk over your problems with a levelheaded person you can trust. Sharing your concerns or worries can release pressure, boost your spirits, and help you see things more objectively.