Managing Stress: 6 Proven Techniques To Help You Cope

Managing Stress: 6 Proven Techniques To Help You Cope

Managing stress: 6 proven techniques to help you cope.

Are you stressed? Feeling overwhelmed – too many deadlines to meet, money worries, family arguments?  Life isn’t easy at the moment?

Fact is stress is a part of life. And everyone goes through challenging times. But it’s not all bad.

Stress can be our friend. It motivates us, gives us opportunities to develop, to learn and grow. Gives us a buzz when we’ve completed the task. It builds up our resilience to manage difficult situations.

But constantly dealing with so much pressure plays havoc with our emotional, physical and mental wellbeing.

We can be left feeling upside down – battered and bruised.

And we are not alone.

Researchers recognise that millions in the UK are experiencing high levels of stress, suggesting it to be a public health challenge of our time.

So what is Stress? 

Stress is our body’s reaction to feeling under pressure, when we feel threatened or in danger.

We all view stress differently. Something might frighten me but not you. It’s our perceived demands threat, danger frighting situation we feel are dangerous.

And it’s not just in our heads. Our whole body responds and prepares to deal with the threat.

Our brains view the problem as urgent and releases stress hormones which prepares our body for survival. Frequent stress causes our body to go into fight, flight or freeze. Causing our hearts to pound faster and blood pressure to increase.

Which would be appropriate if we needed to flee from a bear.

But not if life events are provoking this reaction – we shouldn’t ignore it.

Heightened states of stress are directly linked to:

  • Work
  • Money worries
  • Life events
  • Health stress
  • Relationship difficulties
  • Study
  • Technology
  • Internal conflict

Too much untreated stress is linked to health issues such as heart disease, high blood pressure, headaches, immune disorders infertility digestive disorders and insomnia.

Good news stress is manageable.

6 steps to de-stress not dis-stress.

Here’s how:

  1. Change the self-talk – when we belief stress is a bad thing. We say things like “I’m so stressed, it’s killing me” or “I’m going to lose my mind”. Change your perspective. View it as a challenge not a disaster.  In that way your mind hears a situation that can be dealt with. You can’t change the situation, but you can change how you respond to it and the meaning we attach to it.
  2. Take Control – it’s the first step to making you feel better. Identify what is causing you distress.  And turn your worries into a series of problems that you need to solve. Make a list of possible practical steps you could do to make the situation easier for yourself. Research other alternatives.  Evaluate each idea – is realistic for you? Make a contract with yourself to follow them through.
  3. Get moving – it’s no secret that exercise is good for stress. It activates the feel-good hormones endorphins, dopamine and serotonin. Climb the stairs, dance, jump up and down. Walk the short journey’s instead of taking the car. You don’t have to go to the gym. Find something you love.
  4. Practice gratitude – noting the positive things you are thankful for in your life, in good and bad times, has been proven to improve mood. And the results are instant. Gratitude journaling – note the things you are thankful for in your life. For example, things like people, places, experiences really get into the emotions, how did you feel? Who was there? When we write it realises the feel-good hormones and lifts our mood instantly. It allows us to be happy now, not when you win the lottery.
  5. Live by your own values not others. Listen to yourself – you know what is important to you.  Block out time to honour the things you value. If eating dinner with your family one night of the week is important to you, then make that a priority. Make time for your hobbies. Invest in things that having meaning for you.
  6. Talk – sharing your worries with someone you trust, lifts your spirits. It helps you get a different perspective and reduce your emotional pressure.

Need some help managing stress? Get in touch. I offer face-to-face and online therapy.