Beat the Burn Out: Tips to Help Reduce Stress

June 2, 2019 7:20 pm

Image credit: Pixabay

Stress is a word you hear uttered a lot nowadays, from stress in the workplace to kids suffering from exam stress; it seems that no one is left untouched by the effects of stress. From sweaty palms, through to tight shoulders, pressure is something that is felt both physically and mentally. Of course, in some situations, stress is beneficial, it triggers the flight or fight response that helps us react in life-threatening situations. However, if you are stuck in a traffic jam on the way to work, this response trigger is of less use to you. Research shows that if stress responses are repeatedly triggered time and time again, it can result in a negative impact on your health, causing conditions such as high blood pressure.

If you find that you are feeling stressed a lot of the time, it can be helpful to try to take action to reduce your stress levels.

Examine the Cause

Sometimes it is so easy to get into the habit of feeling stressed that you never take a minute to stop and think about what is causing you to feel so stressed. Many people assume that this feeling of permanent stress is simply a part of modern life, while modern life can be stressful; it doesn’t mean that it always has to be that way.

Stopping every once and a while and taking a proactive approach to handling your stress can be beneficial. Examining precisely what your main stress trigger is and then thinking about how this could be alleviated is a great way to feel more in control of your situation. If work is causing you stress, then, of course, it may not be possible to stop working, but you could think of ways to make your workload more manageable or look to change job roles.

Give Yourself Some Space

Mindfulness is a hugely useful tool to help you handle stress better. There are lots of misconceptions around what mindfulness actually is, and this can sometimes put people off of giving it a try. Essentially, mindfulness is about being in the present moment and not getting caught up in unhelpful thought processes relating to the past and future. Mindfulness enables you to have the space to focus on the here and now, without adding to your stress with ‘what if?’ scenarios.

Using mindfulness can help you to feel calmer in general and deal with problems effectively and with a clear mind as they happen. Mindfulness does take some practice, but if you think that you are struggling to break free from stress, then it is a useful technique to learn.

There are lots of books and information available online about mindfulness, or you may prefer to download a mindfulness app to help you practice wherever you are.

Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash

Time to Chill Out

When life is busy, it is easy to become bottom on your own list of priorities. However, it is essential to have some downtime, even if it is not as much as you would like it to be. When you are really busy, you may find that you feel stressed and busy, but you are not actually getting very much done. In this situation, it is a good idea to stop for a little while and pause, that way you can give yourself some time to gather your thoughts or simply switch off and do something completely different.

If you love to read but haven’t picked up a book in ages because you feel you simply don’t have time, then why not give yourself the freedom to do that for a little while. If playing computer games were always the way that you used to chill out in the past, then spending some time on the virtual race track playing car games may be just what you need. Spending time doing things that you enjoy doesn’t mean that you won’t get anything you need to done, it merely means that you are taking a break to come back to your tasks with a clearer head.

Remembering to take time out like this is especially useful for people that feel that they are too busy to take a lunch break at work. In fact, taking that little bit of time whether it’s just 30 minutes away from your desk, can help you feel a lot calmer and better equipped to tackle your workload.

Look After Yourself

As mentioned earlier, continual stress can have a negative impact on the body by contributing to issues such as high blood pressure. If you aren’t taking proper care of yourself and then adding to the burden your body is under by making unhealthy lifestyle choices, then you are likely to feel worse than ever.

Managing your stress by turning to comfort food or alcohol, for example, can create a vicious cycle. Making healthier choices will not only help you feel better prepared to manage your stress levels but could potentially make you feel much better. Exercise such as yoga can be useful for reducing stress, even simply walking in the fresh air can give your mood a real boost. While taking the time to get some exercise and eat healthy food may not feel that appealing when you are already feeling under pressure, taking a more gentle approach to yourself can provide real benefits.

If you are feeling under pressure, you may feel like avoiding spending time with your friends or family. Sometimes, getting out and having a change of scenery and a catch up with friends can be a great idea. Speaking to a trusted friend or family member is often a good idea to enable you to talk through your feelings, and break down any feelings of isolation that you may be experiencing.

It is important to state that if you feel overwhelmed by stress, or are experiencing any kind of mental health issue or distress; then it is always advisable to seek help about speak to a medical professional about how you are feeling.

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