Today, Wednesday 7th November celebrates National Stress Awareness Day. Stress is something that we all feel, and something that we have almost no control over. It is a normal reaction that comes from your body during times of change and your body can then react emotionally, physically or mentally. Stress doesn’t always happen through negative situations in your life, we can also find positive changes, such as a promotion at work or the arrival of a baby, very stressful.
Stress can come from a number of things including your surroundings, your thoughts and your body. Even though we can’t avoid stress, we can learn how to deal with it better so that it doesn’t drastically affect our health. Positive stress can keep us motivated, alert and ready to tackle something dangerous and then there is negative stress, and this is what we need to manage better. This occurs when we are put in a situation in which we feel we can’t handle, or when something is constant for us without any relief.
Our bodies are amazing things and we all have an autonomic nervous system that has a built-in stress response, and this is what we call the ‘fight or flight response’. This is what forces us to deal with the stress, however, in some situations, this response can be continuously activated and that is what causes long-term damage to our mental and physical health.
There are things we can do to help deal with and reduce the stress we feel. Here are some tips for you:
• Keep a positive attitude
• Accept that there are events that you cannot control
• Be assertive instead of aggressive. Assert your feelings, opinions, or beliefs instead of becoming angry, defensive, or passive
• Learn and practice relaxation techniques; try meditation/yoga
• Exercise regularly. Your body can fight stress better when it is fit
• Eat healthy, well-balanced meals
• Learn to manage your time more effectively
• Set limits appropriately and say no to requests that would create excessive stress in your life
• Make time for hobbies and interests
• Get enough rest and sleep. Your body needs time to recover from stressful events
• Don’t rely on alcohol, drugs, or compulsive behaviors to reduce stress
• Seek out social support. Spend enough time with those you love
• Seek treatment with a psychologist or other mental health professional trained in stress management or biofeedback techniques to learn more healthy ways of dealing with the stress in your life
We support #NationalStressAwarenessDay