We all know what it is like to feel stressed and being under pressure is a normal part of life. Before noticing when we are stressed, and learning techniques to help, can make this more manageable and decrease the risk of this spiralling and having a detrimental impact on your mental health.
We wanted to put together a few ideas on how to look out for stress in yourself and colleagues, and what we can all do to reduce our stress levels.
Tell-tale Signs of Stress
According to doctors and health experts, stress can show in numerous ways, but the common signs are:
- Depression or anxiety.
- Anger, irritability, or restlessness.
- Feeling overwhelmed, unmotivated, or unfocused.
- Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much.
- Racing thoughts or constant worry.
- Problems with your memory or concentration.
- Making bad decisions.
A big part of managing stress is admitting that you are stressed and talking about what you are going through. The old adage “a problem shared is a problem halved” is true, so speak to colleagues, friends or family and it can lift a weight of your shoulders
Completing any form of physical exercise, even if it’s just a walk in the fresh air, releases endorphins which can help lighten you mood and clear your head. It is also said that following a healthy diet and completing regular exercise lessens the likelihood of you becoming stressed as often.
Relaxation & Sleeping
Stress can sometimes keep you awake at night, so relaxation techniques can help you get the good night’s sleep you need to recharge your batteries. Activities such as yoga and meditation can help, but any activity such as reading or going for a walk in the park can help you relax.
Plan your time
Time management and meeting deadlines can be a key contributor to increasing your stress levels. Making a list of things you have to complete, and also a list of what isn’t so vital and can be left until another day, can help plan your day and alleviate the stress of rushing to get things done.
What to do if you’re overwhelmed
If you do get overwhelmed, that’s okay; we all feel that way at times so don’t worry! We can help ourselves to manage this feeling by finding ways to calm our minds and bodies. One technique is a breathing technique to breath out the negative energy:
- Sit in a quiet place; somewhere away from the situation where you feel safe, like your car if you’re at work, or your bedroom at home.
- Think of a colour which represents your negative feelings, for example red for anger, and take in a deep breath.
- When you breath out, visualise that you are breathing that colour out of your body, like a red cloud coming out of your mouth
- Now visualise a positive colour, like blue to represent a clear sky, and visualise breathing that colour back in
- Repeat this for 5 long breaths and feel the positivity return.