Is stress getting the better of you?

Stress

Stress is a big problem for many people. Click below to find out more.

Unfortunately for many, it's all too easy to feel the pressure as work, family and general life commitments start to build.

So when should you start paying attention to feeling stressed?

• If you often feel like you are in a rush and feel a sense of urgency to get things done

• If you are juggling several things at once and struggling to do any properly.

• If you often feel tense and frustrated

Whilst a bit of stress can be a good thing (it can help you meet those deadlines, give you that extra bit of clarity and boost overall efficiency), it needs to be managed. If stress becomes overwhelming it can have serious harmful effects on your health. High blood pressure, depression and addiction are just three ways that stress can manifest.

So how can you manage stress?

1)   Identify the key stressors and take a step back to examine them

The first thing to do is work out what is causing you to feel stressed. Do you have more tasks than you can handle? Is it a combination of at work and home life or is one causing more stress than the other?

Once you know what is stressing you, you can work out whether the stressor is something you can sit with or if it is serious enough that you need to change it. When you’re in the middle of a task or drama filled situation, it can be easy to feel like it is the most important thing in the world and that you alone have to fix it. However, if you take a step back, it gives you an opportunity to see whether the event/task really has much impact on your overall life and wellbeing. If it quickly becomes obvious that the thing you were stressed about is something that probably has little or no impact on where you’ll be in a week, month or year, it’s probably not worth stressing over in the first place.

2)   Talk to someone  

Sometimes the thing that feels most overwhelming is feeling like it’s you against the world and there’s nobody to talk to or who could understand. Whether you feel most comfortable talking to a friend or family member or you feel the need for an independent opinion from somebody like a psychologist, there are always people who are happy to sit and listen.

3)   Establish boundaries and take control

More often than not, we feel most overwhelmed when we feel like we have no control over a situation and no way to influence an outcome. As such, the first thing to do is ask yourself the following question:

Is there anything I can do to change the way this is going?

By choosing to act rather than simply react to a scenario, something as simple as writing a to do list, organising a meeting or sitting down for a chat can help you feel as though you are taking control and better able to manage the challenges ahead. Alternately, ask yourself if any of the stressors can be eliminated (ie delegating work to others).

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