Feeling stressed? Unfortunately, due our hectic lifestyles, stress is no stranger to modern life. But you don't have to let stress take over; these simple tips will help you take back control - and the good news is, you can start right away!
At Sense Massage we're passionate about reducing stress and we work to reduce it every day with our office massage. That's why our stress gurus have put together some top tips for tackling stress, so you can enjoy every day a little more!
Identify the problemBefore you can deal with stress it’s necessary to identify areas in your life that are causing you stress. Each time you feel anxious or stressed throughout the day, it may help to keep a journal and write down what’s causing you stress. Do this for 2 weeks to obtain a basic overview of any problems and stressors in your life.
Talk about the problemGet the opinions of friends and colleagues and think through what are your options. Work through the best case and worst case scenario’s. You may need to speak to your employer if it’s a work-related problem. A trained councillor can help with dealing with bigger issues, for example, if you are dealing with the death of a spouse.
PlanIt doesn’t matter if the stressors in your life are big or small, making a plan to resolve or to cope with your problems will be help you. If you have a work-related issue designing a management strategy with your employer covering your tasks, workloads, and schedules can be valuable. It’s important to seek regular support to help deal with the loss of a loved one, as professional organisations can offer long-term comfort, care, and practical advice.
Self-CareDiet, exercise and sleep all fall into the category of self-care. All three factors play an important role in your wellbeing and your ability to cope with stress. However, introducing extreme changes into your daily schedule can also cause undue stress. Introduce small changes into your routine, such as the 3 WWW’s more water, more walking, more forty winks.
CopingIt’s important that you don’t use substances to cope with stress, such as alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs. Think about a healthy selection of alternatives to ensure you cope and deal with your stress in a productive way. What do you really enjoy doing? Walking, massage, yoga, listening to music? Write your own list in your journal and ensure you make time to do them.
TimeWhat are you doing with your time? Identifying what we do with our time can be very helpful. Keep an accurate account of where you are spending your time and record this in your journal. Prioritise all the areas in your life: e.g. family, work, health, social, development and spirituality. Once you have a clear focus on where you want to spend your time, your journal may help you identify areas where your time is being wasted.
ThoughtsYour thoughts shape your reality and there is overwhelming evidence that the power of thougt effects not only our perception of stress, but also our success in dealing with it. When we are stressed, negative thoughts and feelings become automatic and it’s difficult to break the cycle. Work hard to create a positive thought processes. Like a muscle it needs training, consistency and discipline. Every single experience and moment in your life can be thought about in a more positive way but like an untrained muscle a gradual approach will produce success. Begin positive thought training when you are calm and not in the middle of a hectic day.
ApproachesVarious approaches to stress can be taken depending on the stressor. An external approach will confront and alter the situation. An internal approach, where emotions are modified can be used if external factors cannot be changed. An acceptance approach comes from within the individual to accept the stressful situation and allow symptoms to fade over time.
Cognitive ReasoningWhen do we decide something will cause us stress? In the initial decision making process we will evaluate if a stressor as either a threat or a challenge. In the second sage, the individual will decide if he or she has the coping resources to deal with the stressor. Studies have shown that if the individual decides that the stressor is either a threat or is harmful then negative psychological and physical symptoms can manifest. Whereas individuals that decided the stressor is a challenge had positive psychological and physical changes and felt they had more control over their situation.
Monitor and reviewMonitor and review your journal after the two-week period. Evaluate the problems and note down your action plan. Think about who needs to be involved in the solutions and what will be in your new self-care routine? Where can you save time to allow for greater prioritisation and additional time for yourself?
Stress can be harmful, we recommend that you seek medical or professional advice if you suffer any of the following symptoms:
- Chest pain, rapid heart rate
- Aches and pains
- Diarrhoea or constipation
- Nausea, dizziness
- Frequent colds or flu
- Depression or anxiety