From the key signs of work-related stress to advice on how to beat it, it seems awareness of one of the gremlins of modern life is swelling. Not just in the media, but in the business world too. Tips for less stress in demand.
But stress isn’t necessarily the product of a poor life-work balance. It can also result from emotional trauma, financial worries, pre-exam jitters, and a myriad other factors. The fact that National Stress Awareness Day is still here – this week marked its 16th anniversary – suggests we still have a thing or two to learn about stress and how to beat it.
One thing we do know is that no one is immune to the claws of stress. So just how can you fend them off, should they strike? As ever, talking to your doctor is a good start if you’re at all worried. In the meantime, we’ve been scouting out practical tips for less stress that can help you be yourself again.
Get in the driving seat
According to Cary Cooper, Professor of organisational psychology and health at Manchester Business School, sensing loss of control is a major catalyst for stress. In turn, doing nothing about stress makes matters even worse. His tips for less stress? Don’t hide. Take control and remember that you definitely can do something about stress.
Make time for you
Escape at home or away – whatever rocks your boat, just do it. If you’ve been working too hard or are drained emotionally, make sure you take the time to recharge. Unplug the computer, put the phone on flight mode, and fly – to Cyprus, the bath tub, anywhere.
Get plenty of exercise
Staying physically active is frequently among the top tips for less stress. Exercise won’t get rid of stress completely, but it can put you in a positive frame of mind that can help you achieve just that. Stress-relief yoga might be a good start, but virtually any kind of wholesome physical activity goes.
Talk it out
Probably one of most important tips for less stress anyone can give. ‘Call a friend’ isn’t just an option on Who wants to be a millionaire. There’s no need to do it all on your own, so tap into the support network around you – from family and friends to counsellors and life coaches who can support you through a difficult time.
Like physical exercise, the buzzword of the moment is no magic wand for disappearing stress. But simple exercises to help you reconnect with the here and now offer yet another way to control the impact of external pressures and other worries on your mental and physical wellbeing.
Tried all of these tips for less stress already? Plenty more advice and tips are available on the NHS’s dedicated stress-busting web page.