The Most Effective Ways To Manage Stress

Welcome back to the blog! I hope everyone is well and you have all had a good week so far.

This week I’m going to talk through some effective ways to manage stress, from a working perspective.

Lets get straight to it! Lets start by looking at some of the main causes of stress. Because to know how we can develop effective ways to manage the issues, we have to look at where they are coming from, and how we can combat the causes.

Now, more than ever, younger people have high stress levels due to the pressure to ‘succeed’. 60% of 18–24-year-olds, and 41% of 25–34-year-olds have mentioned this in surveys. If we compare this to only 17% of 45–54-year-olds and 6% of over 55s, it is clear to see the ever-growing pressure to succeed, is having a negative effect on our youth.

Other common causes of stress include;

  • Personal relationships
  • Comparing yourself to others
  • Increase in financial obligations
  • Debt
  • Social media & real life arguments/fall outs
  • Facing big changes
  • Not having much or any control over the outcome of a situation
  • Having responsibilities that you’re finding overwhelming
  • Not having enough work, activities or change in your life
  • Times of uncertainty
  • Taking care of an elderly or sick family member
  • Long hours

Can You Eliminate Or Reduce The Causes?

Yes, this may sound really obvious, but now we’ve discussed the many causes of stress, have you actually thought about ways to eliminate that cause/ action/ activity/ from your life? If you can’t eliminate it, how about ways in which to make it more enjoyable, or simply reduce the frequency of the cause/action/activity.

Take a notepad and just jot down some of the ways that you could possibly implement elimination or reduction into your causes of stress.

Effective Ways To Deal With Stress

So, you’ve now noted down, ways in-which you could eliminate or reduce your stress causes. But stress is always going to exist in some forms, so here are my 5 top tips on the most effective ways to deal with stress. I personally recommend experimenting with the different tips and see which coping mechanism / or combination of tips helps you the best;

My Top Tips

1. Aaanddd…. breathe!

Breathing techniques are documented far and wide to help with stress relief and also help calm anxiety. The awareness of the benefits of short meditation practices is on the up and there are many benefits for both calming you down out of stress and also longer-term benefits of helping to reduce anxiety when practicing on a regular basis. I would recommend looking into the work of Wim Hoff, he has some excellent guided meditations on YouTube. Here is one I recommend;

2. Have your cake and…

Having a balanced diet can really help manage stress. Foods have a dramatic effect on the brain and brain chemicals that get released, therefore, impact mood and the way you are feeling about yourself and situations.  A healthy diet can help counter the impact of stress by supporting the immune system and lowering blood pressure.

3. Another drink?

Reducing caffeine and alcohol intake can make a huge difference. Not just reducing the amount, but also factoring in the times you are having caffeine and alcohol. Studies have shown high amounts of caffeine can lead to the negative health effects associated with prolonged elevated levels of cortisol (causes chronic stress). However, small to moderate amounts of caffeine can lift your mood and give you a boost.

4. Run and a Jump

Regular exercise has a dramatic effect on your brain by stimulating the release of endorphins (the happy chemical). Endorphins are responsible for the high you get during a workout and people describe it similar to being in flow state. After working out you feel more optimistic too, which is why I personally would recommend getting in your workout early in the morning, ready for the day ahead, if your schedule permits.

5. There’s no place like bed

Sleep allows our brains to recharge and our bodies to rebuild. It is an essential human function. Even slight sleep deprivation can have serious effects on memory and judgement. I recommend you trying to aim for 8 hours per night, with 7 hours being a good target too. You will feel more refreshed and ready for the day ahead if you plan a proper sleep schedule. If you have an iPhone, I use the sleep alarm clock function within the alarm to work out my sleep schedule and ensure I get at least 7 hours per night.

I leave you with an inspirational quote;

Everyday brings a choice, to practice stress or to practice peace.

 Joan Borysenko

Stay safe and see you next week for the next edition