Firstly, well done! You’ve noticed that something “isn’t quite right” and you’re actively doing something about it. This is the first stage in dealing with stress and anxiety – knowing it’s there and wanting to do something about it. It’s okay to feel a bit of stress once in a while, but if it’s happening on a daily basis and starting to get you down then it’s a big NO NO. So here’s what you can do next:
- Listen to your body: It’s not normal to have sleepless nights and a fast pacing heart on a regular basis. Our bodies are very good at giving us the “warning signs” so if you are feeling a bit overwhelmed, emotional, irritated or fed up then it could be that you are suffering from stress. Especially if you have been feeling like this for a while.
- Find the reasons: It can help to try and identify what could be causing your stress. Is there something going on at work or at home? Do you have concerns over something or is something niggling you? Finding out the reason for your stress won’t take the worry away, but it will certainly help you to tackle combating those negative feelings.
- Talk to somebody: It might sound simple, but it can be very effective. A problem shared is a problem halved as the saying goes! Try to talk to somebody about how you are feeling – a colleague, a friend, your boss or a family member. Sometimes it’s about your personal interpretation of a situation and talking to somebody might help you see things in a different, more positive light. And if you get upset that’s fine, sometimes just talking about it and letting the emotions or frustrations come out can be a great way of dealing with it.
- Think about coping strategies: Remember you cannot control external circumstances, but you can control how you react to them. Sometimes our minds can work in overtime and blur our vision, but if you can just step back for a moment and look at the whole picture you might be able to deal with it a bit better. Try to turn any negatives into a positive and focus on what you are grateful for – whatever that may be!
- Learn to say No: This applies at home and at work! If you are trying to do too much or being too nice and trying to please everybody, think about saying no once in a while. Try to focus on what the most important things are to you – you can’t do everything and nobody will think badly of you if you turn things down! Sometimes we don’t feel like facing people and that’s fine too – do whatever makes you feel the most comfortable.
- Do something to make YOU HAPPY: Many people get a lot of benefits out of techniques such as meditation or mindfulness – they can really help you to refocus and to think more positively. There are some fantastic apps you can download onto your phone to guide you through the process. Whether it’s a hot bath, a night out with friends, some “you” time or a family trip away – do something nice and do it more often!