5 Actions to Manage Stress
Not feeling stressed. Congratulations! You are not amongst the one of 5 Australians that report (Stress and Wellbeing in Australia Survey, The Australian Psychological Society) stress as impacting their mental health and physical health. The figures are worse amongst working Australians, where almost one in three identify issues in the workplace as a source of stress. Whilst stress is part of everyday life, excess stress can impair functioning at home, work, relationships, physical health and psychological wellbeing.
Learning to handle stress in healthy ways is important. Consider the following 5 actions to manage your stress:
- Identify your triggers that raise your stress level. A key trigger could be having late nights and getting insufficient sleep. It may be someone at work that you find it challenging to communicate with. Ask yourself:
What commitments in my life tend to bring stress?
What aspects of my job trigger stress?
What areas of my relationships feel stressful?
To what extent do I think about people or things in a way that creates more stress for me?
Then…reflect on your answers to identify your triggers
2. Spend time with people who care and ensure you also are uplifting for others. This is even more important if you are in a leadership role…
Working Australians who reported that their employer valued their work contribution and cared about their wellbeing at work had significantly lower levels of stress and distress. These working Australians also had significantlylower levels of anxiety and depression symptoms and significantly higher levels of the overall wellbeing. (Stress and wellbeing in Australia in 2012: A state-of-the-nation survey)
3. Take care of your physical health and wellbeing by:
Eating a balanced, nutritious diet ( fresh fruit / vegetables, good proteins, with some starchy carbohydrates) including nuts, oils and water
Taking multivamins, fish oil and probiotics daily
4. Reverse or minimise stressful feelings and behaviours by:
Practicising relaxation techniques for the body. Identify areas of tension or tightness in your body and release it.
Breathing exercises or short mindfulness meditations that change your shallow breathing when stressed to more relaxed breathing. Try taking 3 slow deep breaths…count slowly to five in the inhale and slowing to 8 on the exhale. Then just follow your breath in and out of you body noticing it for a few minutes
Visualising circustances or places that make you feel relaxed and happy. Close your eyes and imagine you are there.
5. Counter your negative feelings when stressed by increasing your positivity by trying gratitude journaling:
Focus on writing down daily 3 things that you are grateful for. For more information read my blog “Gratitude improves your wellbeing”: Click here