When you feel angry, irritable, frustrated or upset, do you think your mood and feelings might be caused by too much pressure and your stresses?  Stress is our reaction to the pressures we face on a day to day basis.  When the pressures become too much we become stressed.

If you frequently feel stressed then try some of these tips – remember stress is our personal reaction to pressure and it is unlikely that all of them will work for you, so if one of the tips does not work then try another, do not give up!

  1. Get fit and active – Exercise is a good stress reliever and you don’t have to be the next Seb Coe either! You can take a brisk walk, do some gardening or alternatively go for a gentle run.
  2. Sleep – yes the opposite to getting active. When you are stressed and have too much on your mind you struggle to sleep, which makes the stress worse. If this is the case then get into a relaxing bedtime routine, maybe a quiet relaxing bath, maybe listen to some soothing music, or read a book. Avoid watching TV or using the computer just before you go to bed.
  3. Laugh – it may sound daft but having a good old laugh can make you feel better even if it is a forced one! You could watch a funny film or even call a funny friend! On a serious note laughing reduces blood pressure and produces a relaxing feeling.
  4. Yoga – Yoga is a popular stress reliever so if you can give it a go, try out a local class or buy a DVD and try it yourself at home.
  5. Learn to say no! – You may constantly take on too much, be it at home or work, which is causing undue pressure. Learn to say no to other people’s responsibilities. If you find this difficult try the ADO technique. Acknowledge the request, decline it, and offer an alternative. For example, ’I understand that you need this data analysis for your presentation. I cannot complete it for you now as I have other things that I must complete today. However, I can do it for you tomorrow morning.’  This enables you to put your needs first.
  6. Get sociable – when you are stressed you tend to want to be alone and keep yourself to yourself. But by being sociable and going out with friends this distracts you from everyday worries and pressures and gives you the opportunity to chill out and relax.
  7. Write it down! – Sometimes by writing down your thoughts and feelings it can help to get rid of that ‘pent up’ anger. Just write what you feel and don’t worry no-one else will see it.
  8. Focus on what you can control – Finally, remember that you cannot control what happens to you but you can control your response to it. When facing a significant event at work or in your life that causes you a lot of pressure and hence stress, write down what you can control and influence. For example the current economic climate may mean that your job may be under threat. You cannot control this and spending time focusing on it is a waste of your time and emotional energy. Instead think about the problem differently and write down what you can influence and control. For example, you can ensure that you are a great employee so that your employer would not want to make you redundant. Alternatively, you could freshen up your CV, practice your interviewing skills and prepare yourself for a job search.

As stated above, stress is our personal reaction to pressure and it is important that we manage it and don’t let it manage us.  Hopefully by following the tips above life will become less stressful!  However if you are really intent on stress not getting the better of you then consider our Managing Personal Stress in house course which will help you reduce stress and minimise the impact of it, which as we all know can be devastating.