Are you feeling stressed?
It’s likely that at some point in your life you will feel stressed, it’s a natural reaction when life feels difficult or overwhelming. This may be brought about because of work or lack of work, something that’s happening in your personal life or what’s happening in the world right now.
Some of the signs you are feeling stresses may include:
- feelings of constant worry or anxiety
- feelings of being overwhelmed
- difficulty concentrating
- mood swings or changes in your mood
- irritability or having a short temper
- difficulty relaxing
- low self-esteem
- eating more or less than usual
- changes in your sleeping habits
- using alcohol, tobacco or illegal drugs to relax
- aches and pains, particularly muscle tension
- diarrhoea and constipation
- feelings of nausea or dizziness
- loss of sex drive
Source: Mental Health Foundation
You may be able to relate to some of these signs. You may also have noticed other changes in your body such as:
- Clenching your jaw
- sweaty or clammy hands
- racing heart/palpitations
What can you do when you’re feeling stressed?
1 Try to identify what’s causing the stress. It may be obvious, a challenging time in a relationship, being under pressure at work. However sometimes, it might not be quite so obvious or may be more than one thing that’s happening at the moment.
2 Can you influence or control what’s causing you the stress? If you can’t then is there anything else you can do? For example, we can’t control the war in the Ukraine but we can control how we respond to this for example, we can support an appeal for aid.
3 Separating out what you can control and what you can’t helps to focus your energy and attention. Sometimes writing this down can be helpful.
4 If the event(s) that causing you the stress, try to ask yourself, can I do anything about this now, or may it be possible in the future to change something. Try to have an idea of what you might like to be different.
5 If change isn’t immediately possible there are still things you can do.
Small daily things may not feel like much, but they do make a difference. If you can incorporate these into your daily routine it will make a difference:
- Being active! This is a great way to help manage your stress better. YMCA St Paul’s group offers a wide variety of exercise classes, online and at our Health and wellbeing centers, for all ages and abilities.
- Start counselling. If you are interested in this as your next step contact us at Release Counselling. We offer an initial consultation within the first two weeks of you contacting us. Click here for more info about our services. Or contact your GP for local free counselling session.
- Try and set aside something that nurtures you, relaxes you or makes you laugh. Even if this is for 10 minutes a day, it’ll have a cumulative effect
- Talk to a friend, family member, or colleague
- Try to focus on small things you are grateful for each day. It’s easy or these to get lost when everything else feels overwhelming. This may be something like enjoying a cup of coffee or tea, stopping to notice a tree in bloom, gratitude for our senses, your duvet that keeps you warm each night
- Rather than trying to supress your feelings and emotions try to acknowledge them, and rather than giving yourself a hard time, treat yourself with kindness and compassion.
Other things that can help: