Stress and Coping
“Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you really are” ~ Chinese proverb
If you find you often feel stressed, and you don’t have good ways to manage it, you are more likely to have heart disease, high blood pressure, chest pain, or irregular heartbeats.
Stress raises your blood pressure. It not good for your body to be exposed to the hormones related to stress. Studies also link stress to changes in the way blood clots, which increases health risks.
The way you handle stress is important. If you respond to it in an unhealthy way by overeating, smoking, drinking alcohol or not exercising that makes matters worse. On the other hand, if you eat well, exercise, connect with people, and find a way to manage your day despite the stress, that makes a difference in your emotions and in your body. In fact, most people find that routine, daily exercise is one of the best remedies for stress.
The first step is to recognise the signs of stress. The second is to find a way that works for you in managing it.
Try to change the source of stress, do you need to do something differently in work for example.
If the situation cannot be changed, change your reaction to it. Some ways to do this would be:
- Indulging in a pastime you enjoy such as walking, playing a round of golf.
- Take some time out from the situation which is causing the stress, listen to music, read, meditate or just take some deep breaths, in the fresh air if possible, these are all great ways to escape and relieve tension.
- Talk to friends and family let them know you are feeling stressed. Plan some time with them in a relaxed environment where you can talk and laugh.
- Handle life’s challenges one day at a time and remember not all situations are under your control.
- Try to recharge your batteries at the end of each day by going to bed a little earlier and aiming for 8 hours of sleep.
|Mindfullness: How to look after yourself
- Accept there are events you cannot control
- Look at your work and life balance – can you make it better?
- Use the routine of daily exercise to manage stress
- If you are a carer, make sure to take time for yourself
- Do pleasurable things: walking, reading, gardening, other hobbies
- Try to keep positive
- Get enough sleep
- Eat well
- Avoid alcohol and smoking
- Seek social support
- Get help if you feel you are not coping