How To Reduce Your Stress
Tomorrow, Friday July 22, is Lifeline’s Stress Down Day – a day for all Australians to look at their stress levels and find ways of managing stress better. Lifeline has found that 93% of Australians are stressed this year because of work and home, so now is the time to make a difference.
Here are some practical tips for managing stress and maintaining your health and staying resilient:
Talk to someone you trust (partner, friend, colleague or helpline)
Talking is a great way to let off steam or get some perspective, and helps release negative or upsetting feelings from remaining hidden inside. Talking can help you or someone you know feel much better. Having someone to listen to you, or you to them, reinforces that you are cared for and are valued. As humans it’s important for us to feel a connectedness with others, especially when at times we may feel isolated and alone. It won’t necessarily fix the problem, but will help start the process of identifying the problem and make you feel better knowing someone has listened to you.
Have a health check with your General Practitioner
Knowing that your body is in sync is an important step in maintaining good health and resilience. Your GP can check your physical health and general wellbeing for any negative signs that stress may be causing. Your health professional’s perspective can help you understand what you need to look out for and nurture more.
Seek urgent medical assistance if you are experiencing lack of sleep, loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed, loss of energy, distress or any other negative physical symptoms over a period of two weeks, and your ability to function normally is impacted.
Take up regular physical exercise
Evidence suggests that physical exercise will help you feel good about yourself. Regular physical exercise produces a chemical response that triggers positive feelings. As well as helping your body to stay healthy, you will also help your emotional wellbeing. You can share time and yourself with others or do this on your own as a way to help clear your mind. Physical activity may even help to vent your frustrations from a situation or person, and may help promote better sleeping habits.
Try to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet
Diet can play a big part in your emotional wellbeing. Certain foods and consuming too much or not enough can impact on your health and wellbeing. Different foods can contribute to our mood states, so talk with a dietician for advice. Try to limit alcohol, nicotine and caffeine, as these can contribute to feelings of anxiousness and discourage sleep, and may adversely impact on your overall health.
Find time to do activities you enjoy such as:
• Spending time with friends and family
• Participating in sports, games or hobbies
• Writing, listening to music, reading
• Going out, travelling, sight seeing
• Practicing relaxation techniques
Doing the things you enjoy can help remind you of the wonderful things in life, as well as helping you to recharge your body and mind. These are important for achieving balance at times when life may appear to be getting out of balance. Whether the activities are with other people or solitary, they will encourage self-discovery, create times when you can escape your problems, help you engage with others or simply be in the moment. Their importance in building your resilience and wellbeing cannot be underestimated, and will help you be more productive in the areas of your life that you may find less enjoyable but need to do.
Visit www.stressdown.org.au for more helpful tips and to donate to Lifeline’s 24 hour crisis line 13 11 14.
Do you get stressed? How do you prefer to relax?