How to deal with stress?
We’ve all said things like “this is stressful” or “I’m stressed”, and we may have all experienced feelings of stress so we might be talking about:
- Situations or events that put pressure on us – for example, times where we have lots to do and think about, or don’t have much control over what happens.
- Our reaction to being placed under pressure – the feelings we get when we have demands placed on us that we find difficult to cope with.
As stress can cause problems or be the result of problems it can be really difficult to establish the root cause of your stress and how to deal with the feelings associated with stress.
But whatever you believe stress to be, it’s likely that you can learn to manage your stress better by:
- managing external pressures, so stressful situations don’t seem to happen to you quite so often.
- developing your emotional resilience and mental toughness, so you’re better at coping with tough situations when they do happen and don’t feel quite so stressed.
So how can you manage those external pressures?
Effective planning – by taking time out each day and week to look at both your work and personal commitments, you will be better able to anticipate periods of increased demand and create some balance within your schedule. All work and no play is not good for your well-being, though there are times where this may be essential.
Time Management – this links to your planning. If you don’t plan, then you can’t ensure that you have allocated the appropriate level of time to your commitments. Consider using your time more effectively for example using your time twice – reading a key work paper whilst waiting to collect your child from an after-school activity.
Prioritisation – this links to both time management and planning. Look at your commitments and establish those that are urgent and important, and discard or delegate those tasks that aren’t essential for you to complete. By using a tool such as Eisenhower’s Principle this will allow you to prioritise key tasks more effectively.
There are other techniques you could use to manage those external pressures such as become more assertive (learn to say no) and delegate more effectively.
How can you develop your resilience and mental toughness?
Become more positive – consider how you view any situation and think about whether you look for the positives or the negatives in that situation. By focussing on the positives you will develop the ability to embrace change and in some cases, welcome it
Look after yourself – Ensure you give yourself time to do the things that you enjoy and make you feel good. Consider the benefits that any form of exercise brings you and how exercise alone can alleviate feelings of stress along with making you feel great once you have finished. Build in relaxation time where you may just sit quietly listening to music, reading or colouring – anything is helpful if it helps you to relax and re-set your mind.
Learn to focus – Think about how you may have loads of windows open on your PC, you constantly check your emails and phone, and will answer phone calls regardless of what you are doing. This may mean that you never complete what you set out to do in that day and consequently can compound your feelings of stress as you may feel that you are out of control and never achieve anything. By developing your attentional control you learn to focus and complete your required tasks and the good news is that you can develop this by completing brain training exercises and developing your planning and time management skills.
There are numerous other techniques that you could use to develop your resilience and levels of mental toughness such as controlling your emotions, developing your levels of emotional intelligence, being more realistic and less demanding on yourself etc.
If you have enjoyed reading this blog and would like to learn more about how to manage stress and develop your levels of mental toughness we are running a short 2-day Mental Toughness workshop where you will assess your own Mental Toughness and learn how to develop your resilience and mental toughness levels. The course will be held in Bolton with refreshments and lunch provided, fee is £249 per person. For further information on this course you can click the link below for the course fact sheet or you can email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
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