8 Tips To Combat Stress Head On

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Stressed Much? Tips To Boost Your Wellbeing

BY AMANDA HALE

Unfortunately, stress has become an all too essential part of modern life. It’s bizarre to consider that being busy has become something to boast about, but apparently stress is a symbol of success and status. Add onto this the overload of information available on the internet, social media, and the fact that modern technology makes us contactable 24/7, and it’s no wonder our bodies are unsettled!

Is stress making itself a little to comfortable in your life?

Is stress making itself a little too comfortable in your life?

Stress effects everyone differently, but the main indicators of stress are:

• Sleep disturbance, insomnia
• Upset stomach
• Eating less or more than usual
• Anxiety
• Anger
• Irritability
• Depression
• Fatigue
• Feeling overwhelmed and out of control

And if stress itself isn’t a big enough problem, increasingly, we’re turning to unhelpful coping strategies to feel soften the blow of the stressors in our lives. A recent survey by the Australian Psychological Society found that amongst people reporting the highest levels of distress, and symptoms of anxiety and depression, many were turning to alcohol, gambling, smoking and drugs to manage their stress. What’s worse, many of these individuals described their strategy as effective. Although unhelpful coping strategies like this may “work” in the short-term, in the long-term they fail to address the issue, and they often end up creating additional problems, like financial stress, health problems, relationship stress, and employment issues.

If you’re feeling stressed, avoid unhelpful coping strategies. Try these strategies instead – they’ll boost your wellbeing so you’re in a better position to address and problem-solve the issues responsible:

Tip #1: Establish Routines

Routines help create structure and predictability. Having a routine will also help you to make time for relaxation, exercise, and healthy meals.

Tip #2: Exercise Regularly

Exercise in almost any form can be a stress reliever. It releases mood-enhancing chemicals and can help to deplete stress hormones which help you to cope better with stress, so get that workout gear out and ready.

Tip #3: Get Enough Sleep

Science says healthy sleep patterns are a very important part of wellbeing,so make sure you make sleep a priority.

Tip #4: Avoid Alcohol, Cigarettes + Drugs

Although these substances may help with stress in the short-term, in the long-term they can contribute to feelings of depression and anxiety and make stress harder to deal with.

Tip #5: Eat A Healthy Diet And Stay Well-Nourished

There’s a growing body of research to support a link between a healthy diet and wellbeing so make sure you eat well.

Tip #6: Know Your Triggers

Know your triggers then decide which ones are within versus outside your control. For those within your control, practice problem-solving, and for those outside of your control, minimise exposure (where possible), and/or practice acceptance and letting go.

Tip #7: Spend Time With People You Care About + Openly Express Your Feelings With Them

Our support network has a huge role in wellbeing, and being able to honestly share how we are and accept help is very important.

Tip #8: Practice Relaxation

Practice skills for relaxation, whether that might be formal practice in the form of mindfulness meditation or yoga, or taking 5 minutes out of your day to do some deep breathing or take part in an enjoyable activity.

Amanda Hale is a registered psychologist and a Doctor of Psychology (Clinical) Candidate at the Australian National University. She enjoys working with children, adolescents and adults, and specialises in anxiety, depression, eating disorders, weight management and interpersonal and adjustment difficulties.


 

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