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Health |Health

By Laura

Top 5 stress busting tips- April 2018

By Laura

We all know what it's like to feel stressed - being under pressure is a normal part of life.

Becoming overwhelmed by stress can lead to mental health problems or make existing problems worse. 

To highlight stress awareness month, we looked to the NHS Moodzone to give us their top 5 stress busting tips:

  • Be active: Exercise won't make your stress disappear, but it will reduce some of the emotional intensity that you're feeling, clearing your thoughts and letting you to deal with your problems more calmly.

  • Take control: There's a solution to any problem. "If you remain passive, thinking, 'I can't do anything about my problem', your stress will get worse," says Professor Cary Cooper, occupational health expert at Lancaster University. "That feeling of loss of control is one of the main causes of stress and lack of wellbeing."

The act of taking control is in itself empowering, and it's a crucial part of finding a solution that satisfies you and not someone else.

  • Have some 'me time': Here in the UK, we work the longest hours in Europe, meaning we often don't spend enough time doing things we really enjoy. "We all need to take some time for socialising, relaxation or exercise," says Professor Cooper. He recommends setting aside a couple of nights a week for some quality "me time" away from work. "By earmarking those two days, it means you won't be tempted to work overtime," he says.

  • Challenge yourself: Setting yourself goals and challenges, whether at work or outside, such as learning a new language or a new sport, helps to build confidence. This will help you deal with stress."By continuing to learn, you become more emotionally resilient as a person," says Professor Cooper. "It arms you with knowledge and makes you want to do things rather than be passive, such as watching TV all the time."

  • Try to be positive: Look for the positives in life, and things for which you're grateful. "People don't always appreciate what they have," says Professor Cooper. "Try to be glass half full instead of glass half empty," he says. Try writing down three things that went well, or for which you're grateful, at the end of every day.