Stress Awareness Month is a good opportunity to take a moment to think about how we can reduce stress and improve our quality of life.
Simple ways to relieve stress
Stress is a natural response to crisis and fear. Sometimes stress can be positive as it makes us more alert and helps us to perform better. However, stress is only beneficial if it’s short-lived. Prolonged stress can cause other mental health problems, emotional exhaustion and physical illness and can impact on work, relationships, families and every aspect of life.
What can you do to address stress?
Professor Cary Cooper, an occupational health expert at the University of Lancaster has these top 10 stress-busting suggestions:
- 1. Be active
Exercise can help reduce some of the emotional intensity that you're feeling. It can clear your thoughts and help you to deal with your problems more calmly.
- 2. Take control
There's a solution to most problems. If you remain passive, thinking, 'I can't do anything about my problem', your stress can get worse. That feeling of loss of control is one of the main causes of stress and lack of wellbeing.
- 3. Connect with people
A good support network of colleagues, friends and family can ease your worries and help you see things in a different way. "Talking things through with a friend will also help you find solutions to your problems," says Professor Cooper.
- 4. Have some 'me time'
We often don't spend enough time doing things we really enjoy. It’s important to set aside some time for socialising, relaxation or exercise.
- 5. Challenge yourself
Setting yourself goals and challenges such as learning a new language or a new sport, helps you to become more emotionally resilient. It also helps to build confidence which in turn will help you deal with stress.
- 6. Avoid unhealthy habits
Don't rely on alcohol, smoking and caffeine as your ways of coping. Over the long term, these crutches won't solve your problems. They'll just create new ones.
- 7. Help other people
Evidence shows that people who help others, through activities such as volunteering or community work, become more resilient, "Helping people who are often in situations worse than yours will help you put your problems into perspective," says Professor Cooper, "The more you give, the more resilient and happy you feel."
- 8. Work smarter, not harder
Working smarter means prioritising your work, concentrating on the tasks that will make a real difference. Leave the least important tasks to last.
- 9. Try to be positive
Look for the positives in life, and things for which you're grateful.
- 10. Accept the things you can't change
Changing a tricky situation isn't always possible. Try to concentrate on the things you do have control over.
Natural stress relievers
Cosyfeet has several natural stress relievers that can help you banish tension and keep you calm.
Relax with lavender
Lavender is known as a calming and relaxing herb and is frequently used for insomnia, anxiety, depression and natural stress relief. Try adding a few drops of Pure Lavender Oil to your evening bath to help you unwind.
Reduce stress with a good night’s sleep
Getting a good night's sleep can help reduce the effects of stress. If you’re having trouble falling asleep, spray a few drops of Lavender and Chamomile Slumber Mist onto your pillow.
Improve your mood with natural endorphins
Exercise is an excellent way to reduce stress and improve your mood. Our lightweight, portable Pedal Exerciser is ideal for exercising leg and arm muscles and boosting your circulation.
Get out in the fresh air
Did you know that pets can also help to reduce stress? Click here to find out more.