Stress can be very common, but it affects us all in different ways. If it becomes severe, it can have an impact on our working lives as well as personal relationships and, in some cases, our mental health.
If you are suffering from stress and struggling to cope with it, there are things you can do to ease the pressure and make it easier to deal with.
If the problem persists, it can cause long-term issues and become very hard to overcome, so dealing with it as soon as possible is likely to be of benefit. Here are 5 things that can help reduce stress levels.
Get enough sleep
You may not be aware of this, but lack of sleep can lead to increased stress levels. When we are tired, we can become irritable, and things that would perhaps not usually phase us can seem worse than they are. Over time, this can lead to our stress levels increasing and can make us unable to handle situations that we would otherwise be able to cope with.
If you struggle to get to sleep or your sleep is regularly interrupted, try to adopt a more structured routine in the evenings. Have a warm bubble bath or read a book and try to settle down to sleep at the same time each night. Your body should eventually adapt to the routine and help you get to sleep.
If the reason for waking during the night is because your mind is wandering, have a notepad beside your bed and write down your thoughts when you wake. It is said to help clear the mind and should help you to drift back into a deep sleep.
Stay busy with a hobby
A hobby is a great way to keep busy, maintain focus, and keep your mind off other things, and can be a great way to relieve and combat stress. Perhaps you have a passion for music and fancy doing an online DJ course, or maybe you love being active and have always liked the idea of taking up salsa dancing.
There are thousands of different hobbies to enjoy, many of which you can find out about online, or if you want to do something locally, check your local library and Facebook pages for details of what might be available in your area.
Take up running
Exercise of any kind is a great way to stay fit and active but running, in particular, is a great stress reliever. When we run, it increases our serotonin levels, which makes us feel happier and calmer. It can also slow the release of cortisol, a stress-inducing hormone, and so is a general all-round mood enhancer.
It’s also just a great way to get away from it all. Whether you enjoy running when you get up or when you leave work, it helps clear the mind and allows you to forget about the things that have been bothering you or building up in your mind.
It may also allow you to gain some focus, so if you haven’t tried running, it’s worth giving it a go.
Get to the root of the problem
If you find that you are always stressed or short-tempered, it’s wise to consider what is causing you to feel that way so you can try and resolve it.
Is it possible that you are taking on too much at work, for example, and you need to have a chat with your boss? Are you unhappy at home and perhaps feel like you are not appreciated?
Being honest with yourself is a leap in the right direction and will make things easier to fix.
Try to be structured and organized at home
If your home is a mess or filled with clutter, it can make you feel wound up, which in turn can lead to increased levels of stress. Maybe you have a mound of paperwork to contend with, or the kids keep leaving their belongings lying all over the house.
If your home doesn’t feel peaceful, tidy, and calm, your brain won’t either, so try and tackle it head on. Deal with a room at a time, putting everything in order as you go. Be ruthless where necessary and get rid of anything that is no longer used or wanted. Decluttering will free up lots of valuable space in your home and will help your mind feel a lot clearer too.Once every room has been organized, you will probably feel a whole lot calmer, and that your stress levels will have dramatically reduced.