Ten Tips To Reduce Stress

We live in a very busy world sometimes with lots of problems to cope with that causes us to feel stress. These are some things we can do to help bring our stress levels down.

1. Try relaxation techniques

Each day take time to relax all the muscles in your body.  One good way to do this is to scan your body for tension, starting with a particular area for example the face, then the neck and shoulders until you have worked through your body. As you breathe in scan your face for tension and as you breathe out let the tension go. This is a quick relaxation that will break your tension down and is particularly good because you can do it anywhere and no one will be aware of what you are doing. Try and keep your thoughts focussing on the moment rather than concentrating on the what-ifs. 

Try our 5-minute body scan here and feel the difference immediately:   No Panic Body Scan

2. Get more sleep

Studies have shown that lack of sleep can be one of the main contributors to stress and anxiety. When we are tired our brains are unable to function correctly, our attention span drops, as does our concentration. Reasoning becomes more difficult and our memory suffers. It is important to stick to a regular routine. This means going to bed at the same time every night and getting up at the same time every morning. Weekends Included. A ritual of whatever relaxes you is great, (soothing music, warm milky drink, light reading and relaxation exercise). The bedroom should be kept at a comfortable temperature, it is important also to ‘air’ the room, open the window when you first get up, even if it is just for ten minutes. Turn Mattresses and pillows regularly and wear comfortable nightwear. Bedtime is switch-off time. Keep a pen and paper next to your bed, if any worries or troubles enter your thoughts as you are preparing for sleep, note them down and tell yourself ‘there is a time and place for everything’ You will attend to these things in the morning with a fresh mind. 

3. Talk to someone

Talking about your feelings is not a sign of weakness. It is all part of taking charge of your own well-being. By talking to a friend, family member or a charity like No Panic about how you feel can be beneficial as by voicing your concerns you are gradually releasing tension and built-up anxiety from unhelpful worries.  Talking things through can help us put our problems into perspective and as we calm down we can often think of solutions.

4. Diet and things to avoid

Eating a well-balanced diet is important for our well-being. Compare your body to a car, if you do not feed it the right fuel, it will eventually break down. If we skip certain meals throughout the day or go too long between eating, we will naturally become tired and have no energy, blood sugar levels will drop, which can lead to unpleasant symptoms and increase stress and anxiety. By eating too much convenience food/sugar such as cakes, biscuits, chocolate, sweets or sugary drinks, our blood sugar will rise quickly but then drops suddenly and this also leads to low mood, irritability, headaches and fatigue.  

By eating regular meals throughout the day that contain protein and complex carbohydrates ensures that the blood sugar levels remain constant.

Try and reduce nicotine and any drinks containing caffeine and alcohol. These are both stimulants and will increase your level of stress rather than reduce it. Alcohol is a depressant when taken in large quantities but acts as a stimulant when we drink smaller quantities. Using alcohol as a way to reduce stress is not ultimately helpful and can in fact lead to further problems. Try drinking herbal teas, water or natural fruit juices and aim to keep your body hydrated as this enables your body to cope better with stress.

5. Exercise

Engaging in physical exercise diverts your attention from the very thing you are stressing about. Moving your body decreases muscle tension, reduces stress levels, helps relieve frustration and gives you a sense of achievement.   People who exercise regularly say it gives them an enormous sense of well-being and achievement.  By taking part in just 15 minutes of physical activity each day you will feel more positive and motivated.  

6. Keep a Stress Diary

Keeping a stress diary for a few weeks is an effective management tool as it will help you become more aware of the situations that cause you stress.

Write down the date and place of each stressful situation and note what you were doing and how you felt both mentally and physically. Note how difficult you found the situation from 1 to 10 (ten being the worst). Maybe you will be able to spot triggers and see how you managed to cope in each situation. This will help you deal with stress and develop better coping mechanisms.

7. Take control

Stress can be triggered by a problem that may seem impossible to solve. Learning how to find a solution to your problem will help you feel more in control and more self-confident. This will help to lower your stress levels.

  • Acknowledge the problem, then write it down on paper. 
  • Define the problem. What is the situation now? What would I like the situation to be?
  • Check your past. Has anything like this happened before? How did you cope? Is there anything you could use again?
  • Break the problem down into parts if possible. This will make it less daunting to find solutions. 
  • Search for solutions. This may seem a tricky thing to do but there are solutions out there for every problem. 
  • Remember that not solving a problem can lead to more anxiety than trying to solve it.
  • Taking just a small step forward is better than staying where you are.
  • Ask for help. Family, friends or even charities like No Panic might have ideas that you have not even thought of.
8. Manage your time

Sometimes on waking we can be daunted by the day ahead. All those tasks that lay waiting! If this sounds familiar, you are not alone. Stay calm there is a great way to get on top of it all.

Sit yourself down and write a list in order of priority, number one being the most important. Now, be firm with yourself and concentrate on just number one, stick at it until it’s done. When completed, put a huge, red tick next to it.  Reward yourself with a cuppa before tackling number two. It isn’t important if you finish the list or not, the main thing is that even by doing just one thing on the list you have achieved something, and that is a great feeling. look at that red tick.  

9. Learn to say “No!”

Many of us find it difficult to say no, fearing what the other person’s response will be. Most of us are born people-pleasers, helping others is looked on as a good trait even if it is at the expense of ourselves. But if you are struggling to keep on top of everything and your mental health is at risk then now is the time to pluck up the courage and take back control. You can start gradually by replying with things such as “let me think about it as I am really busy this week” or “let me get back to you as I have so much on my plate at the moment”. Remember that by saying no to others, you are saying yes to yourself.

10. Rest when you are unwell

Resting when you are unwell is essential. If you are sick for whatever reason, do not feel you have to carry on regardless, you will only make yourself worse and lengthen your recovery time. Listen to your body, it is speaking to you. Taking time out to care for your body and mind should be a priority. 

How can No Panic help?
No Panic specialises in self-help recovery and our services include:
Providing people with the skills they need to manage their condition and work towards recovery.
Our aim is to give you all of the necessary advice, tools and support that you will need to recover and carry out this journey. No Panic Recovery Programs

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