Coping with Strees!

9 Apr 2019

We all get stressed. Stress isn’t always a bad thing and is a very normal part of life. During National Stress Awareness Month we are offering some tips on reducing stress.

Stress is a physical response to change, a threat, or danger - it is a survival strategy. The part of the brain that controls our emotions is triggered and the brain shuts down any unnecessary functions, triggering what we know as the ‘flight or fight’ response.

When we are constantly being triggered without relief or relaxation, we can become overworked and the distress we are experiencing can lead to physical health problems which include:

  • Headaches
  • Hair loss
  • Change in weight
  • Weakening of the immune system
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Chest pain
  • Trouble sleeping

Stress can also affect our behaviour, making us easily agitated, frustrated and moody, easily overwhelmed, out of control, lonely, worthless and depressed.

What can we do to cope with stress?

What triggers your stress response? Through identifying what is causing you stress and pressure in your life you can prepare yourself for these problems and situations.

  • Keep a note of things that worry you or cause you stress. Then begin to consider how you could reduce the level of stress these things are causing you.
  • Do some problem solving: develop a strategy to follow when you are exposed to your ‘stress triggers’.
  • Some small lifestyle changes could change your mind-set, improve your mood and reduce your stress levels.
  • Regular exercise releases endorphins, your brain’s feel-good chemicals. Getting active can also improve your sleep, increase your self-esteem and relax you, all things that will help with stress management.
  • Don’t rely on unhealthy habits such as smoking, caffeine or alcohol, all of which can affect your mood and may lead to further health issues.
  • Eating a healthy, balanced diet is good for your mind and your body.

Stress and pressure can arise from a heavy workload, busy lifestyle and having lots of things to juggle at once. Getting organised can restore your sense of control and reduce stress.

  • Work smarter: identify when and how you work best and use it to your advantage.
  • Breakdown your workload with lists and set yourself achievable goals. Be realistic with what you can achieve and don’t punish yourself for shortcomings.
  • Take regular breaks to boost productivity and prevent burnout.
  • Ask for help!

If you feel you are struggling to cope due to feelings of stress think about taking up talking therapies, CBT, mindfulness, gardening, exercise, leisure activities, art therapy or laughter therapy.

The first step for accessing services or advice is to contact your GP. You can also contact us for advice and signposting by calling 020 7561 5291 or emailing wellbeing@manorgardenscentre.org

Other organisations offering help

The Stress Project, Islington
2 Shelburne Road
London N76DL
0207 700 3938

Samaritans: Call 116 123
CALM (for men): Call 0800 58 58 58
SANEline: Call 0300 304 700

 

Find out more about Manor Gardens Welfare Trust