A Moment Of Calm - #stressawarenessmonth
As part of #stressawarenessmonth, we thought we would share some of our hints and tips for combatting the effects of stress on both your mental health and your physical well-being.
How do I know I’m stressed?
This may seem like a silly question, but stress doesn’t always present itself the same way with everyone. Everyone is different and as a result, we all process things differently. This means that some things that cause stress and anxiety in one person may not in another. So it’s important to understand your own boundaries and stress triggers.
Some people show physical signs of stress, i.e bloating, rashes, hair loss, pale complexion and in severe cases nail loss. However, there are those who feel the effects of stress mentally, i.e anxiety, depression, feeling overwhelmed and difficulty concentrating. Have you experienced some of these symptoms over the past few weeks? Is there something in your life causing you stress? Maybe it’s time to reflect on the changes in your life and identify what you can do to alleviate these symptoms.
How do I beat stress?
Again, it’s hard to provide a “one-size-fits-all” stress busting method (as there is no such thing). However, there are ways you can help alleviate the symptoms and shift your mindset into a more positive space. In doing so, you allow yourself to breathe which regulates your heart and clears your mind. Here are some of our favourite tips for handling stress:
Be present. Stress and anxiety often cause your mind to focus on the what ifs. Bring your attention back to the now.
Take a look around and address 3 senses. Look at 3 things in your line of vision. Pin point 3 sounds and lastly touch 3 things.
All these things bring your focus onto the here and now, taking your attention away from the causes of mental stress or anxiety.
This helps to regulate your heartbeat which in turn calms the symptoms of anxiety and gives you a clearer view of the situation.
Breathing is one of the best ways to help calm the signs of stress.
Place your left hand on your stomach and your right hand on your chest and take slow deliberate breaths. Inhale for 4 seconds, then exhale for 4 seconds.
Taking slow deep breaths clears your airwaves and your mind.
This is a proven mindfulness technique that helps clear your mind and relax.
No we don’t mean a KitKat. Although, if that’s what you would like, we won’t judge! You don’t have to be going at the speed of light all the time. It’s okay to stop what you’re doing and take a break.
Remove yourself from your stressor. Whether it’s studying, work or a particular situation. Go for a walk, what an episode or 2 of your favourite TV show or plan a getaway.
Getting out into the fresh air, watching something funny or taking a break from everyday life allows you to re-centre yourself and replenish your energy stores.
Exploring the outdoors is great for mental clarity and refocusing your brain. By enjoying something you have a love/passion for allows your brain to relax.
A problem shared is a problem halved. This has never been truer. It’s time to open up.
Get on WhatsApp, Messenger, Text, carrier pigeon or messenger owl, whatever your preferred method of communication is, get in touch with your friends and family and have a good vent! Let it all out. Trust us, you’ll feel better.
Don’t feel like venting to your friends and family? Try journaling. Write out your thoughts and feelings. Sometimes expelling them helps to relieve the burden.
Sometimes sharing your issues with others can lead to solutions or perspectives you may not have considered before. This can help relieve stress and improve your mental wellness.
Take care of yourself. Treat yourself to something that makes you feel better. Whether it’s a pamper session with a face mask and doing your nails, a massage, yoga or slipping on your favourite Revs and working in the garden, take some time out to indulge yourself.
Still feeling overwhelmed? Here are some links to the Scottish Association of Mental Health (SAMH) and Mind.org.uk where you can find a wider range of resources to help take care of your mental wellbeing.