Where stress comes from and handy tips.

According to Kim Lachane Shandrow “stress is a killer”. I agree. It is a gateway to serious psychological and physical ailments. Can you think time when you are bed ridden, lethargic and you don’t feel right? Was this related to a stressful situation? I admit I have been in this position. I felt awful. As result, I drag my miserable self to Marks and Spencer's to get my Butternut Squash soup with a cheese roll. Also having overdosed on Lempsin I am out of action for the foreseeable future. It is simply not healthy. Look after your mental health. This is easier said than done. Do you really have an option to slow down? You end up putting yourself on hold for the sake of everything else! Guess what? This is your life. I understand you need to work to pay the bills but you should at least reserve a few hours a week just for you.

In this article, I will cover the causes of stress and present strategies to dilute the level of stress.

Technology

Technology is life! Foremost, our phones! Essentially, another limb. I carry my phone everywhere with me. From dawn to dusk. The device is attached to me from breakfast all the way to bed. Digital overdose! Remember everything in moderation. The technology addiction has become an epidemic.

The University of Illinois highlighted that “technology linked to anxiety and depression in college-age students”. No wonder! We are bombarded with information, 24/7.

However, there are some strategies to reduce your phone usage. I conducted a simple search on Google Play. I came across the Breakfree Cell Phone Addiction. This app will pretty much be your big brother by giving you gentle reminders to take a break. Remember breaks are important. However, there is always the temptation to delete the app as it may not have instant results. This is pretty much our mentality in modern society.

Get someone who cares about you to set a limit. My friends know I am more social face to face and when they noticed me constantly on the phone they said I need to stop. I was getting distracted from real life. I failed to see what was around me. In fact, my phone actually died today. I had a slight panic and then I thought no wait I am going to walk through China town take it all in, the smells, sights and culture. At this point I realised what a beautiful city we live in, through my own eyes and not my phone.

My friend also mentioned the other day that she catches the metro once a month to Tynemouth. She only takes her book and obviously her pennies. She highlighted how it actually gives her head a rest and she actually feels refreshed. I have to say she has a calm persona. This could be the reason why! I understand giving up your phone (extra limb) can be stressful in itself. I have to admit I have not openly done this myself and believe me it will require a push. Kinda of like the gym. Motivation to actually do it and then once you have done it you feel amazing. Same could be said with this so called device cleanse. I will give it a go one of these days and I will certainly let you know.

Give yourself permission to relax

I am the worst victim for this. I swear I end of having lists for lists. You would think an unlimited supply of extra strong coffee could get you through, but eventually you will crash. Not a nice feeling is it? I have been in this situation where I waste significant time rectifying my mistakes. This in turn, has caused further stress by trying to navigate through some sort of mess I have created. Awful feeling isn’t it!

I believe here comes a daily self reflection. This is your life, body and mind. Like the Maybelline advert “Your worth it”. When you don’t look after yourself you hit rock bottom. Trust me, I have been there. It’s extremely difficult to climb back up. So once a week I make sure I treat myself to a bit of cake, a lie in and catch up with friends. I force myself. For a split second I feel guilty that I should do something else. However, afterwards I feel so much more relaxed, content and ready to power through the next week. If you cannot get away from your phone. There are apps. Well there are apps for anything! I downloaded the Anti-stress app. This made me worse! However, this may work for you. All about trail and error!

Believe in yourself

We are constantly on the hunt to achieve more. However, some of us have the handy habit of beating ourselves up for not getting instant results. I know it’s hard especially when you put so much effort in. However, this does not make you any less special. This can be hard, especially living in the pressures of a social comparison society. Rather than doing things for ourselves, we are competing. However, there will always be that person a step ahead.

Have you been in that situation when your questioning how someone has everything together. They are simply the definition of ‘perfection’. Let me ask you this! Can you read their mind? No! I have been in situation of stress and opened up to someone I felt had everything under control. She opened up about her anxiety and I realised how I am not alone. None of us are alone. We are also constantly driving towards perfection. If we make a mistake we are open to some sort of criticism. I feel I waste more time worrying about the task in hand than actually doing it. I still feel like that from time to time but I remind myself that I am not perfect and I will give it my best shot. That is the best we can do!

I understand we need to improve our skills in time but it does not mean we are growing 8 arms and can do 10 times the amount. Yet we expect that from ourselves and if we do not achieve the list, we take this personally. I am useless. Why can’t I do enough? We are not superhuman. Just because you cannot finish every minor thing on your list does not mean you’re worth any less. So here is a trick. Just write down your achievements when you’re feeling worthless. It sounds a bit pointless, I know! However, I tried this the other day, and I felt more confident by reflecting about what I pulled myself through. If you really self reflect, you will simply see how amazing you are!

There you have it some issues surrounding stress and also a few management tips. However, this is easier said than done and sometimes we need people to watch over us. This can be difficult when you’re battling at work at the same time. If we all have awareness everyone, we could really help each other. In particular, employees could spot the signs and actually put the procedures in place to prevent them from hitting rock bottom.

If you’re behind the movement of supporting those with mental health, then join us on the movement to tackle an issue that is starting to sit within our daily lives.

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