A little stress in our lives is sometimes no bad thing. It can inspire us to new heights, or enable us to get through tricky situations. But permanent stress is not good for our health. Recently, I have seen a couple of friends who looked completely stressed out (and I can add myself to that list as I campaign in the local and MEP elections!). Both my friends were surprised when I asked if they were stressed out, but both then agreed that yes, now I came to mention it, they were burning the candle at both ends, and were feeling tired and run down.
One of the main problems when we are stressed out is that often we don’t realise it. Either a friend mentions it, and the scales fall from our eyes, as happened with my pals. Or we take what is supposed to be a relaxing break or holiday, and our bodies break down, without the nervous, stressful energy to sustain us.
In today’s world, stress is everywhere: in our health and well-being, in our finances, in our jobs, and in our relationships with ourselves and others. We can’t always avoid it, but we can find ways to reduce it and deal with it better. Here’s a handy acronym to give you some pointers on how to cope better with stress:
State how you feel. Speak to someone, and don’t keep things bottled up inside. Speak to a family member, a friend or a professional counsellor.
Talk to yourself and tell yourself that you are doing your best, no matter how bad things are. Frequently repeat to yourself “I am doing my best” so that you can feel it in your body.
Respond to stress rather than react. When you react to stress, you are letting yourself feel the associated ill-effects in your body. But when you respond to it, you are positively acting on working out the given situation.
Exercise: even the most stressed-out person who goes for a brisk walk or jog will feel the benefit. Exercise may clear your mind of any negative clutter, and help you to make some sense of where you are at.
Solutions: look for solutions instead of dwelling on problems. Problems never seem to get resolved, whereas solutions are the light at the end of the tunnel.
Seek help: tell yourself “I’m worth it” over and over again. It’s up to you to rescue yourself – nobody else can do that for you. So take that first step and ask for help. Tell yourself that you love yourself enough to be here living life in every moment, wholly connected to the true loving being that you are.