Blog by: Suryakant Tripathi
If you’re stressed, whether by your job or by something more personal, the first step to feeling better is to identify the cause.
The most unhelpful thing you can do is turn to something unhealthy to help you cope, such as smoking or drinking.
Exercise won’t make your stress disappear, but it will reduce some of the emotional intensity that you’re feeling, clearing your thoughts and letting you to deal with your problems more calmly.
For more advice, read how being active helps mental wellbeing.
There’s a solution to any problem.
The act of taking control is in itself empowering, and it’s a crucial part of finding a solution that satisfies you and not someone else.
Connect with people
A good support network of colleagues, friends and family can ease your work troubles and help you see things in a different way.
The activities we do with friends help us relax. We often have a good laugh with them, which is an excellent stress reliever.
Have some ‘me time’
In UK, people work the longest hours in Europe, meaning they often don’t spend enough time doing things we really enjoy.
Setting yourself goals and challenges, whether at work or outside, such as learning a new language or a new sport, helps to build confidence. This will help you deal with stress.
Avoid unhealthy habits
Don’t rely on alcohol, smoking and caffeine as your ways of coping.
Over the long term, these crutches won’t solve your problems. They’ll just create new ones.
Help other people
Evidence shows that people who help others, through activities such as volunteering or community work, become more resilient.
If you don’t have time to volunteer, try to do someone a favour every day. It can be something as small as helping someone to cross the road or going on a coffee run for colleagues.
Work smarter, not harder
Working smarter means prioritising your work, concentrating on the tasks that will make a real difference. “Leave the least important tasks to last,” says Cooper. “Accept that your in-tray will always be full. Don’t expect it to be empty at the end of the day.”
Try to be positive.
Look for the positives in life, and things for which you’re grateful.
“People don’t always appreciate what they have,” says Professor Cooper. “Try to be glass half full instead of glass half empty,” he says.
Try writing down three things that went well, or for which you’re grateful, at the end of every day.