Top ten stress busters

What makes you nervous?

If you are experiencing stress, whether because of your work or for a more personal reason, the first step to improving how you feel is identifying the cause.

The most unhelpful thing you can do is turn to something unhealthy to help you cope with the problem, such as smoking or drinking alcohol.

“In life, there is always a solution to problems,” says Professor Cary Cooper, an occupational health expert at Lancaster University. “Not being in control and doing nothing about it will only make your problems worse.”

He says the keys to managing stress are building emotional strength , being in control of your situation, having a good social network and adopting a positive outlook on life.

What you can do

Professor Cooper’s top 10 de-stressing techniques are:

1-Be active

If you have a stress-related problem, physical activity can put you in the right mood so that you are able to identify the causes of stress and find a solution to them. “To be able to deal with stress effectively, you need to feel strong and you also need to feel mentally strong. Exercise can do that, “Cooper says.

Exercise won’t make the tension go away, but it will reduce the emotional momentum you feel, clearing your thoughts, allowing you to deal with your problems more calmly.

2- Take control

There is a solution to any problem. “If you remain negative, thinking, ‘I can’t do anything about my problem,’ then the tension will only get worse,” says Professor Cooper. “This feeling of losing control is one of the main causes of stress and health.”

The act of controlling itself is empowering, and it is an essential part of finding a solution that pleases you and not someone else. Read tips on how to organize your time.

3-Connect with people

The problem you share becomes half a problem. A good support network of colleagues, friends and family can alleviate the hassle of working, and help you see things in a different way.

“If you don’t reach out to people, you don’t have the support to turn to when you need help,” says Professor Cooper. The activities we do with friends can help us relax and we often laugh with them

Strongly, that’s an excellent alternative to stress.

“Talking about some things with a friend also helps you find solutions to your problems,” says Professor Cooper.

4- Have a special time

Extra hours at work mean that people don’t spend enough time doing the things they really enjoy. Professor Cooper adds, “We all need some time for socializing, relaxing or playing sports.”

It is advised to neglect things for two days to spend private time away from work. “By setting aside these two days for yourself, you will not be tempted to do overtime hours on those days,” he says.

5. Challenge yourself

Setting your goals and challenges, whether on or off work, such as learning a new language or a new sport, helps build self-confidence, which in turn will help you deal with stress.

“By constantly challenging yourself, you will be effective and take charge of your life,” says Professor Cooper. “By continuing to learn, you can become a more resilient person emotionally. This arises you with knowledge and makes you want to do things instead of being negative, like watching TV all the time.”

6- Avoid unhealthy habits

Don’t rely on alcohol, smoking and caffeine as a way to cope with problems. “Often men resort to these things more than women. We call this avoidance behavior,” says Professor Cooper. “Women are better than men to get support from their social circle.”

In the long term, these crutches will not solve your problems. It will only create new problems. “It’s like putting your head in the sand,” says Professor Cooper. “It may provide temporary relief but it won’t make the problems go away. You need to address your stressor.”

7- Participate in volunteer work

Cooper says the evidence shows that people who help others, through activities such as volunteering or community work, become more resilient. “Helping people who are often worse off than you will benefit you in putting your problems into perspective,” says Professor Cooper. “The more you give, the more resilient and happy you feel.”

On a more basic level, you can do someone a favor every day. It could be a small favor, such as helping someone cross the road or bringing coffee to your colleagues. Doing the favor does not cost anything and will make you feel better.

8. Work smart, not stress

Good time organization means the quality of the work, not the quantity. The culture of working long hours is a known cause of work illnesses. “You have to have a work / life balance that’s right for you,” says Professor Cooper.

Working smart means setting your business priorities, while focusing on the tasks that make a real difference for your business. “Leave the less important tasks for later,” Cooper says. “Accept that your to-do basket will always be full. Don’t expect it to be empty at the end of the day.”

9-Be positive

Look for the positives in life, and the things you are grateful to have. At the end of each day, write down three things that went well or that made you feel grateful.

“People don’t always appreciate what they have,” says Professor Cooper. “Try to be the one who sees the glass as half full instead of the glass half empty,” he says.

This requires a shift in perspective for those who are inherently pessimistic.

“It can be done,” he says. “By making a cognitive effort you can train yourself to be more positive in life. Problems are often a matter of perspective. If you change your perspective, you may see your situation from a more positive point of view.”

10. Accept the things that you cannot change

Changing a difficult situation is not always possible. If this is the case, then you should acknowledge and accept things as they are and focus on the things that you have control over.

“If your company is at a loss and has to fire workers, then you can’t do anything about it,” says Professor Cooper. “There is no point in facing the situation. In a situation like this, you need to focus on things that you can control, such as looking for a new job.”