In this three part series, we will cover;
- Understanding your stress
- Reducing your stress
- Managing your stress
Stress is part of life. We all suffer from it from time to time. It can have a huge impact on every aspect of our life, from our health to our happiness, and those around us.
Stress is an unavoidable human response
It is important to note we are not aiming to be stress-free, all of the time. This is an unrealistic expectation. Stress is an unavoidable human response that we all experience from time to time. Stress does have its place and uses. It’s what keeps us safe in times of danger. It’s what drives us to get that report in by the deadline.
However, been under constant, chronic stress is a problem. It is something we do need to address. We cannot always control our circumstances, but we can control how we respond to and manage them. We can't simply wish stress away, but we can have a plan to help manage our stress.
What is stress management?
Simply put, stress management is a set of go-to techniques which help us deal more effectively with the stress in our lives. By understanding our specific stressors and taking positive actions to minimise their effects, we can manage our stress.
There isn't a one-size-fits-all option when it comes to stress relief. What works for one person might not work for another. What works for us at home might not be an option when we are at work or in the community. Therefore, it's important to have a variety of stress relief tools at our disposal.
Understanding your stress
First we need to learn to recognise and understand how stress presents in us. What actually causes this stress response.
What does your stress look like? This is different for everybody. Understanding your personal stress response allows you to know when to reach into your stress management tool box.
Make a note in your phone or a journal of what it feels and looks like when you are stressed. What happens physically? Emotionally? Mentally?
Do you have a go-to coping mechanism? And is that a healthy coping strategy? A drink? Comfort food? Exercise? Some self-care?
What are your stressors – can you list them? What triggers your stress response?
Write down a list of everything that stresses you. From work to having to do the laundry at home or the dog eating your shoes. Note the expectations you place on yourself, and those that others place on you.
Stay tuned for Part Two - 'Reducing your Stress'