Here are some tips from the National Health Service of the UK on how to manage and beat stress.

Be active. If you have a stress-related problem, physical activity can get you in the right state of mind to be able to identify the causes of your stress and find a solution. Exercise won’t make your stress disappear, but it will reduce some of the emotional intensity you’re feeling, clearing your thoughts and enabling you to deal with your problems more calmly.

Take control. No matter how difficult your problem may appear to be, there’s always a solution. If you remain passive, thinking, “I can’t do anything about my problem,” your stress will get worse. The act of taking control is in itself empowering and a crucial part of finding a solution that satisfies you and not someone else.

Connect with people. A problem shared is a problem halved, as the old saying goes. 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 and we often have a good laugh with them, which is an excellent stress reliever.

Have some “me time.” We all need to take some time for socialising, relaxation or exercise. Set aside a couple of nights a week for some quality ‘me time’ away from work, so you won’t be tempted to work overtime on those days, and you’re sure to get the quality time for yourself that you need.

Challenge yourself. Setting goals and challenges for yourself, whether at work or outside, such as learning a new language or a new sport, helps to build confidence. That in turn 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 faulty coping mechanisms won’t solve your problems. They’ll just create new ones. It might provide temporary relief but it won’t make the problems disappear. You need to tackle the cause of your stress.

Do volunteer work. Evidence shows that people who help others, through activities such as volunteering or community work, become more resilient. On a more basic level, do someone a favor every day. It can be something as small as helping someone to cross the road or going on a coffee run for colleagues. Favors cost nothing to do, and you’ll feel better.

Work smarter, not harder. Good time management means quality work rather than quantity. Working smarter means prioritizing your work, and concentrating on the tasks that will make a real difference to your work. Leave the least important tasks to last. Accept that your in-tray will always be full. Don’t expect it to be empty at the end of the day.

Be positive. Look for the positives in life, and things for which you’re grateful. People don’t always appreciate what they have. Try to see the as glass half full instead of half empty.

Accept the things you cannot change. Changing a difficult situation isn’t always possible. If this proves to be the case, recognize and accept things as they are and concentrate on everything that you do have control over. Recognize the things that you can’t do anything about and have no point in fighting, and focus on the things you can control, and do something about them.


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