Stress can be caused by a huge variety of factors, whether by your job or by something more personal. We all experience stress from time to time; the important thing is learning to manage it, and this process begins by identifying the cause.
Good stress management involves building emotional strength, taking control of your situation, having a good social network and adopting a positive outlook.
This doesn’t have to mean running a marathon, or taking up a gym membership – as great as that would be! Get out for a walk, or find a sport you enjoy and make it a positive part of your life. Exercising will help focus your mind, helping you to think more clearly, and will reduce some of the intensity of your emotions.
Look on the bright side
Think positively, and take time to consider what you have to be grateful for. Imagine yourself achieving your goals, and focus on the steps you need to take to get there. Write down three things you are grateful for every day, or talk to your friends and family about one thing you have learned or achieved.
Develop your social network
It’s good to be sociable. Building a good support network of friends, family, and work colleagues can help you feel much more positive. Your network will provide you with the support to talk through your problems, can offer you advice, and can provide some welcome distraction.
Challenge yourself and keep learning
Focusing on building new skills and abilities can give you a great sense of achievement, and a new-found sense of confidence. These don’t have to be massive challenges – set yourself small, achievable tasks such as taking up a new sport or joining a club.
Avoid unhealthy habits
An unhealthy diet and lifestyle can lead to an unhealthy mind. Ensure you’re eating healthy foods and drinking plenty of water. The most unhelpful thing you can do is turn to something unhealthy to help you cope, such as smoking or drinking.
Help other people
Small acts of kindness can have such a big impact, both on you and the person you’re helping. Helping others will enable you to build positive relationships with people, which will make you more resilient and happier. If you have time, try some volunteering or community work; or simply try doing someone a favour every day.
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CXK provides Emotional Wellbeing counselling services to schools and colleges throughout Kent, helping to build emotional resilience and coping skills in children and young people.