NATIONAL Stress Awareness Month is almost over, but here are a few reminders of how stress can affect people and what can be done to relieve it.
From time to time, we are all affected by stress, whether it is a minor stress like not getting to work on time or a major stress like working out how to make ends meet. In fact, in the UK, according to a study done by the Health and Safety Executive, stress is one of the leading causes for absences within the workplace.
Stress can affect people in numerous different ways, both physically and mentally. The physical symptoms of stress may include:
- Stomach pain
- Increased perspiration
- Low energy
Emotional and mental side-effects of stress may include:
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Becoming easily annoyed
- Feeling unable to relax
- Feeling low in mood
If the symptoms of stress and the stress itself are left without being managed, it can lead to even more serious illnesses, such as heart attacks and depression. This is why stress awareness is so important, as we need to know the impact stress can have on our health and well-being.
To read more about the symptoms of stress, head over to webmd.
Stress awareness: how to manage stress
One way to combat stress is through mindfulness, which has been proven to be very successful in treating those who are anxious and stressed.
Mindfulness classes can be found in various different places; the charity Mind runs 8 week mindfulness courses in Salford and Salford university also runs their own mindfulness course for students and teachers.
If you don’t fancy committing to a mindfulness course, there is a lot material available online and in books on how you can master the art of mindfulness on your own. One book by Dr Danny Penman called The Art Of Breathing is available on Amazon.
Stressed? Use the time to practice mindfulness. Breathe, notice how your chest rises and falls… the sensations in your feet.
— Danny Penman (@DrDannyPenman) April 24, 2017
Another way in which you can manage your stress is by facing whatever is stressing you out head-on. If you make a list of what is stressing you out and then prioritise what is most important, you can face your hurdles and tick them off one-by-one.
Some people find it particularly helpful to do this physically rather than on an app, however if an app is more convenient for you then here are some selected apps that may suit you.
Additionally, exercise and eating right are two other ways you can ease the side effects of stress. Eating the right foods at the right times can help balance your blood sugar levels, which may help you feel less fatigued and in turn, this may help manage your stress.
Furthermore, physical activity is a key tool in managing stress as when you exercise, feel-good endorphins are released into your body, which can really help to relieve the emotional effects of stress.
To find out more about stress, here is a good place to start, or if you feel that you need to talk someone and get advice, Mind are able to do just this. Their helplines are open 9am to 6pm Monday to Friday and they can be called, texted or emailed, for all the contact details, just click here.
By Annie Korn-Morris