Stress affects us all at some point. Often, we can cope with stress, but in some cases, it can get on top of us. If stress is taking over your life, it’s crucial to take action. There is help and support available, and there are steps you can take to try and manage and control triggers. In this guide, we’ll explore some self-help techniques and provide advice if you feel overwhelmed or you’re suffering from severe stress.
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When to seek help for stress
Stress is part and parcel of life, but it has the power to spiral into something that we struggle to control. If you feel stressed out all the time, you’re always on edge, you never have a minute to yourself or you’re struggling to switch off or breathe deeply, it’s important to consider reaching out and asking for help.
You could choose to speak to a mental health professional or a therapist, you could meet with your boss to discuss work-related issues, you could confide in a friend or family member or you can take advantage of virtual forums or groups. Sometimes, talking can make you feel better instantly because it releases a valve and enables you to get things off your chest or try and express emotions.
It can also be extremely helpful to take some time out, especially if you have a hectic schedule or you feel like you’re spinning a hundred plates. If stress is affecting your wellbeing, your sleep quality, your mood, your performance at work, your relationships, or your physical health, it’s critical to understand that there is help out there. Seeking professional advice can lead to developing coping mechanisms, give you access to tools and strategies, and pave the way for more intensive or long-term therapy or treatment if required.
Leaning on friends and family
Most of us will go through stages or periods in our lives when stress levels increase and we need a bit of extra support. If stress is taking over, don’t be afraid to make use of your support network and lean on friends and relatives. There’s no shame in asking for a favor from time to time or making a call to chat after a busy or frustrating day.
Even the simplest things like asking for an extra pair of hands if you’re moving house or seeing if somebody will take the kids to school if you have an early meeting will make all the difference. Spending time with people who make you happy can also have a positive impact on your mood and your wellbeing in general. Make time to socialize, have fun, and relax.
Often, when stress is an issue, people find that self-help strategies can make them feel calmer and more relaxed. Different things work for different people, but you may wish to try meditation, breathing exercises, physical activity, spending time in the fresh air, creative activities and hobbies, and massage therapy. These can be used independently or in addition to treatments like talking therapy, for example.
Most of us can cope with mild stress, but sometimes, stress starts to take over and it makes life very challenging. If you are struggling to deal with stress, always remember that there is help available.