How stressed are you?
Research by the Mental Health Foundation recently showed that 74% of people in the UK have felt so stressed in the last year that they have been overwhelmed or unable to cope. Stress left unchecked can contribute to many health problems, so keeping stress under control really should be something we prioritise in life.
Becki Houlston, coach and therapist and a client at Podium in Bournemouth and London, specialises in helping people overcome stress and anxiety, introducing them to tools that set them free from fear and emotional pain. Here, she explains the difference between pressure and stress and offers 10 tips to help combat stress:
The word ‘stress’ has become part of our everyday language. Most of us can freely express that we are stressed and entrepreneurs often confuse this as a barometer of achievement, as if our stress levels are related in some way ‘the more stressed I appear, the more I am achieving!’
Unlike pressure, stress is never good for you and never a positive thing. Stress is a condition or feeling, experienced when a person perceives that the demands placed on them exceed the resources the individual feels they have available. The symptoms of stress significantly affect both your emotional and physical health. Pressure is short term, creates adrenaline and you remain resourceful whereas stress assaults your nervous system and contributes to 95% of all physical illness.
The antidote to stress is to learn to build emotional resilience and better emotional resources even if we don’t feel we can do anything about what we believe to be the cause of our stress, such as illness or financial worries. The true cause of our stress is rarely what we observe it to be. Its epicentre is always a lurking fear, such as the fear of loss, for example, or fear of confrontation, or the ultimate trigger, fear of discovering you aren’t good enough.
Our relationship with the need to be in control has a huge influence on our stress levels too. Never before in life have we needed to learn to become more adaptable, rather than the old model of control and dominate. Becoming adaptable requires self-confidence, strong self-belief and identity, great listening skills and trust in others. Most humans have had a few knocks in these areas and are battle weary at times. This is when we are most prone to stress; you can’t pour from an empty glass!
On a scale of 1-10 how stressed are you now (10 being severely stressed)
1-4 Share your secret!
5-8 Your adrenal systems are overactive. You will be showing symptoms of stress. Important notice – take time to relax
8+ Stop and assess your life. What’s working? What isn’t?
If you scored high, imagine how much better you would feel and look without that stress impacting your quality of life.
1. Be Honest – Do you listen to and trust your instincts? Identify the fears that are really causing you to feel stressed. What’s stopping you from making the changes you know you need to make? What do you need to start/stop doing? Stop making excuses, even ones that sound plausible!
2. Slow Down – focus and do one thing at a time and finish it.
3. What makes you happy? – do more of it. Often we have forgotten what lights us up in life when we are too busy being busy.
4. Be thankful – complete this sentence 10 times. One way life is loving me right now is…..?
5. Be kind – to yourself. Check your self-talk, you wouldn’t be that hard on anyone else would you?
6. Simplify your life – let go of clutter, dramas, and people pleasing.
7. Ask for & accept practical/emotional help – not just when you’re on your knees. Involve people all the time; people like to help. It’s not a weakness to face your vulnerabilities.
8. Body care – get the right fuel into your body, limit the booze. There are links between vitamin deficiencies, gut health, dehydration and high stress levels.
9. Move it – hit the gym, dance, skip, break-dance, whatever floats your boat. Unused energy turns into negative, lethargic energy and can turn against you.
10. Relax – park your brain then breath in slowly through your nose for the count of 4… breathe out slowly through your mouth for the count of 8. Just 5 mins sitting with a quiet mind will switch your nervous systems into relax even when chaos and challenges surround you.
Whether in your personal or professional life, Becki can help you achieve your business and life goals and enjoy a life where stress and anxiety can be managed effectively. Contact her here for more information.