Stress Awareness Month: Tips to tackle Stress

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A lady meditates alongside a river.

Stress Awareness Month reminds us that stress is almost impossible to avoid. Even in pre-pandemic times, becoming overwhelmed and stressed by the demands of daily life was nothing new.

Many of us have a heavy load of work responsibilities and when these are partnered with family life and other commitments, it can be a juggling act that challenges personal well-being.

Since 1992, Stress Awareness Month has taken place in April to help increase public awareness about both the causes and cures for the modern stress epidemic. This year, the theme of Stress Awareness Month is ‘Community.

At New Directions, we reached out to the team behind meditation and sleep app, Samten, and are delighted that Simon Delve, CEO of Samten, has shared their tips designed to help you reduce stress levels both in the workplace and at home…

1) Take control

Feeling out of control can be stressful. An easy way to prevent this spiralling even further is to figure out what elements of the stress are within your control and can be changed.

If you realise what’s in your control, you can take charge and look to find a solution to the problem. We often avoid addressing situations that cause us elevated stress, but once you understand what you can control, being able to fix just one stressful element will make you feel like a weight has been lifted.

If something is out of your control, it deserves to be free from your mind, too. Try to let go of the idea that you must be able to fix everything. If you cannot fix something, you must try to accept this. Holding on to something in this way will not serve your wellbeing. Try to find a distraction from the problem or attempt to physically let it go by writing the concern down on paper and throwing it away.

2) Connect with people

A community of good supportive people can ease your troubles and help you see a new way to deal with problems. When you build strong relationships with the people around you, you will be able to lean on them for support when you are in need.

They can also make your stressful moments in work a little easier to manage by simply allowing you the opportunity to chat, allowing you to relax, reset and refocus.

3) Take time for you to avoid stress

If your daily routines are often very busy and make it difficult to regularly take time for yourself, why not try planning for the week ahead? Use a priority list to see if anything can be moved to the following week and be sure to slot in some ‘you’ time. It doesn’t have to be a long period of time, but it is important to make sure you have this time.

You can use this time however you choose. Whether it is for socialising, exercising, reading or even sleeping, just listening to your body and your mind and following your instinct to decide what you need, will really help.

Remember, it’s also important to take regular breaks throughout your working day, get some fresh air and drink lots of water to help keep you from feeling tired.

4) Avoid unhealthy habits

As tempting as it may be to reach for junk food and caffeine when stressed, it is best to try and avoid using these as a coping mechanism. Making a connection between these and a feeling of relief can be dangerous, especially if you are already struggling to reduce your stress levels.

Using unhealthy habits as a means of reducing stress will only give you a short-term sense of coping. This will only lead to increased stress levels when the effects wear off and you find yourself relying on them more frequently.

5) Meditation / breath work

Studies have shown that meditation is a highly effective stress-management tool. When you meditate you are reprogramming your brain to better manage thoughts and emotions. When practised consistently, meditators end up with more capacity to manage stress. In fact, meditation has been scientifically proven to help alleviate stress after just eight weeks of regular sessions.

Many people have never tried meditation before, and it can often seem a difficult task. However, at Samten, we understand that you might need help to form this new habit and so offer a series of guided meditation journeys that cater for all levels – from beginner through to advanced. Under the expert guidance of world-renowned monk, Gelong Thubten, we walk with you in your quest to find a less stressful world. With meditations covering a wide range of topics, we can be with you on every step of your journey through life.

Get the first 10 days free when you download the app.

6) Ask for help for stress

Asking for professional help does not make you weak nor does it mean you have failed; it simply means that you are strong enough to realise that your situation requires more power than just you alone. Taking help is an act of bravery.

For more advice and support on managing stress over the duration of the month, you can follow us on social media here:

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