• The A to Z of managing stress..

    The A to Z of managing stress..

    • Mary Larkin
    • 08 May 2015
    A Assert yourself – by letting others know what your needs are. The more you assert yourself the less stressed you become.

    B Boundaries - if you’re a people pleaser put boundaries in place and become more protective of your time. It’s just as important as everyone else’s.

    C Control – Consider what’s within your control. You cannot control what others do, think or say. However, you can control how you react, whom you spend your time with and your accomplishments at work.

    D Dance – a recent survey in the Journal of American Medical Association found that teenage girls in Sweden who took dance classes twice a week reported fewer stress related symptoms.

    E Exercise - Can reduce the effects of stress as it reduces the levels of the bodies stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol.

    F Finding pleasure - Do at least one thing a day that you find enjoyable. Even if it’s only for 15 minutes.

    G Goal setting helps to build confidence which in turn will help deal with stress.

    H Hugs can make you feel better. Research has shown that hugging those you are close to can cause an immediate reduction in stress levels. http://www.medicaldaily.com/lets-hug-it-out-hugs-help-fight-infections- boost-your-immune-system-314774

    I In tune with your senses. Take a walk feel the ground beneath your feet, listening to the sound of life around you, traffic humming, birds singing, children laughing etc.

    J Journaling – moving worries from your head out onto paper helps to clarify your thoughts and reduce your stress levels.

    K Keeping all the balls in the air can be very stressful – Learn to single task rather than multitask and try delegating as much as possible.

    L Laughter is a powerful antidote to stress. It boosts your immune system – Take time out to laugh with friends and loved ones or catch up on your favourite comedy show or funny movie.

    M Mindfulness - the practice of meditation for the busy mind. Mindful vs Mind full.

    N No – learning to say no is hugely important when it comes to managing your own stress.

    O Open up – talk to a friend or see a counsellor to work through what triggers stress in your life http://www.pathwayscounselling.ie/services.html

    P Positive thinking – write down 3 positive things that happen in your life each day. They don’t have to be life changing but help in order to change your life!

    Q Quiet Time - learning to sit for a few minutes each day quietly and accepting where you are right now.

    R Resilience – building your resilience by noticing and listing the good in your life.

    S Self Talk – positive self-talk helps you to calm down and control stress i.e. I can, I am able.

    T Time out - We all know what all work and no play does. Taking time out of your busy schedule just for you will reduce stress levels.

    U Understanding stress – Stress is a normal response to a life event that makes you feel threatened or scared. In emergency situations stress can save your life. However, prolonged periods of stress can damage health and your quality of life.

    V Volunteer – Evidence shows that people who volunteer in community organisations become more resilient and less stressed.

    W Worrying – there is a difference between worrying and caring. Worrying is an attempt to exert control which at times is impossible whereas caring is doing what you can to support the interests of the person you care about.

    X express yourself - Internalising how you feel about stressful situations can have long term effects. The stress builds up until it has nowhere else to go except out, which can result in the feeling of being overwhelmed. Manage your stress by dealing with each situation as it arises and not getting caught up in the “story”.

    Y Your to do list – pare it down, look at your schedule and responsibilities. Drop tasks that aren’t duly necessary to the bottom of your list.

    Z ZZZzz’s - get more sleep. A study from the University of Pennsylvania showed that losing even a few hours’ sleep can increase feelings of stress. Research shows good sleep helps to reduce stress levels.