Tips To Manage Stress
We all have stress at work, at home, and on the road. Sometimes we can feel especially stressed because of a bad interaction with someone, too much work, or everyday hassles like getting stuck in traffic.
Negative stress can keep you from feeling and performing your best mentally, physically and emotionally. But no ones life is completely stress-free. Its important to know how to manage the stress in your life. Try these three simple techniques for dealing with it.
1. Positive Self-Talk
Negative to Positive
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To really make it work, practice positive self-talk every day in the car, at your desk, before you go to bed or whenever you notice negative thoughts. Its a great practice to teach kids, too!
2. Top 10 Emergency Stress-Stoppers
Emergency stress stoppers are actions to help you defuse stress in the moment. You may need different stress stoppers for different situations, and sometimes it helps to combine them. Here are some ideas:
Accept The Things You Can’t Change
Changing a difficult situation isn’t always possible. Try to concentrate on the things you do have control over.
“If your company is going under and is making redundancies, for example, there’s nothing you can do about it,” says Professor Cooper.
“In a situation like that, you need to focus on the things that you can control, such as looking for a new job.”
Get Enough Sleepbut Not Too Much
The thought of hiding away under the covers sounds pretty great when there’s so much to deal with beyond your bedroom door, but sleeping too much isn’t the answer. Research shows that the more you sleep, the more tired you actually feel. Plus, studies that have shown an association between chronic oversleeping and diabetes, heart disease, weight gain, and even higher rates of death . Adding health problems to your already heavy load is only going to exacerbate your stress levels. That said, too little sleep can make stress worse, too. “When you are tired and depleted, things look worse and less manageable than when you’re rested,” Smith says. The sweet spot to aim for, per the National Sleep Foundation, is between seven to nine hours of shut-eye a night.
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Tips To Manage Stressful Situations
It might surprise you to learn that biological stress is a fairly recent discovery. It wasnt until the late 1950s that endocrinologist Hans Selye first identified and documented stress.
Symptoms of stress existed long before Selye, but his discoveries led to new research that has helped millions cope with stress. Weve compiled a list of the top 10 ways to relieve stress.
When To Seek Help
If stress is affecting your work, school, home life or relationships, and you feel you cant manage it alone or with support from a loved one, seek help from a doctor who may refer you to a psychologist.
The Australian Psychological Society has a Find a Psychologist service, which can be used to locate a psychologist in your local area call 1800 333 497.
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Ways To Reduce Stress Now
Make Gratitude A Regular Practice
Several studies have revealed the positive effects of expressing gratitude. While studying brain activity, National Institutes of Health researchers found subjects who showed more gratitude had higher levels of activity in the hypothalamus, a part of the brain that has a huge influence on our stress levels. Plus, gratefulness also activated the regions associated with dopamine, one of those feel-good neurotransmitters. To reap these stress-reducing benefits, write down your feelings of gratitude daily in a journal, or by sending little notes to friends or family letting them know how much you appreciate them.
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What Are The Behavioural And Emotional Effects Of Stress
When you are stressed you may experience many different feelings, including anxiety, irritability or low self-esteem, which can lead to becoming withdrawn, indecisive and tearful.13
You may experience periods of constant worry, racing thoughts, or repeatedly go over the same things in your head. You may experience changes in your behaviour. You may lose your temper more easily, act irrationally or become more verbally or physically aggressive.14 These feelings can feed on each other and produce physical symptoms, which can make you feel even worse. For example, extreme anxiety can make you feel so unwell, that you then worry you have a serious physical condition.
How To Solve Problems
Once you have identified the problems that are leading to stress in your life, this structured problem-solving exercise can help you to find solutions.
This technique has been adapted from Beyond Blue.
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Momentary Vs Lasting Stress
Sometimes a stressful situation just lasts a moment like getting through a school play audition or making the foul shot that could win the game.
But life also can bring situations that might keep us stressed for a few days, weeks, or months. Even if we’re not always thinking about this stress, it can be like a background soundtrack playing in our lives.
If you’re like most people, you’ve faced these kinds of lasting stressful situations. Feeling unprepared or unhappy about the situation increases the stress. Stressful situations can wear us down over time. Finding ways to deal with them can help us grow strong.
Talk It Out With A Friend
When youre feeling stressed, take a break to call a friend and talk about your problems. Good relationships with friends and loved ones are important to any healthy lifestyle.
Theyre especially important when youre under a lot of stress. A reassuring voice, even for a minute, can put everything in perspective.
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Learn To Avoid Procrastination
Another way to take control of your stress is to stay on top of your priorities and stop procrastinating.
Procrastination can lead you to act reactively, leaving you scrambling to catch up. This can cause stress, which negatively affects your health and sleep quality .
Get in the habit of making a to-do list organized by priority. Give yourself realistic deadlines and work your way down the list.
Work on the things that need to get done today and give yourself chunks of uninterrupted time, as switching between tasks or multitasking can be stressful itself.
Prioritize what needs to get done and make time for it. Staying on top of your to-do list can help ward off procrastination-related stress.
Yoga has become a popular method of stress relief and exercise among all age groups.
While yoga styles differ, most share a common goal to join your body and mind.
Yoga primarily does this by increasing body and breath awareness.
Some studies have examined yogas effect on mental health. Overall, research has found that yoga can enhance mood and may even be as effective as antidepressant drugs at treating depression and anxiety .
However, many of these studies are limited, and there are still questions about how yoga works to achieve stress reduction.
In general, the benefit of yoga for stress and anxiety seems to be related to its effect on your nervous system and stress response.
Know The Difference Between Good Stress And Bad Stress
Not all stress is bad, and not all stress can be avoided.
Good stress motivates you. Deadlines, tests, or being asked to speak in front of other people â these are all situations that create stress, but they are also what motivates us. Good stress tends to be short-term and can even enhance or improve brain function. When the pressure is on, the brain sharpens up.
Bad stress, however, is chronic. It harms your health, slows you down, and can even start to inhibit thinking.
Essentially, stress uses your fight-or-flight response. Good stress gives you time to recover from that response, but bad stress locks you into it and wears you down. Itâs important to know the difference between good and bad stress so you know which is the problem and which is actually helping you.
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How Not To Answer How Do You Handle Stress And Pressure
Here are the big no-nos when it comes to answering how do you handle stress and pressure?
- Of course, dont say that you cannot handle stress and pressure. Youve basically taken yourself out of the game if you do this.
- Dont mention that the stressful situation made you stressed. Instead, talk about being in that energy of pressure and stress, and how youre able to remain unaffected.
- Be careful how you respond in terms of the particular role it is. If its a multi-tasking role, and you share that you have trouble juggling many tasks and that makes you stressed, youll not be seen as a fit candidate for the role.
Identify Your Personal Stress Triggers
We all have particular situations or people that make us more stressed. Some of these are easily identifiable and may be avoidable. However, sometimes stress may build up over time, and result from a pattern of incidents or events, rather than a single trigger.
It may therefore be helpful to use a tool like our quiz Whats Stressing You Out? or keep a stress diary for a few weeks to help you identify what makes you stressed.
This will make it easier to take action to address your stress levels.
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Why Employers Ask This Interview Question
Interviewers ask how do you handle stress and pressure? because they want to know what to expect after they hire you. This is one of the most common interview questions youll hear.
Very few jobs go 100% according to plan, and they want to hire someone who can stay calm and think clearly to get through the situation. And ideally, they want someone whos been tested in the past and experienced some work-related stress before.
Tell Someone You Are Struggling With Stress
It helps to tell someone that youâre struggling with stress, whether thatâs a manager or a coworker. They may be able to help you, or point you to someone who can.
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How Do You Handle Stress Interview Questions
A whopping 80% of workers are stressed out in their jobs. Of that group, nearly half reported they need help managing stress.
You want to find candidates who recognize that work can be stressful and come equipped with the skills and strategies needed to handle that stress. Although stress is inevitable, it shouldnt cripple a workers ability to perform their job.
Asking at least one How do you handle stress interview question can give you insight into a candidates performance during rough times at work.
How do you handle stress interview questions might be especially important in certain positions and industries. For example, managers and supervisors often face more stress than employees. And, industries like public relations and law enforcement ranked as some of the most stressful American jobs in 2018.
Dont confuse How do you handle stress interview questions with stress interview questions. Stress interview questions put candidates into stressful situations. On the other hand, stress management interview questions find out how candidates handle stress in a regular interview setting by asking about the candidates personality and past experiences.
Take a look at some questions to ask during a how do you deal with stress interview. You can ask these questions or use them as guidelines to create your own.
1. Describe a stressful situation and how you handled it.
2. Are you able to adapt to changes in the workplace? Can you tell me about a specific situation?
Focus On Stories And Examples That Communicate A Moment Of Personal Growth
This will help any potential employer understand how you turn stress into a positiveespecially if you give examples where stress has actually helped your work in some way.
Here are a few examples of a good response to this question, for reference:
Planning is an important tool in handling stress for me. Drawing up detailed plans for projects and even my daily work helps me to get ahead of stressful situations. When stress does inevitably arise, planning helps me to tackle the situation one step at a time to prioritize what needs to be done in an efficient way for myself and my colleagues. In fact, some of my best work in streamlining processes has come from a stressful situation. Ive been able to design simpler, more efficient workflows with less room for error.
Stress can be a big motivator for me. A healthy amount of pressure helps me produce efficient, quality work by giving me a picture of what my colleagues need from me and when. Ive experienced stressful situations that bring my team together, and have seen some of our best work come from pressure.
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Stress And Your Appetite
Stress can have a huge impact on your eating habits. During acute stress , the stress response can shut down appetite. The fight-or-flight response is designed to suppress hunger you wont be effective in battle or run that fast if you are thinking about food. But chronic stress has the opposite effect. Repeated doses of cortisol in your body due to high stress can lead to an increase in appetite.
According to the Harvard Health Letter, gender can play a role in how you eat during times of stress. Some research suggests women are more likely overeat due to stress while men turn to alcohol or smoking.
And the reality is that food really can make you feel better during times of stress. So-called comfort food like chocolate cake and ice cream literally blunt the bodys response to chronic stress. The problem with continuing to self-medicate chronic stress with comfort foods is that it will lead to weight gain and poor health.
Just as you need to reframe your view of stress and exercise and meditate to give your body a break from stress, you can also adopt strategies to use food to help you better cope with stress.