Break Out The Bubble Gum
Feel like you’re becoming unglued? Grab a stick of gum. Research suggests that chewing gum can help relieve both stress and anxiety. It may be that the rhythmic motion of chewing helps boost blood flow to the brain. An alternative theory suggests that it’s the taste and smell of the gum that elicits the relaxation response. Next time you think, “I can’t stop stressing,” grab a stick of gum as a stress relief technique that is inexpensive, effective, and you can do it virtually everywhere.
When To See Your Gp About Your Stress Levels
If you’ve tried self-help techniques and they aren’t working, you should go to see your GP. They may suggest other coping techniques for you to try or recommend some form of counselling or cognitive behavioural therapy.
If your stress is causing serious health problems, such as high blood pressure, you may need to take medication or further tests.
Procrastination As A Mental Health Symptom
The source of procrastination sometimes runs a little deeper than a difficulty regulating emotions.
If you live with anxiety, for example, you might spend a lot of time worrying about what specific tasks involve or feeling nervous about what could go wrong. These kinds of fears can absolutely lead to delay.
The link between anxiety conditions and perfectionism can also play a part in procrastination. When you dont believe you can do something perfectly, you might feel anxious about doing it at all and continually put it off instead.
Depression, which often wears away at energy and self-worth, can also involve procrastination. You might neglect certain responsibilities because you cant muster up the motivation to complete them, or because you doubt yourself and your skills.
Procrastination can also result from
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How To Stop Caring In Healthy Ways
There are many strategies for learning to stop caring about so many things you can’t control, and as a result, reduce your stress.
Of course, we can influence others. And one of our best opportunities to do so is to ensure that we are being who we want to be. Often, the characteristics that are the most frustrating and offensive to us, are those which we are guilty of ourselves. So it is always a good practice to turn our attention to ourselves as soon as we realize we are annoyed with someone else. Awareness is critical to making changes in ourselves. That about which we are unaware, we cannot control. Stated another way, that about which we are unaware of in ourselves, will control us. Sometimes, just gaining awareness of a tendency in ourselves is all we need to choose to think or act differently.
Change Your Perspective
Another helpful concept is that while it is impossible to simply change our feelings, we do have a much greater capacity to change our thoughts, perspectives, the meaning we attach to specific events, our conclusions, expectations, etc. It may be safe to conclude that much of the disappointment, hurt, offense, sadness, anger, etc. we experience is a result of unmet expectations. So if we can change our expectations, we will be able to dramatically decrease the negative feelings that result from experiencing unmet expectations, right?
Track Your Feelings
Accept That Life Is Uncertain
Try Keeping a Worry Box
Stay Connectedeven When Physically Isolated
Evidence shows that many people with coronavirusparticularly young, seemingly healthy peopledont have symptoms but can still spread the virus. Thats why the biggest thing that most people can do right now to make a positive difference is to practice social distancing.
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But social distancing comes with its own risks. Humans are social animals. Were hardwired for connection. Isolation and loneliness can exacerbate anxiety and depression, and even impact our physical health. Thats why its important to stay connected as best we can and reach out for support when we need it, even as we cut back on in-person socializing.
Emotions are contagious, so be wise about who you turn to for support
Most of us need reassurance, advice, or a sympathetic ear during this difficult time. But be careful who you choose as a sounding board. The coronavirus is not the only thing thats contagious. So are emotions! Avoid talking about the virus with people who tend to be negative or who reinforce and ramp up your fears. Turn to the people in your life who are thoughtful, level-headed, and good listeners.
If you dont have someone you trust to turn to, apps such as 7 Cups are a good resource for free, emotional support.
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The Importance Of Managing Stress
If youre living with high levels of stress, youre putting your entire well-being at risk. Stress wreaks havoc on your emotional equilibrium, as well as your physical health. It narrows your ability to think clearly, function effectively, and enjoy life. It may seem like theres nothing you can do about stress. The bills wont stop coming, there will never be more hours in the day, and your work and family responsibilities will always be demanding. But you have a lot more control than you might think.
Effective stress management helps you break the hold stress has on your life, so you can be happier, healthier, and more productive. The ultimate goal is a balanced life, with time for work, relationships, relaxation, and funand the resilience to hold up under pressure and meet challenges head on. But stress management is not one-size-fits-all. Thats why its important to experiment and find out what works best for you. The following stress management tips can help you do that.
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Offer Yourself Forgiveness And Compassion
Just like the forgiveness you might offer someone who wronged you, self-forgiveness allows you to let go of past events and move forward.
So, instead of giving yourself a hard time, tell yourself its all right:
Waiting to do that project didnt turn out so well, but its OK to make mistakes. Now I know what not to do next time.
Self-compassion can also go a long way toward easing the harsh criticism and self-blame that tend to trail in procrastinations wake.
Instead of focusing on how you messed up , offer yourself some words of comfort.
If it helps, consider what you might say to a friend:
- It sounds like youre struggling right now, but I can tell youre doing your best.
- That assignment sounds really stressful. I know you want to do the best work possible, but its just a first draft, right? You can always improve on it later if your team has any suggestions.
Dont you deserve that same kindness?
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How Does Your Body React To Work Stress
Imagine for a moment that your boss has emailed you about an unfinished assignment . Your body and mind instantly respond, activating a physical reaction called the fight-or-flight response. Your heart beats faster, your breath quickens, and your muscles tense. At the same time you might say to yourself, Im going to get fired if I dont finish this. Then to manage your anxiety and negative self-talk, you work late into the night to complete the task.
Over the course of our evolutionary history, humans developed this coordinated fear response to protect against dangers in our environment. For example, a faster heart rate and tense muscles would help us escape from predators. In the modern era, fear continues to serve an important function. After all, the fight-or-flight response can provide the necessary energy to pull an all-nighter and keep your job.
But what happens if you encounter stressful experiences at work every day? Over time, chronic work stress can lead to a psychological syndrome known as burnout. Warning signs of burnout are overwhelming exhaustion, cynicism, and a sense of inefficacy. Certain work-related stressors are closely linked with burnout. Examples are having too much work or too little independence, inadequate pay, lack of community between coworkers, unfairness or disrespect, and a mismatch between workplace and personal values.
Questions To Ask Yourself
Whos in my support network? Everyone should have people in their life who are positive influences, support providers, and role models for healthy living. They can be friends, family members, mentors, spiritual leaders, colleagues, and mental health professionals.
What activities do I enjoy? Your work might be enjoyable, but everyone needs hobbies that arent about competition or personal accomplishment. What helps ease your worries and makes you more mindful about your body? These activities might include reading, dancing, gardening, board games, crafts, etc.
What are my sleep habits? If youre getting roughly 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night, youll be able to think more clearly, boost your immune system, and concentrate better on work and relationships. A simple step such as turning off screens an hour before bed can make a huge difference in your sleep quality.
Am I saying no to unnecessary tasks? Ideally you should be able to pass on tasks that demand too much of you, arent your responsibility, or dont fall in line with your personal values and objectives. If youre not sure where to start, take a look at your schedule and to-do list, and see what can be delegated or removed completely.
Am I organized? Start to declutter your life. When you can manage tasks with an accurate schedule and prioritized to-do list, you reduce the unnecessary anxiety that can accompany a cluttered and confusing agenda.
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Signs And Symptoms Of Burnout
Most of us have days when we feel helpless, overloaded, or unappreciatedwhen dragging ourselves out of bed requires the determination of Hercules. If you feel like this most of the time, however, you may be burned out.
Burnout is a gradual process. It doesnt happen overnight, but it can creep up on you. The signs and symptoms are subtle at first, but become worse as time goes on. Think of the early symptoms as red flags that something is wrong that needs to be addressed. If you pay attention and actively reduce your stress, you can prevent a major breakdown. If you ignore them, youll eventually burn out.
Tips To Help You Stop Stressing Out Over School
Freshman at the University of Pennsylvania
Everyone deals with stress. It is an unfortunate reality of human nature. There are expectations that aren’t always met and events that occur outside of our control. For many teens, a large source of this stress is school-related. On top of juggling extracurricular activities and a social life, we have to manage homework and studying while trying to stay sane. Sometimes, when the workload seems endless, we can’t even imagine how we will survive the week. Although stress is inevitable, there are a few steps you can take to make it a little more manageable. These seven tips are lessons I’ve learned on how to deal with stress more effectively.1. Make a study schedule. As annoying as it is to write down all of your assignments, putting what you need to get done on paper instead of keeping it in your head can be incredibly helpful. You can also estimate the time each task will take you so that you can plan when you will do each assignment. Writing this down will help you stop procrastinating and keep you from worrying about the lack of time you have. As an added bonus, there is immense relief that comes with crossing something off of your list.
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How Do You Do The Thing You Love
Whats your favorite thing to do? It can be playing video games, skateboarding, dance, or even a certain subject in school. Whatever you choose, its the thing you can happily do for hours without noticing the time fly by. You get better at it all the time, but practicing never feels like work. Heres the good news: improving at any skill requires the same steps: breaking things down, practicing small pieces, and being persistent without letting emotions get in the way. That means you already know how to work very successfully–and keep it stress-free. Take the way you work at the thing you love doing, and start working that way in the thing you hate doing. Pretty soon, the process will become painless, and your grades will start to soar!
The Good News Is That Being Stressed Out By Life Isnt A Fait Accompli Our Brains Innate Neural Plasticity Equip Us With The Ability To Short Circuit Our Stress Response And Expand Our Bandwidth For Responding More Constructively Calmly And Courageously To Stress Triggers In Our Environment
So whatever stress youre feeling right now, start by noticing the story youre spinning – in your own head or verbally to others – about your situation. Are you talking up the stressors in ways that keep you focused on what you dont want? If so, reframe how youre viewing your situation, adopting language that:
- Reflects belief in your ability to manage whatever youre facing .
- Frames the stressor as a vital stimulus for growth and necessary for you to thrive
Im in an interesting situation thats teaching me a lot and building my ability for more inspiring challenges. Ive got everything it takes to figure this out one day at a time.
My son 19 year old son Ben told me that after the last 12 months hes far more confident in his ability to deal with lifes challenges moving forward. In other words: the stress of graduating high school online and starting college in a pandemic have built his muscles for life in ways that will serve him long after this pandemic is over.
The last 12 months have held many stressors. But theyve also taught us that while life can change on a dime, we have the inbuilt capacity to adapt quickly and rise to challenges we might never have imagined, much less prepared for. More so, that in the midst of what might be called stressful situations we can discover strengths and hone talents that may otherwise have lain dormant.
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Write Down Your Stressors
Identifying and recording stressful situations can help you understand whats bothering you. Some of these can be subtle sources of tension, such as an uncomfortable workspace or a long commute.
Keep a journal for 1 week to track your stress triggers and your reactions to them. Make sure to include the people, places, and events that gave you a physical, mental, or emotional response.
As you write, ask yourself:
- How did this make me feel?
- What was my reaction?
- What are some ways of resolving it?
How To Sleep When You’re Stressed And Anxious
Most of us have been there before.
A stressful day at work, an argument with a partner, or an event during the day can leave your head spinning. Learning how to sleep when stressed and anxious is important for a variety of reasons.
It doesnt take long before sleep quality drops and you start to develop a sleep problem. This stops you from getting a good night’s rest because youre too stressed to sleep.
With anxiety driving your mind into overdrive, it can be hard to stop ruminating and relax at the end of the day. Your mind loops around the same track, keeps going over the same conversation, or worries the same unanswerable questions. Often, sleep becomes unattainable.
So what comes first, lack of sleep or anxiety?
Its not so clear cut, one might bring about the other.
Lets break down both to gain some more insight into how these two issues are related.
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Stress Is Closely Related To Worry So Worry Less
So how do we worry less? Obviously easier said than done but the first step is to distinguish between worries that require your attention and worries that are unnecessary.
The following questions can help you clarify this:
Can I do something about this problem?
Is this something I always worry about, but nothing ever happens?
Is this something that has a solution?
Will my worrying make this situation better or worse or have no effect at all?
If there is something you can do about the problem, take action or consciously choose not to take action.
People often delay or avoid taking action or making decisions because they are worried about making a mistake.
If the situation is out of your control and there is nothing you can do, worrying does not make the situation better!
Tell yourself that your worries are not helpful and let them go. Again , I know this is easier said than done, but it can improve with practice.
It can help to challenge your thoughts about the worry and ask yourself:
Wheres the evidence for that? or
What would be so bad about that? or
Is this problem so important that I should spend all my time thinking about it?
To read more about reducing worry read The Number One Question That Helps Worrying