The ways in which our minds and bodies respond to challenging situations are very much unique to us. In fact, how we respond to a stressful situation is determined by a whole range of factors including: our perception of the world around us, the demands placed on us each day, our emotional traits and our thought processes.
All of these factors have a significant influence on the ways in which we handle pressure so it is important to become aware of our own stress responses and to try to understand how they are triggered. This understanding is key to both managing and preventing a build-up of stress.
Try out some of these practical strategies to help prevent and manage stress:
- Practise Mindfulness. This promotes self-awareness, which helps us be more objective and in turn enables us to make choices about how we think, behave and respond to stressful situations.
- Monitor stress triggers and responses with a diary
- Put together a personal ‘toolkit’ of techniques that you know help you manage stress. These could include exercise / knitting / meditation / gardening / baking
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol or smoking as much as possible. These are counter-productive when used to manage stress.
- Breathing exercises are a great way to manage / counteract the body’s stress response as it happens.
For further information about National Stress Awareness Day, visit The International Stress Management Association.