Mental health is certainly not my field of expertise, but in learning my own lessons in stress management, I have a good grasp on some different ways to help deal with your own stress related issues.
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As someone who suffers from anxiety, I am known for making mountains out of molehills and stressing myself out before properly understanding my situation. I often live in a state of stress or panic, and my poor partner has to deal with teary mid-morning phone calls, silent hissy fits I can’t explain, and me gnawing at my nails without realising, ALL. THE. TIME. Ok, so I am not at a 10/10 stress level 100% of the time, but I am definitely easily stressed.
Succumbing to stress so often, I have come to learn a number of things about myself and how I deal with stress, as well as understand that stress is just a part of life. It is something that we all have to teach ourselves to deal with. So, rather than tell you to go and work out or drink a mug of chamomile (as so many people tell you to), I thought I would give you my own learned tips on how to deal with stress…
Never compare your stressors with someone else’s stressors
Everyone is different and everyone is going to feel stressed over different things. The thought of going to university for the first time might be a huge deal to some people, but others might find the whole experience incredibly exciting.
Something an old friend told me – after I had just bawled my eyes out to him and immediately apologised in guilt because I knew he had issues of his own – was to never feel like your stress is stupid or menial, everyone has their own set of issues that they are dealing with. Sure, we could all tell ourselves off for stressing about not having saved as much money as we should have for our impending holiday when there are people in this world stressing about how they are going to feed themselves, but it isn’t to say that we should discount our stressor just because someone is worse off than us. However minor it may seem to others, if something is bugging you and causing you distress, it needs to be identified, acknowledged and understood in order to go about eliminating it.
Let yourself be stressed and/or upset
If something makes you want to cry or curl into a ball and sleep – do it (NB: only if you are in an environment where it is ok to do so – not at work). I am a big believer in acknowledging your emotions and understanding what a stressor is doing to you. You are only going to feel worse if you try to suppress the feelings that your stress is bringing up. In saying this, don’t let the stress get the better of you. React and let it all out before taking a big breath and regrouping yourself. Sometimes letting yourself succumb to your feelings allows you to get your head back in the game and work even harder to fight against your set backs.
Talk it over
Discussion is such a powerful thing. Never underestimate the power of talking to someone about what is bugging you – it is therapeutic in itself, but you can also start to piece together different bits of advice to help you through your issues. As mentioned in my first point, no stress is a stupid stress if it is affecting your mental state negatively, just make sure you find someone who understands that too.
If you have any other ‘less publicised’ tips to help with stress management, I would love to hear them! Feel free to let me know in the comment section below