3 Ways to Prevent Stress

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From time to time, we will all experience stress. It's a completely natural reaction to all the 'stuff' life throws at us. And a little bit of stress can be good - it gives us the drive we need to move forward. But when we experience too much stress, life can become truly overwhelming, and - left unchecked - stress can be a gateway to more serious mental health issues such as anxiety. There are many things we can do to combat stress but the best approach is to live in such a way that we prevent ourselves from becoming too stressed in the first place. Of course, this isn't always possible but here are some tips for keeping stress at bay.

What You'll Need

  • Self-compassion
  • Time to find a form of exercise that works best for you
  • A friend / family member you can rely on

What You'll Do

  • Done is better than perfect. A lot of the stress we feel is as a result of expectations that we put on ourselves. This isn't to say that we should have low standards, but just be aware that it's not always feasible to do things to the absolute best of our ability - and half the time, others won't notice if we don't. For example, if we spend 1 hour less on a huge presentation because we're exhausted, chances are that extra 1 hour's rest will mean we perform better, even if there is one less reference or quote in the presentation. Another example is exercise - giving ourselves a target of exercising, say, 3 times a week is great - but on a super busy week, it's okay for one of those sessions to be a 10 minute run, or a quick 10 minute at home workout rather than a full hour in the gym.
  • Speaking of exercise...a regular exercise practice has been proven to prevent stress and increase overall wellbeing. It's important to find a method of exercise you actually enjoy, otherwise it will end up feeling like a chore, and add stress rather than reducing it! We have so much choice these days - from Zumba to HIIT there's something for everybody, and there's a wealth of resources online for those who are averse to group exercise or simply don't have time for the gym.
  • Talk it out. Another cause of stress is going over and over things in our heads, until we've convinced ourselves that there's no way out. The simple act of voicing what's on your mind helps to make issues seem more manageable and less scary. Be sure to share any concerns with compassionate, positive friends and loved ones though as negative comments can leave us feeling even worse, and can mean we'll be less likely to share in the future.

Tips & Warnings

  • Stress affects us all but that doesn't mean we should take it lightly. It has the potential to have a huge impact on our lives if it takes over. Stay mindful, be kind to yourself, and managing stress can become like second nature.
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