We live in a very fast-paced world. As the various demands of school, home, friends, and activities build up, stress can begin to creep in. Feeling stressed is what happens when you feel under pressure, and it happens to us all from time to time. It may make you feel sad, angry, tense, tired, or a mixture of all of those.
It’s completely normal to experience stress sometimes, but occasionally the stress may become too much and may cause mental ill health.
There are ways to alleviate stress though. Here’s 4 things you can try to help you feel more relaxed.
Nature has a calming effect on us, and it doesn’t matter what the weather’s doing to reap the benefits of getting outdoors. Just taking a break and sitting outside for a little while can help boost your mood, but even better is taking part in exercise outdoors. Whether it’s a gentle stroll in the park or an epic hike up a mountain, the endorphins produced through exercise will help lift the weight from your shoulders.
Have a chat with a friend
Having a strong support network is really useful when you feel stressed. The old saying ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’ still holds true, and by sharing your feelings with trusted friends and family members, you may feel far more able to face the stressors in your life and overcome them. If you struggle to talk about your feelings, going on a long walk with someone close to you can often help you open up (as well as getting the benefits of those mood-boosting endorphins!)
Stress can often arise from worries about the future. The technique of mindfulness is all about focussing on the present. By being aware of yourself, your mind and your surroundings, you can help slow down those racing thoughts and worries. The NHS has a handy guide to mindfulness.
It’s really easy to become isolated when you’re feeling stressed. Hiding away from others may mean you avoid uncomfortable questions, but often those anxious and worried feelings become amplified. If you don’t feel up to going out, or even if you feel you just don’t have the time, sharing a meal with friends or family can help just by feeling more relaxed and able to chat. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy; a pizza and Netflix might be enough to make you feel more like yourself again.
It’s really important to remember that everyone feels stressed sometimes, and everyone deals with it in a different way. We’re all different and what works for someone else may not be right for you, but by finding an effective stress reliever can help you a lot now and in the future.