Five quick tips to beat everyday stress

If you’re suffering from any sort of mental health issue which is causing you serious problems, then you need to get help of some sort. If, however, you’re simply facing everyday stresses, from exam nerves to people getting on your nerves, then there are some quick tips you can use to deal with it.
Acknowledge your stress and recognize its beneficial intent
Stress is your mind letting you know that it thinks you need to take better care of yourself and get out of what it perceives as a dangerous, or at least uncomfortable, situation. When you feel yourself starting to get stressed, acknowledge the fact, acknowledge the cause and commit to dealing with it either immediately or later. Ideally you want to deal with stress as soon as possible, but if that’s not practical, the very act of making a promise to yourself to do something later to improve the situation can help to feel calmer in the present.
Accept that stress can be irrational and that is fine
Stress can be like a (hopefully mild) phobia, it’s not necessarily rational or at least not completely rational. This means that sometimes stress can be resolved by having a sensible conversation with someone else or with yourself, sometimes it needs to be addressed at an emotional level, basically what you really need is a hug.
Slow down and perform simple actions mindfully
You probably already know that getting up and moving can help reduce stress and that active exercise can be a real stress buster. That can be useful information when it comes to self-care in general but it’s not necessarily so helpful when you’re dealing with stress in a situation where you can’t just get up and move about physically. Wherever you are, however, you can always breath (indeed you have to) so breath mindfully. There are lots of breathing exercises you can do, but essentially, the key point is to breath with focus, really think about the action of breathing in, slowly, and breathing out, slowly.
In many situations, you’ll be able to drink, so again, do so mindfully, think about taking in the liquid, holding it in your mouth, swallowing and feeling it travel through your body. If possible, try to stick to healthy drinks, I love my caffeine as much as everyone else, but keep it in moderation, a standard cup of tea or coffee is probably OK, but a double-espresso is probably just going to make you even more jittery, the same goes for chemical-filled energy drinks.
Contrary to what a lot of people say, I’m fine with a certain degree of comfort eating, again do it mindfully and sensibly and try to go for healthy options. For example, something as simple as some bread with boiled eggs and tomatoes can look really beautiful on a plate, tastes great and is full of goodness. If you are really craving something sweet and fruit just won’t hit the spot, then try to keep to a small portion and exercise it off later.
Appeal to your senses
Visualization is often the most pragmatic technique here. Actively work on picturing things which make you happy, either create the pictures in your head, look at them in the real world, or head to social media. If you can, bring in your other senses with some of your favourite music, skin products and scents. How feasible this is in the real world, will depend on the situation, but visualization is almost always possible.
Slow down on stimulation
I’m a big believer in social media and I honestly think that, overall, it’s a positive force, however, it can be very easy to get over-stimulated and to spend too much time looking at various screen. If you’re experiencing stress, have a serious think about whether or not you simply have too much going on in your life and, if so, look for ways to cut it down, if only temporarily, like until your exams are over. People who care about you will understand

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