In this day and age, there is no avoiding it. Stress is a part of life for everyone. According to a study conducted by YouGov in the UK, in the past year, 74% of people have felt so stressed that they have been overwhelmed or unable to cope. Stress can lead to emotional, mental and physical problems and is the culprit behind a spike in suicides within our country. It is estimated that 21 people commit suicide in South Africa every single day.
So, what is the solution? Ultimately, it is learning how to properly manage stress before it can have a severe detrimental effect on your well-being. Here’s how to go about managing stress.
Turn to Mother Nature
Mother Nature has a way of bringing calm and perspective back into your life. When you feel that all-too-familiar feeling of panic and tightness in your chest, retreat outside and sit under a tree or lay a blanket out and watch the clouds for a few minutes. Smell the roses. Get some fresh air. You’ll feel better almost instantly.
Most of us know that exercise releases endorphins – otherwise referred to as ‘happy hormones’. So, when feeling stressed, even when it’s the last thing you feel like doing, consider going for a jog or following a yoga tutorial on YouTube. Not only will it flood your body with endorphins, but it will also provide an outlet for all that negative energy and frustration that keeps building up. You will be managing your stress in a way that is good for your mind and your physical wellbeing.
Take Comfort in the Fact That It’s Temporary
How you are feeling today almost certainly won’t be how you will be feeling 6 months or a year from now. Stress can feel debilitating in the moment, but it’s important to take comfort in the fact that it is temporary. There is always a light at the end of the tunnel! Just think back to hard times that you’ve overcome in the past – why should this stressful period be any different?
Take a Break
If you are stressing about a looming assignment deadline or an upcoming exam and you feel youself slowly losing control over your composure, take a step back and take a break. It is completely pointless trying to work or study when you reach this point and can no longer concentrate. The more you try, the more stressed you will get. Take a few hours for yourself until you are able to relax a bit before trying to continue. You’re bound to be more productive and focused when you’re managing stress and no longer freaking out.
If ever you feel stressed and overwhelmed to the point where you are struggling to function, it’s time to seek help. Making an appointment with a counsellor is a great idea, but it’s not your only option. Talk to a friend or family member, join an online support group or call the South African Depression and Anxiety Group on 0800 20 50 26 or the Cipla 24 Hour Mental Health Helpline on 0800 456 789.
There is never a reason to suffer alone.