Stress is a completely normal response to daunting demands or when you feel threatened by a series of events. When you feel an appropriate amount of stress, your body is able to protect you by making you alert, focused and more energetic. You may feel your heart and breath quicken, blood pressure rise and your body may tense up which is primarily a way for it to increase physical strength and stamina as it perceives stress as a sign of danger to you. Stress in doses is a helpful tool in everyday life to help you tackle problems that lay ahead of you. However, if you find yourself constantly or overly stressed it can cause more harm than help and potentially affect the mind, body and behaviour of an individual – and in turn affect relationships, everyday life and the way in which you work.

There are a number of things that can lead to stress, such as environment, over thinking, physical excursion, emotional anguish and over working. It’s important to understand what triggers you to stress the most. With modern living throwing more and more stressful scenarios our way and with less time to deal with them, it’s important to find simple ways to unwind and let go of the worries of each day. The following are three steps that aim to help you recognise your healthy stress level, keep yourself less stressed and learn to relax.

1)    Change of scenery

The hustle and bustle of everyday life can really get to you without you even realising it. It’s possible to get so used to the stresses of work, home and family that you don’t notice how much it can build up and weigh you down. So if you feel like everything is getting out of hand or you’re just constantly on edge, find a place to escape. Ideally, this would be somewhere just for you that’s different from the places you’re used to. Plan a small trip or even some sort of hiding place where you can just relax and leave everything behind for a little while. When you find your way back, you’ll be able to deal with life with a clearer and calmer mind frame.

2)    Learn to relax

It’s impossible to eliminate stress completely from your life – there are just some things you can’t control. But you are able to control the way you react to stress. Learning to relax through meditation, yoga or other relaxation techniques helps to reduce your stress levels and, if practiced regularly, increases your ability to remain calm under pressure. If yoga and meditation aren’t to your taste, find something more suited, be it reading, listening to calming music, a relaxing bath or just simple breathing exercises – whatever you find best.

3)    Laugh

Although not everything is appropriate to laugh at, a little giggle is beneficial in so many ways – it allows a physical and emotional release, it is an internal work out and it can pull the focus away from negative emotions such as stress, anger or sadness. Although this is more of a temporary escape from things that cause stress in your life, regular moments of laughter can help you physically and emotionally – and it doesn’t take much effort to do everyday.

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These suggestions have a track record of working for people in this situation. We recommend that you try these tips and see which ones are suitable for you. You may find that other approaches work for you too. Depending on your circumstances, a consultation with your GP may be advised.

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