Ah, stress. How can something you can’t physically see or touch be SUCH a problem in life? We all get stressed from time to time, and it can be triggered by almost anything – work, relationships, fears or phobias, family, health issues…the list is endless. Some people get stressed at the smallest thing, whilst it takes a lot to ruffle others – I’m somewhere in the middle, and can pinpoint certain times when I’ve been exceptionally stressed.
The end of university was an incredibly stressful time for me – I put far too much pressure on myself, prioritising my work above everything else. I didn’t cook for about three months, living on takeaways and convenience food, which contributed to me gaining 2 stone that year. I was having nightly panic attacks wondering how I’d ever achieve the grade I wanted to. In the end I reached my goal of a 1st Class degree, but it came at a price.
It set me off on a path of getting stressed about other things that previously hadn’t bothered me, too. On my first holiday after finishing university, I developed a fear of flying – something that has NEVER previously bothered me. I started checking things around the house before leaving, sometimes obsessively, and I’d wind myself up further and further. Recently I have decided enough is enough, and am making a huge effort to combat these problems. Here’s a few things I do to help deal with stress in my life:
♥ Hypnotherapy and Self Hypnosis. We have booked a holiday to Hong Kong for later in the year, and it involves a 13 hour flight there and 12+ hours back. We’ve been having hypnotherapy sessions to help deal with the fear of flying (think meditation over stage hypnosis – there’s nothing daft about it!) and I feel like I’m making real steps towards getting control of my fear. We’re also practising self hypnosis each evening, which is wonderfully relaxing!
♥ Exercise! Wonder why I included an ice skating photo above? I find that exercise is an amazing stress-buster and my morning workouts leave me feeling like I can tackle whatever the day has to bring. Make exercise fun and find what you really love doing – I promise you’ll enjoy it more, and will hopefully feel much more at peace afterwards! I didn’t exercise at all during my last year of university and I really feel that contributed to my super high stress levels.
♥ Be positive and take time out to laugh. If you know you’re going to have a stressful week at work, plan something super fun for the Friday night – you’ll have something to look forward to and you’ll make a clear line between the working week and the weekend. Grab some fun hair chalk, pick your favourite outfit, call your best friends…whatever you love, do it. Life’s too short!
♥ Pinpoint what’s stressing you out. It is SO easy to let things build up, and the smallest thing can send you into meltdown. Try and work out exactly what is stressing you out and try to deal with it in isolation – you might find that other things then fall into place. I try to do this, and it isn’t easy, but it will make you feel a whole lot better. Once you’ve figured it out, you can work on making the situation better.
♥ Talk it out! Just a 5 minute chat with your partner, friend or even someone you work with can help you feel that little bit less stressed. If they’re offering you advice, LISTEN to them – it’s so easy to get all doom and gloom and think that nothing will make you feel better, but they’re trying to help and probably have some super valid points.
I love a good heart to heart with you guys! Your turn – how do you deal with stress in your life?