Don’t get stressed thinking about the problems- do something positive!

DON’T spend time worrying about the stress level in your life – take action!

That’s the message that experts are trying to get across on this year’s National Stress Awareness Day on November 5 to help people to take action to reduce levels of tension.’Don’t spend time worrying about the stress level in your life – take action’ is the message sent out by the champions of the campaign – which is now in its tenth year.  

National Stress Awareness Day aims to raise awareness of stress, the causes and how to manage it and to highlight the debilitating and destructive nature of stress. 

Many people don’t realise how much pressure they inflict on themselves and how many different elements contribute to stress levels – particularly the habit of worrying. 

“We want to encourage the nation to reduce their stress levels by taking positive actions,” said Ann McCracken, vice chair at ISMA -the International Stress Management Association (ISMA). 

Stress is now one of the leading causes of absenteeism in the UK, accounting for many millions of lost work days, and mental health problems is the single biggest source of incapacity benefit. 

Ann continued: “The purpose of the day is to highlight what science shows are the main sources of stress, such as long working hours, excessive overload, lack of work-life balance, external and internal pressures, but also importantly, how people can address these triggers.” 

ISMA recommends the following as key ways to reduce stress: 

Take Action – evaluate all available options, then make a decision and act on it. There is often something you can practically do about a situation you are worried or anxious about. Consider each worry one by one, then ask yourself, on a scale of one to 10. How important is this worry? If it is less than five, leave it for another day! 

Write it down – Worrying often happens when it is time to go to sleep. Keep a notepad by the bed, write it down and tell yourself you will deal with it in the morning. You can use this technique in the day too, deferring all your worries for e.g. 30 minutes, to a designated later time is really helpful rather than being unproductive all day. 

Try not to worry about things you have no control over – worries can often be blown out of proportion. There is often something you can practically do about a situation you are worried or anxious about. If you have no control over the worry – for example the worry that your train will be late – accept it as a possible reality and think about how you can deal with the outcomes 

Positive thinking – Changing your thoughts is not as difficult as you may think. Try to adopt an outlook on life that stops you seeing external events as determining your happiness. Instead, see your thoughts as the determiner of your happiness. It takes practice, but if you can do this you’ll reduce negative tension that leads to much of the stress in your life. 

Talk to friends – they may suggest a possible course of action or solution.

Worry is often a habit, doing a ‘reality check’ with others can help change thinking from negative to positive. 

Relax – A good relaxation technique is an anti-stress weapon that you always carry with you, to help you deal with any stressful situation as it arises. Make relaxation a regular part of your daily routine. There are many relaxation techniques, from deep-breathing and visualization to meditation and self-hypnosis. Find one that works for you – check out books, CDs and DVDs that can help.

Log on to http://www.nationalstressawarenessday.co.uk to learn more about how to take action and reduce stress in all areas of life. The interactive website encourages people at work and those at home to reduce worry and reap the benefits.
(Source:By Kate Lahive http://www.thestar.co.uk)
Richard Reid is the founder of Pinnacle Proactive, Specialising in theEmployee Assistance ProgramStress ManagementStaff Retention & Absenteeism. Take a Proactive Approach to Growing Your Organisation & its People. For more info visit http://www.pinnacleproactive.com
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