Stress is part of the emotional ups and downs of life. We feel stress or anxiety from our environment, our bodies, our thoughts and even how we view the world around us.
It is completely natural to feel anxious around moments of pressure, such as during exam time or being surrounded by piles of marking, but our bodies are designed to deal with stress and react to it.
“If we want to live a wholehearted life, we have to become intentional about cultivating rest and play, and we must work to let go of exhaustion as a status symbol and productivity as self-worth.”
– Brené Brown
It is important to remember that not all stress is negative. Stress helps us stay alert, remain motivated and keep focused on the task at hand. However, when we experience stress for too long or too often, or if we become overwhelmed by our reaction to stress and struggle to cope, we cause strain on the body that can cause depression, insomnia, a decrease in metabolism, and can lead to a weakened immune system*.
Recognise when your body is responding to stress: difficulty sleeping, increased alcohol use, easily angered, depression, low energy, and respond to it with a clear mind by managing your stress levels.
WAYS TO MANAGE PERIODS OF HEIGHTENED STRESS:**
- Exercise. 30 minutes a day of walking can help boost your mood and improve your health.
- Engage in a relaxing activity. Explore mindfulness, muscle relaxation or breathing exercises.
- Set goals and priorities. Create a to-do list, prioritising what needs to get done first.
- Learn to say ‘no’.
- Look on the bright side. Be mindful of what you have accomplished at the end of the day, not what you have been unable to do.
Stay connected. Keep in touch with people who can provide emotional support and practical help.
Ways to Unwind (5:05)
How Stress Hurts Your Body (2:09)