Five Ways to Help You Manage Stress

Stress – it happens to the best of us. The most important thing is to recognise the feeling and take steps to alleviate the burden. Whether you’ve fallen behind with revision or you’re struggling to find a summer internship, don’t let it get the better of you.

Here are five stress-busting tips to help you now and throughout our career.

1. Laughter

Sometimes laughter really is the best medicine. A good old chuckle triggers the release of endorphins, promoting an overall sense of wellbeing. It also stimulates circulation and aids muscle relaxation which immediately makes you feel more zen.

Whether you watch a string of funny YouTube videos or try the healing benefits of laughter yoga (I dare you not to giggle) – laugh your way to relaxation.

2. Deep breaths

If it’s all getting too much, take a moment and try some deep breathing exercises. Inhale deeply through your nose, expanding your belly and then your chest. Hold your breath for three seconds and exhale through your mouth, releasing your breath over five seconds. Repeat this a few times until you feel in control of your mind.

The benefits of deep breathing are countless – it releases tension by circulating oxygen to your muscles, expels toxins from your body that could lead to illness and massages your heart as your diaphragm moves up and down.

3. Unplug

Most of us spend the best part of the day glued to a screen - whether it’s a computer, mobile or TV. If you’ve been pulling your hair out while staring at a laptop for hours, you won’t be able to unwind while you’re still sitting in front of it. Step away from technology and unplug.

Go for a walk in your local park and leave the phone at home. You may feel disconnected without your mobile but communicating exclusively via Facebook and WhatsApp can ultimately be quite alienating. Nothing beats a face to face chat.

4. Rise early

Wake up early after a good night’s sleep and you’ll find your problems are much more manageable. You’ll have time to plan for your day and organise your to do list – research shows morning people are more likely to anticipate problems and minimse them efficiently. The morning is usually a quiet time when you can focus without interruption.

It’s also a great time to do exercise - many business leaders credit gym session first thing as the key to a sucessful day. The early bird catches the worm. Fact.

5. Take on a challenge

This may seem counterintuitive but hear me out. The sense of accomplishment after completing a difficult task is guaranteed to lift your spirits and boost your confidence if you're feeling overwhelmed. 

Don’t take on anything too arduous and make sure it’s unrelated to the cause of your stress. You could tackle a challenging Sudoku puzzle or cook a tricky recipe – whatever you decide to do, throw yourself into it and enjoy the achievement.

Next: How to Work Effectively as a Team