Are We More Stressed Than Ever? – April is Stress Awareness Month. After two years of living with Covid, worrying about illness, and living a restricted life, the question needs to be asked “are we more stressed than ever”? Need2Know Books looks at positive ways to break through feelings of stress and anxiety to help live a fuller and more purposeful life during a time of great change.
Over the last two years, life has drastically changed for many of us. One of the biggest changes most people (young or old) have faced has been an increase in our stress levels due to the pandemic. Food shortages, rising prices, money concerns, and the war in Ukraine have also added to these pressures which have made us feel worried, stressed, and unsure. Simply put, there are many concerns and scary headlines that can easily take us out of a state of relaxation. Finding calm in the middle of a raging ocean is a challenge, but there are some simple stress-relieving steps that will offer useful results.
Focus on the Present
It is normal to fast forward and imagine the worst-case scenario of any situation in our minds. A very good technique to stem worry is to stay focused on the present. By doing this we break down any problem or obstacle we are facing into small steps. Rather than thinking about the worst possible outcome of a problem try to focus on what can be done in the present. There is a lot to be said about taking baby steps to overcome an obstacle, so be kind to yourself.
Fresh air and being active are great stress relievers. Now that Covid restrictions are easing globally, many of us can get out and about again. Use the time to get reacquainted with the outside world. Simple things such as taking a walk around your neighbourhood can do wonders for the mind. If you are feeling more indulgent, treat yourself to a weekend away, or a holiday. Adding movement of any kind and getting fresh air will make both young and old feel better and relax the mind.
Develop a Positive Mindset
A positive mindset in chaos is will always deliver positive results. This is because when you try to understand the problems you are faced with from a positive perspective rather than a negative one, you stand a greater chance of finding the right solution that will work for you. Watching the news all day or programs that show doom and gloom keeps you in a negative mindset. So, take breaks from the outside world and turn off your devices when you begin feeling overwhelmed.
Remember that Covid has caused a great deal of interruption in our lives. So, it is okay to be patient with yourself and others. Being demanding only causes resistance in ourselves and more stress. Allow yourself to accept the changes that are happening around you and find ways to co-exist with people and problems. This is not always easy, but you will feel better for trying.
Ask for Help
Finally, if you are struggling with stress, anxiety, or depression, ask for help. If your stress is related to money concerns, work anxiety, bereavement, or any life issues that are causing you to struggle emotionally, visit your GP or a trained professional. There are also many charitable organisations that can help get you back on track.
The Essential Guide to Stress by Need2know Books is a great resource with many tips and ideas to help you cope with stress and take back control of your life.