According to the mental health study by The Good Mental Health Foundation, UK:
74% of UK adults have felt so stressed at some point over the last year they felt overwhelmed or unable to cope.
Why you might ask? Is it a change in the way we live? Or could it be that we do not have as much disposable income as before? Has the standard of living has gone up? Let’s have a look.
Today more and more people are saying they are stressed. Continually being subjected to stress can lead to anxiety, which can present in a person in many ways, such as OCD, phobias, insomnia, excessive sweating or panic attacks, to name a few.
A reason for this could be because we are more focussed on goals than we were before. We put so much pressure on ourselves to be perfect and set ourselves unrealistic goals, that are impossible to achieve, so we always feel like we are failing. We are constantly fearful of failing, but it is only in failing that we can get better at things. Continuously doing things right will never make you an expert, as you will never know how to fix things when they go wrong. It’s the journey of trying things differently that is exciting, so worrying about things going wrong takes away the joy of learning.
When setting goals always try to take small achievable steps. Celebrate each step, don’t dismiss even the smallest of your achievements. Each step will increase your self-esteem and take you closer to your goal. Make each step specific, so that you know when you have achieved it. I’m not saying don’t set yourself high goals, as it’s always good to aim high, but don’t forget the small steps to get there.
Money will always be an issue for some, but try to live within your means. If you don’t have the money, then say to yourself ‘you cannot afford it’. Don’t get caught in the credit trap. There is nothing in this world that you ‘have to have’ apart from your basic needs. Don’t try to live outside your means and don’t give in to peer pressure, to make you think you want or need more.
Find time to relax. We spend so much of our time at work, which isn’t always the nicest of environments and so when we leave work, leave all those work problems behind. There are different ways of relaxing some people meditate, some go to the gym, some bake or shop. Whichever suits you find something for you, a way for you to chill out, you deserve it.
Have and enjoy a fun social life. You may be the type of person that likes their home comforts, which is fine, but live a little and get out a bit more. Easy ways of meeting people are by:
- Joining a club, climbing, knitting, rugby, athletics, tennis, gym.
- Joining work colleagues for a drink after work.
- Saying hello to the people you regularly meet on the way to work.
- Catch up with old friends.
It has been proven that socialising can improve your mood, according to Psychology Today. It can also improve your overall health and lower the risk from dementia.
Maybe we are taking our lives to seriously. Many people take their lives too seriously because they are uncertain of what might happen and its this uncertainty that causes them to want to do things properly. With seriousness comes the inability to have fun and explore the unknown. When someone is uncertain, they are scared of the consequences and so withdrawn from taking part.
Here’s a list of what dos and don’ts to help you become less stressed:
- Don’t take on other people’s problems (OPP)
- Keep a schedule, so your organised
- Always live in the NOW. Don’t dwell on things that have happened in the past. You cannot change the past.
- Just be YOU.
- Don’t watch the news or become emotionally involved in anything you can’t change.
- Find the humour in everything.
- Don’t procrastinate. Don’t put things off.
- Keep smiling.
- Realistically assess situations. Its probably not as bad as you think.
- Learn to relax.
Life doesn’t have to be that hard. Don’t take life too seriously and you will enjoy it more. Bring back the fun!