If you're feeling stressed, anxious or depressed, or just want to feel happier, the tips and advice on this page are a good place to start.
If you have a stress-related problem, physical activity can get you in the right state of mind. Exercise won’t make your stress disappear, but it will reduce some of the emotional intensity that you’re feeling, clearing your thoughts and enabling you to deal with your problems more calmly.
If you remain passive, thinking, ‘I can’t do anything about my problem’, your stress will get worse. That feeling of loss of control is one of the main causes of stress and lack of wellbeing.
Connect with people
A problem shared is a problem halved. A good support network of colleagues, friends and family can ease your work troubles and help you see things in a different way.
Have some ‘me time’
Long hours in the workplace mean that people aren’t spending enough time doing things that they really enjoy. We all need to take some time for socialising, relaxation or exercise. We recommend setting aside a couple of nights a week for some quality "me time" away from work.
Work smarter, not harder
Good time management means quality work rather than quantity. Our long-hours culture is a well-known cause of workplace illness. You have to get a work-life balance that suits you. Working smarter means prioritising your work, concentrating on the tasks that will make a real difference to your work.
Setting yourself goals and challenges, whether at work or outside, such as learning a new language or a new sport , helps to build confidence. That in turn will help you deal with stress. By challenging yourself you’re being proactive and taking charge of your life. By continuing to learn, you become more emotionally resilient as a person.
Avoid unhealthy habits
Over reliance on alcohol, cigarettes and caffeine is often a pattern seen in people trying to cope with stress. We call this avoidance behaviour. Women are better at seeking support from their social circle. Over the long term, these crutches won’t solve your problems. They’ll just create new ones. It’s like putting your head in the sand. You need to tackle the cause of your stress.
Help other people
Evidence shows that people who help others, through activities such as volunteering or community work, become more resilient. Helping people who are often in situations worse than yours will help you put your problems into perspective. The more you give, the more resilient and happy you feel. If you don't have time to volunteer, try to do someone a favour every day. It can be something as small as helping someone to cross the road or going on a coffee run for colleagues. Favours cost nothing to do, and you’ll feel better.
Look for the positives in life, and things for which you're grateful. Write down three things at the end of every day which went well or for which you're grateful.
Accept the things you can't change
Changing a difficult situation isn't always possible. If this proves to be the case, recognise and accept things as they are and concentrate on everything that you do have control over. For example, if your company or organisation is making redundancies, there’s nothing you can do about it. In such a situation, you need to focus on the things that you can control, such as looking for a new job.
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