In the present political climate, for many, stress levels are chronically raised. “Just get on with it” is the weary cry, whatever the person saying it voted for. But, of course,’ its’ very nature is that ‘it’ is unknown and undefined. Plus the relentless endlessness of the situation multiplies the effect. This encapsulates the very essence of stress. ‘What/when/how will it happen?’ and ‘What will happen then?’ The guesses made about the answers are limited only by imagination. ‘What if?…’ is the battle cry of anxiety. So anxiety kicks into action. The country generally and individuals in particular are living with background levels of heightened stress and anxiety. Personal levels vary of course but everyone is affected to some degree and the general atmosphere engendered is contagious. Whatever we face in life, and however difficult, we can face, deal with or at least recognise the known. The unknown is the really hard thing to live with and feels out of control. Human beings hate uncertainty. This can lead to a state of learned helplessness, powerlessness and feeling stuck. In everyday life currently, many feel they can’t make plans or they are feeling insecure about the future.
This all means that everyday life stressors, coming on top of a background of raised stress levels, take spikes in stress much higher than usual.
So… What to do? A very good question. Here are, I hope, some useful tips.
1. Do what you can – can what you can’t. Unless you can actually figure out how/what etc to do about the situation and are in a position to do it or want to get to such a position – REFRAME THE QUESTION. Instead of the situation being the problem, see your stress as the problem and determine to do something about that. That is, instead of the situation having to resolve in order for you to feel OK, put that to one side and deal with your stress as the priority.
2. Keep abreast of the news only to the extent that you can handle it. Don’t keep checking your news feed or getting embroiled in Facebook/ pub/ workplace discussions if it adds to your misery.
3. Take time out to do things you enjoy. Exercise – GREAT for stress. Smile – lots. Laugh.
4. Re-centre yourself. Practice self-hypnosis or mindfulness or meditation every day. Get stress levels down. If you do it every day – just for ten minutes – it has a cumulative effect. That way, when stressful things happen you’ll be starting from zero, so your reactions will be within limits you can handle rather than starting from raised levels and going into the stratosphere.
5. Talk. Offload. And then leave that behind. If you’d like to, get in touch and come and see me.
6. Enjoy this beautiful Autumn.
Whatever is going on for you right now, you’re welcome to get in touch.
With warm wishes,