Not all stress is created equal. We all feel the pressure from time to time, whether we’re facing an uncertain situation or we’re interviewing for a new job. Stress can sometimes even help us to perform better, by giving us the adrenaline we need to feel motivated and overcome the obstacle that lies ahead.
But it’s important to recognise when stress has a negative impact on our mental health and wellbeing. Stress can be the barrier to your success, affecting your closest relationships, career, or social life. It can lead to burn out and an early exit from your work and life goals, and long-term stress is thought to have negative impacts on our physical wellbeing.
Taking the pressure off yourself, learning ways to relax and letting go of unhelpful thoughts can be beneficial to you. So, how can you spot when stress is getting in your way and how can you overcome it?
Spotting the signs of stress
Do you feel overwhelmed by the tasks in front of you, not knowing where to start? Are you working overtime to try and prove yourself?
According to the NHS, stress can manifest both mentally and physically. Physically, you may experience headaches, muscle tension or pain. Mentally, you might be overcome with constant worry, find it hard to concentrate or struggle to make decisions. Stress can also affect your behaviour, making you irritable and causing you to avoid situations or have difficulty sleeping.
Recognising the signs that your body is experiencing stress that is detrimental to your health and wellbeing is the first step in being able to do something about it.
Got too much on your plate?
Overworking ourselves can lead to stress and burnout, often resulting in the opposite of the productivity you’re striving towards in the first place.
Feeling overwhelmed by the amount you have to do can also end in you doing nothing, as you become paralysed by indecision and don’t know which task should be done first.
Whilst everything might feel urgent, it’s helpful to take a step back and prioritise your tasks. What must be done now, and what can wait? Is there anything you can hand off to someone else or ask for help with?
You could try these time-management tips to help you work out your goals, get organised and feel more relaxed.
Feel like you can’t focus?
Whilst small amounts of stress can have a positive impact if you’re trying to meet a deadline – giving you a burst of energy to get the job done for fear of failure – long-term stress can disrupt our ability to focus. Trying to do too much and having constant worries filling our mind leaves little room for focused work and relaxation.
Practising mindfulness lets us take a step back and focus on the present moment.
Struggling with sleep?
High levels of stress can keep us up at night and disrupt our sleeping pattern. This can lead to exhaustion, making it even more difficult for you to reach your goals, as you’ll have less energy and drive. Getting a good night’s sleep is crucial for our wellbeing. If you find yourself lying awake in the early hours of the morning, your mind racing with stressful thoughts, try getting up and taking your mind off negative thoughts by reading a book or putting your thoughts down on paper in a journal.
Turning your bedroom into a sleep sanctuary is a great way to help your mind to switch off from the day and get the well-deserved rest your body needs.
With this course, you’ll access professional support that will teach you the techniques you need to keep your mental wellbeing intact. You’ll be able to build positive habits that will enable you to enjoy the results for a long time.