National Stress Awareness Day (1st November)

“National Stress Awareness Day 2016 was one of our most successful yet, with 180,000,000 comments on Twitter and extensive media promotion for ISMA (International Stress Management Association) and this year we’re aiming to do even better, with our special appeal to employers. This year, Stress Awareness Day goes international and I am very excited that countries from around the world will be participating.” Carole Spiers ISMA UK Chair, Founder National Stress Awareness Day You too can get involved in NSAD17 on Wednesday 1st November. This event is great as a means of raising profile, achieving publicity for stress, and promoting the importance of wellbeing for individuals and organisations. Young royals speak up and speak out! Just recently, both the princes made startling admissions about the stress they had suffered at the tragic loss of their mother Princess Diana. This was an unprecedented step away from the ‘buttoned up’ dialogue traditionally expected from establishment figures. This demonstrates a new culture of openness about stress and mental health issues, together with a renewed interest in stress management. Dealing with stress Stress is your body’s way of responding to any kind of demand or threat. When you feel threatened, your nervous system responds by releasing a flood of stress hormones including adrenaline and cortisol, which rouse the body for emergency action. There are lots of way to cope with stress and the issues caused by it, from vitamins and supplements that help relieve the symptoms of stress, to regular exercise and a better diet.

Start living, stop stressing: 10 key steps to stress-free living

1. START TO PUT YOURSELF FIRST. If you eat & drink healthily, schedule regular physical activity that you enjoy & manage your time effectively, you’ll be in a better position to help others. 2. START TO PRIORITISE TASKS. There are only so many things we can do well during each day, so choose your top 3 most urgent tasks each morning and make them your priority. Reschedule, renegotiate your commitments or delegate – you can make it happen! 3. START TO MAKE TIME TO RELAX & MENTALLY UNWIND. Relaxation, breathing & meditation exercises have been proven to be effective in reducing stress & anxiety, they are ideal ways to switch off AND they boost your immune system. Just a few minutes a day will pay huge dividends. 4. START TO EMPATHISE WITH OTHERS. There are many different behaviour styles that affect how we communicate with each other. Be aware that different people can perceive your words & actions in a way you didn’t always intend. Take time to listen to others & look for solutions. 5. START TO LIVE LIFE TO THE FULL. Bring some fun into your life & spend a few minutes each day appreciating the good things you have in your life. This will help you to see opportunities for growth and learning, even from the most challenging situations. 6. STOP IGNORING YOUR NEEDS. Know what is expected of you and what is reasonable. Take short breaks throughout the day & know when and how to say ‘No’ both at work & home. 7. STOP GETTING DISTRACTED. If you’re experiencing too much pressure or just have a lot going on in your life, staying focused isn’t easy. It may help to ask for support from colleagues or friends & prioritise urgent, important & non-urgent tasks. 8. STOP ALLOWING OTHERS TO MAKE YOU FEEL INFERIOR. The key to stress-free living is to accept yourself for exactly who you are today, including past mistakes and things you might not be so proud of. Work on your self-belief and confidence and just go for it! 9. STOP BEING JUDGEMENTAL. Try to adopt a more flexible thinking style which will improve your mental well-being, whilst reducing unnecessary pressure for both you and those around you. Practice being objective and understanding. 10. STOP AVOIDING THE THINGS YOU LEAST WANT TO DO. We often put off tasks that can become a recipe for worry. Take control & promise yourself a reward when you get it done.

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