A life without any stress whatsoever would be dull! Stress is our natural way to respond to challenges in life. However, a lot of the stress in our lives is unnecessary and can easily be eliminated by taking a few simple steps…

The first step is to identify what causes you stress. Take 10 minutes to think about what happens in your day-to-day life that stresses you out. Can it be eliminated? For example if you are always late for work, could you get up earlier so you are not stressed about being late? If it is something you can’t eliminate is there a way of making it less stressful? Just by being aware of what causes you stress you can begin to develop strategies to make things less stressful, or eliminate the stress altogether.

Secondly, don’t procrastinate!! It is always easier to think “I’ll do it tomorrow” but mysteriously tomorrow never comes and before you know it the project you were supposed to hand in to your boss is due and you have an hour to do it in!! Wouldn’t life be so much less stressful if you didn’t leave things until the last minute? Think of something that motivates you… Maybe having a less stressful life is a goal you would like to achieve. By getting things done on time you will find that you are not so stressed out about work projects, as your workload will seem smaller and more easy to manage.

Another step is to get organised. Clutter can cause stress, do you find that your work desk is always covered with various bits of paper, half of which you probably don’t even need? If this resonates with you, then you should definitely follow this step. Start by removing all of the items on your desk, put it all in neat piles on the floor. Clean your desk… isn’t it amazing how big and shiny it is! Wouldn’t it be nice to see it like that more often? File the papers away; make the top of your desk as minimalistic as you can. A clear desk and home creates a clear and stress free mind.

Adapt the stressor, by looking at the stressor in a more positive way you can change how you feel about it. For example, instead of being stuck in a traffic jam and focusing on how annoying it is. Think of it as an opportunity to regroup, listen to music or enjoy some alone time.

Lastly and most importantly, exercise. Some of you may think you don’t have the time to exercise, but it is so easy to incorporate into your daily life. Go for a walk in your lunch break; take the stairs instead of the lift. Not only is exercise great for relieving stress; it also helps to eliminate stress build up in the first place. The endorphins released during exercise will make you feel more relaxed, just by having a more upright, relaxed posture you will start to feel less stressed, as your body will not be so tense.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this and of course any other ideas on how to relieve stress…

By Gemma Bailey