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5 ways to cope with stress

Day-to-day life can be hectic, and we often find ourselves rushing around and spinning multiple plates at the same time. This constant go-go-go attitude can lead to many people experiencing symptoms of stress.   

April 14th, 2022 |Lifestyle

This April is stress awareness month and we wanted to help our community with a few simple coping methods to help you deal with stress when life feels a little bit difficult. Follow these proven tips and tricks to help you feel more relaxed!  

What is stress? 

We often hear people talking about feeling stressed but what does ‘stress’ actually mean? Stress is an overwhelming feeling where you are unable to cope with a certain situation and this can manifest physically, emotionally, and mentally.  

The mental health charity Mind describe stress as: “how we react when we feel under pressure or threatened. It usually happens when we are in a situation that we don’t feel we can manage or control.” 

Some people might say that a little bit of stress is a good thing, as it can motivate us to achieve tasks and work better under pressure. However, evidence has shown that too much stress can not only affect our mood and lead to anxiety, but long-term stress can lead to physical health problems and burnout.  

There are lots of factors that can lead to people feeling stressed or overwhelmed in life, such as financial worries, work-related stress, relationships, and our health. The key to good stress management is having the tools to be able to process and deal with the emotions you are experiencing. 

Daily habits that help to relieve stress 

Introducing healthy habits into your routine can help you manage those daily stresses like getting stuck in traffic or feeling overwhelmed by the list of housework that needs doing. These 5 tricks can also be a fantastic stress toolkit to help you cope with moments of sudden stress when they arise.  

  1. Meditation and relaxation 

Dedicate 5-10 minutes of your day to practising relaxation and meditation. Meditation is a great way to focus your mind when you are feeling overwhelmed or stressed and helps you feel more centred and relaxed.  

 Most people find that first thing in the morning is a great time to meditate, as it helps you set your intentions for the day before you pick up your phone and start scrolling. Find somewhere comfortable to sit and listen to a guided meditation app or practice some slow deep breathing techniques.  

If you are feeling panicked or overwhelmed throughout your day, meditation and breathing techniques are a great tool to help you steady your thoughts and bring yourself back to a calm mindset.  

  1. Exercise

Asides from the obvious health benefits, exercise is a great way to relieve stress. Going for a run or walk after a stressful day at work helps you forget about the issues causing stress for a while. Exercise also gets those endorphins pumping around your body, helping you to feel more relaxed and positive.  

 Sometimes we dread the thought of having to exercise, so we recommend trying to re-frame the purpose of exercise in your mind. You are moving your body and keeping active to feel good, not to train for a marathon or to lose weight – make exercise a fun activity and the health benefits are an extra perk! If you aren’t into the gym, find an activity that you enjoy like joining a netball team, trying a yoga session, or popping your headphones in and hike up your local hill. You are guaranteed to feel better afterwards!  

  1. Connect with friends and family

Friends and family are a great support network and can provide comfort and advice when we need them. It’s easy to come home after a long stressful day and want to hide away at home in front of the TV, but socialising and connecting with friends is a great way to switch off and relax. FaceTime a family member, schedule a catch up over a glass of wine with one of your besties or even plan a workout class together. Having a laugh with your friends will help boost your mood, and even though sometimes social plans can feel like a lot of effort, 9 times out of 10 you come away feeling uplifted. 

  1. Set small realistic goals

A great stress management technique is to set small realistic goals. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed if a task or problem feels too big to handle, so setting small manageable steps helps you process and deal with things. Be mindful of the things you can and can’t control and set your expectations.  

  1. Do things that make you laugh

Laughter is the best medicine – fact! Blast your favourite music and dance around the kitchen, find a comedy on Netflix, listen to that podcast that has you laughing out, or call your friends for a catch up and reminisce about the silly mistakes you made when you were younger. When we laugh our brain releases serotonin, the feel-good chemical that can help you deal with stress.  

*If you are feeling like your stress levels are affecting your work and relationships and you are struggling to cope, please seek the advice of a professional or speak to your GP.  

Feeling stressed before my procedure 

Many patients report feeling stressed or nervous before having cosmetic surgery and this is completely normal. Our expert MYA surgeons are highly qualified and have performed thousands of cosmetic surgery procedures over the years. If you are feeling nervous about having a general anaesthetic, please speak to your MYA clinical team for advice. If you’ve never had a surgical procedure before and are unsure of what to expect, please refer to your MYA Patient Portal where you will find your procedural guide.  

It often helps to talk through concerns or worries with other people who have gone through this process before. Check out our MYA Forum as often we have patients talking around nerves relating to an upcoming procedure. Our amazing and supportive MYA community is there to help you every step of the way so make sure you take advantage of our extensive support network! 

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