Five ways to take control of your stress

Millions of people in the UK experience high levels of stress and it is damaging to not only our mental health, but our physical health too.

Stress has been linked to illnesses such as heart disease, insomnia and digestive problems, which just goes to show how important it is for us to recognise stress and combat the triggers.

Here we have put together a list of five ways that can help you can take control and reduce feelings of stress.

1. Talk about your stress

It is no secret that mental health can be very difficult to talk about; this is the same with stress. But if you do have someone trustworthy to talk to, it could help relieve any stressful feelings.

Alternatively, you could write down your thoughts and feelings in a diary which could help you keep track of any potential triggers.

2. Get active

Exercise can help clear your thoughts and reduce the amount of emotional intensity you feel. This should be something you enjoy doing such as going on a dog walk, swimming laps or playing football.

If you’re not sure how much exercise you need, take a look at the NHS guidance.

3. Breathe

Taking a moment to stop and breathe can do more good than you think!

To try this, make sure you are in a comfortable position, close your eyes and take a few deep breathes for five to ten minutes at a time.

4. Take a break

If you are finding yourself becoming stressed in a work or school environment, take a quick break.

Removing yourself from a stressful situation can allow you the time and space to think about your triggers and take the necessary precautions to help.

Taking a break could be as simple as walking around the block or watching that next episode on your Netflix list.

5. Be kind to yourself

Lastly (and most importantly), be kind to yourself. It is perfectly natural and normal to feel stressed. The world can be hard to navigate at times and everyone at some point in their lives will find themselves in a stressful situation.

The way you show kindness to others should be the way you show kindness to yourself. Think about how you would usually help a friend in need and do it for you instead.

Ideally this should be an activity that is for your enjoyment and makes you feel nurtured such as making your ideal meal or watching your favourite film.