Since 1992, April has been promoted as Stress Awareness Month. Although not confined to one month, it provides opportunity for organisations and professionals to focus on raising awareness and ultimately helping people identify and cope with stress.
Organisations recognise how much Stress can impact their employees and businesses, and many are taking much more proactive steps to helping employees. Awareness is critical to then understanding and beating stress. As stated in a 2016 British Health & Safety Executive Report
With such worrying statistics it’s important that people are aware of stress and how they can help cope. Art Therapy is one such method.
SHOW ME THE STRESS
The Telegraph has a very informative article, using the following triggers to identify stress:
Physical symptoms of stress include: a pounding heart; elevated blood pressure; sweaty palms; tightness of chest; aching neck, jaw and back muscles; headache; chest pains; abdominal cramps; nausea; trembling; sleep disturbance; tiredness; susceptibility to minor illness; itching; being easily startled; forgetfulness.
Common mental processes: your mind racing or going blank; not being able to ‘switch off’; a lack of attention to detail; your self esteem and confidence plummeting; disorganised thoughts; a diminished sense of meaning in life; a lack of control or the need for too much control; negative self statements and negative evaluation; difficulty in making decisions; a loss of perspective
Common behaviours: becoming withdrawn and not wanting to socialise; increasing your alcohol, nicotine or drugs intake; under or over eating; becoming accident prone and careless; becoming impatient, aggressive or compulsive; not taking breaks; taking work home; procrastinating on important projects; managing time poorly and consequently losing out on leisure activities.
Feelings you may experience: irritable, angry, depressed, jealous, restless, anxious, hyper alert, unnecessarily guilty, panic, mood swings, crying easily.
WHO YOU GONNA CALL?…STRESS BUSTERS…
There are many ways to reduce stress. Stress Awareness month will hopefully provide opportunity and encouragement for more discussion and benefits to everyone.
Each person is different and will have their own coping mechanisms, personally we are a big advocate of Mindfulness and Colouring Books!
Other people prefer: Exercise, healthy eating, talking to people, learn new things. However, anything that gives you back control of your health and mind can assist in beating stress.
If you feel you need any more suggestions then take a look at the NHS Stress busting tips, and also these slightly more off the wall tips from LifeHack 🙂
Although one of our favourites isn’t always applicable here in the UK:
” GET OUTSIDE AND FEEL THE SUN ON YOUR FACE “
Sigh, if only…………
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