5 Stress-Coping Mechanisms that Actually Work

5 Stress-Coping Mechanisms that Actually Work

April marks the beginning of National Stress Awareness Month here in the UK, aiming to bring light to the many causes and effective coping mechanisms for stress as a way of helping us to put our own health and wellbeing first.

Although causes of stress are endless and personal to each of us, persistent stress can be extremely detrimental to our mental and physical health.

It's something that affects all of us throughout our life, so it's important for us to make a conscious effort to tackle and reduce it.

In the past year, 74% of people have felt so stressed they have been overwhelmed or unable to cope.
— Mental Health Foundation

Utilising effective coping mechanisms for stress helps us to do this, but knowing what to do can sometimes be difficult.

To help, we've put together some fantastic healthy coping mechanisms for stress. It's time to kick stress' butt!

 

Effective Coping Mechanisms for Stress

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1. Simple Breathing Exercises

The body has a significant physical response to stress and can include increased adrenaline and heart rate. This response contributes to the overall feeling of stress even further and can actually lead to health problems in the long-run. Instead of letting this feeling consume you, engage in effective relaxation techniques to help your body swap its stress response for its relaxation response.

Simple breathing exercises can be done anytime, anywhere, and they really do work. Take deep and slow breaths to help reduce your heart rate and aid your body in feeling more relaxed. It's sometimes the little things that can make the biggest difference!

 

2. Get Moving!

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Movement and exercise is a great healthy coping mechanism for stress. Physical exercise releases those much-loved endorphins that get us feeling great.

Any sort of physical activity can help, such as making an effort to walk more, going to a yoga class, or putting time aside during the day to put your gym membership to good use.

Mayo Clinic have provided an in-depth explanation on reducing stress with exercise and various ways of doing so!

 

3. Cut Down on Caffeine and Sugar

Hopefully the thought of less caffeine and sugar doesn't induce stress into you – but bear with us if it does! Although both caffeine and sugar bring us up, they also bring us crashing and burning back down, which makes us feel even more stressed and less able to cope with it.

Far too many of us rely on caffeine and sugar to get through the day, but reducing your intake of both is an extremely effective mechanism for tackling stress.

 

4. Sleep Away the Stress

Getting enough sleep is one of the most important and beneficial things to do for your body. It really does help you to function and without it, your stress levels can dramatically increase and your abilities to reduce them become even less. Sleep deprivation leads to irrational thoughts, and irrational thoughts lead to increased stress.

Research demonstrates that lack of sleep renders you more emotionally reactive, more impulsive, and more sensitive to negative stimuli.
— Sleepscore Labs

So, make sure you're getting enough sleep each night. If you're struggling to do so at the moment, reduced sugar and caffeine will help with this too, but getting yourself into a relaxing evening routine can also help you to wind down and prepare yourself to catch those Z's on an evening.

 

5. Confide in Others

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Talking about your stress levels doesn't show weakness, it shows strength. One of the most effective coping mechanisms for stress is to confide in someone and talk about your worries.

Simple conversation can help to take a huge weight off your shoulders, and it can also aid you in thinking about things differently and more rationally. Not to mention the useful advice that you might be given!

If your stress is work-related, confide in your manager to come up with a solution or find a way to take some of the pressure off you.

Doing this shows competence rather than incompetence as less stress will allow you to work more productively!

With these coping mechanisms in tow, you can help to keep those stress levels at bay. Use National Stress Awareness Month as an excuse to focus on yourself and help to spread awareness to the coping mechanisms that can help!