4 Ways to Improve Your Relationship With Stress
Stress. It’s a powerfully evocative word, yet one that’s tricky to define. Despite being a condition from which few could claim immunity, its causes and effects are hugely diverse, making its exact meaning difficult to pin down.
Hi, we are Happy
We are leading a movement to create happy, empowered and productive workplaces.
How can we help you and your people to find joy in at least 80% of your work?
Stress can be loosely defined as the condition that arises when we lack the facility or resources to cope with everything that’s asked of us.
You might feel it when speeding through a tight deadline so you can make it to your mother’s 70th; when hearing that the government’s new economic plan entirely ignores your industry; or when your Netflix connection goes bust just as Rocky Balboa starts to get interesting.
Stress affects us all in different ways, which in turn colours how we deal with it. Conversely, how well we manage stress will subsequently alter the severity of its impact.
An adult life without any stress might sound like heavenly bliss, but it seems about as feasible as England becoming football world champions. And besides, there’s no guarantee that a stress-free life would consist of joy and fulfilment.
A life entirely devoid of stress could denote a lack of meaningful engagement. It’s interesting to ponder whether Britain could have produced such great bands as The Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Half Man Half Biscuit without the stress of our cold, dark winters.
However, there’s no denying that the onset of stress is rather unpleasant. Intensifying stress levels can cause a host of physical and mental side effects – from general restlessness, sleep deprivation and fatigue to confusion, helplessness, decreased contact with family and friends and an increased sense that the moon landing was a hoax.
This all sounds a bit doom and gloom doesn’t it? But it also probably doesn’t sound unfamiliar. Developing a useful stress management plan is essential for staying afloat in the fast moving, contemporary world. And we don’t just mean work-related stress, but stress of all kinds – domestic, social, economic and bad-hair-day stress alike.
Here are a few tips for improving your relationship with stress:
- We instinctively react negatively towards stress. But stress isn’t always our enemy. Stress can be a powerful motivating tool, pushing us to think creatively in the workplace or to devote more attention to close relationships. For instance, stressing over a loved one’s birthday might encourage you to pull out a cookbook and finally learn how to bake their beloved carrot and walnut cupcakes.
- In a similar vein, try to reframe arduous demands as opportunities for growth. Writing a 6000-word essay on the poetry of William Wordsworth could initially seem like torture. But even if you think The Prelude stinks, the writing assignment could proffer an unexpected revelation or give you a buzz from criticising his blank verse.
- Take a step back and recognise the virtues that fill your everyday agenda. We’re all guilty of occasionally whinging about things that others would see as positive boons. So next time your friend pleads you to go and see their am-dram group performing A Streetcar Named Desire, remind yourself what a privilege it is to do such things, rather than moaning about the obligation.
- Lastly, set aside time to slow down and chill out. Especially in our world of high-speed internet connections and surplus gadgetry, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and suffocated. Turn off your phone and laptop, stick on your favourite soothing music or mindless soap and relish the meditative calm.
We live in a world hell bent on motion and efficiency, but not all activity is productivity. Vitality depends on giving ourselves time to breathe and be free of stress, even if it is only for a fleeting moment.
- Why Your Emotions are Like a Glitter Jar — Paul explains the need for 'thought awareness' and being able to manage feelings of anger and stress at work.
- The Calming, Remedial Influence of Mindfulness — Billy talks about the importance of mindfulness, how it helps him to deal with stress and how he goes about practicing it in this blog.
- Tips for Dealing with Difficult People — Stress can often come from external factors around us. Our Senior Facilitator Paul Gapper goes through some methods for helping to deal with what could otherwise be deemed as 'difficult people' and situations.
Why not sign up to our newsletter?
Sign up to our monthly newsletter, full of tips, tricks and news to help you to be happier and more productive at work.
Billy has been writing blogs for Happy since 2017, covering mindfulness, stress management, confidence building and emotional intelligence as well as offering handy tips for Office 365 users. He's also an established arts, culture and lifestyle writer.
Testimonials from happy Customers
Wilma Wheatley1 day ago
The tutor was great in including everyone. answered all the questions i had before attending
Trusted Customer1 day ago
Happy's training courses enhanced my knowledge and gave me new skills which I can use in my job to make things more efficient.
Jodie Moore2 days ago
Great course with a great tutor. Very interactive with good learning experiences.
Trusted Customer2 days ago
Great course, enjoyable and useful.
Jackie Costin2 days ago
Roumiana Grigorova2 days ago
I am very happy, taking this training. I would say I am one step more confident. This was an interesting and very useful experience. Our lecture was a great, I have to sa...
Evelyn2 days ago
The trainer covered all the course outline at a steady pace that we can all follow.
Marise Astall-Palin2 days ago
Excellent. Very helpful
Lynda Marshall9 days ago
Really informative and easy to follow instructions.
Philip Abraham10 days ago
The exercises were really well designed and interesting. I learnt a lot, and am looking forward to part 2.
Hannah Wilson18 days ago
I really enjoyed the training.
Trusted Customer21 days ago
Clear and concise training