If you are depressed, either at work or in person, the first step is to feel better about the cause.
The most unhelpful thing you can do is turn to something unhealthy to help you deal with it, such as smoking or drinking.
“In real life, there is always a solution to the problem,” said Professor Cary Cooper, a health professor at the University of Lancaster.
“Not taking control of the situation will only make your problems worse.”
He says the keys to good stress management build emotional strength, control your mood, have a social network, and have a positive attitude.
What you can do to deal with stress
Here are the top ten pressure tips for Professor Cooper:
Exercise will not make your stress disappear, but it will reduce the pressure you feel, take away your thoughts, and allow you to deal with your problems.
There is a solution to any problem. “If you keep doing nothing, you think, ‘I can’t do anything about my problem’, your stress will get worse,” Professor Cooper said.
“That feeling of loss of control is one of the biggest causes of stress and insecurity.”
The act of self-control is empowering, and it is an important part of finding a solution that satisfies you and not someone else.
Connect with people
A good network to support colleagues, friends and family can alleviate your work problems and help you see things from a different perspective.
“If you don’t connect with people, you won’t get support if you need help,” said Professor Cooper.
The activities we do with friends help us relax. We often laugh with them, which is a great relief.
“Discussing things with a friend will also help you find solutions to your problems,” he said.
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Have ‘my’ time
Here in the UK, we work long hours in Europe, which means we usually don’t spend enough time doing the things we really enjoy.
“We all need to give ourselves time to relax, relax or exercise,” said Professor Cooper.
He recommends setting aside one night a week to spend some time “away from time” at work.
“By setting aside those 2 days, it means you will not be tempted to work overtime,” he said.
Setting goals and challenges, whether on the job or off the hook, such as learning a new language or playing a new game, builds self-confidence. This will help you to cope with stress.
“By continuing to study, you become emotionally strong as a person,” said Professor Cooper.
“It equips you with information and makes you want to do things rather than do nothing, like watching TV all the time.”
Avoid unhealthy habits
Do not rely on alcohol, smoking and caffeine as your means of coping.
“Men more than women are more likely to do this. We call this avoidance behavior,” he said. “Women are better at seeking support in their community.”
In the long run, these sticks will not solve your problems. They will just make new ones.
“It’s like putting your head in the sand,” said Professor Cooper. “It may provide temporary relief, but it will not cause problems to disappear. You need to address the root causes of your anxiety.”
Help other people
Professor Cooper says the evidence shows that people who help others, through jobs such as volunteering or community service, become more powerful.
“Helping people who are often in a worse situation than you are will help you put your problems at the right level,” said Professor Cooper. “The more you give, the more you feel stronger and happier.”
If you do not have time to volunteer, try to do something for someone every day. It can be as simple as helping someone cross the street or passing coffee to colleagues.
Find out more about volunteering for mental health
Work smart, not hard
Working smart means prioritizing your work, focusing on activities that will make a real difference.
“Leave the most important jobs to stay,” Cooper said. “Accept that your tray will always be full. Don’t expect it to be empty at the end of the day.”
Get tips on how to make the most of your time
Try to have a positive outlook
Look for the good in life, and the things for which you are grateful.
“People don’t always appreciate what they have,” said Professor Cooper. “Try to have half a glass full instead of empty glass,” he said.
Try to write down 3 things that went well, or that you enjoyed, at the end of each day.
Accept the things you can’t change
Changing a difficult situation does not always happen. Try to focus on things that you can control.
“If your company goes under and makes employees, for example, there is nothing you can do about it,” says Professor Cooper.
“In a situation like that, you need to focus on things that you can’t control, like looking for a new job.”
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