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Dealing With Stress

I feel as though I've had quite a lot going on in my head over the past couple of weeks, and it's been a bit tricky to pick out any key things to talk about.. from personal issues to complications with my university course, you name it! Now if you know me personally, you will be aware of the fact that I am a worrier, I worry about everything; I have a tendency to let these worries build up, by which point they are seemingly filling my head leaving me ready to burst- you get the picture, I am a very stressed and anxious being. April 2016 is Stress Awareness Month, which made this topic of conversation very appropriate for my next instalment of GIRL TALK.

We are now a quarter of the way through the year (how cray is that!?) meaning that everything is go go go; working, planning, organising, dreaming, achieving.. there seems to be very little resting involved! It is so easy to let yourself get bogged down by the stresses of everyday life, but there are a few things that you can do to help make the ride a little smoother; I have put together a few top tips that have helped me in the past, as well as sharing some new methods that I am trying to help me on my way to a more stress free life. 

Identify Your 'Triggers'
Stress is associated with emotions, meaning that when you get worried or angry for example, it sends your brain into hyper-speed, and you start thinking about pretty much anything and everything.. Once you have identified the things that stress you out (for me it's overthinking the consequences of almost every decision that I make!), it will allow you to get to grips with how these things make you feel, and gain control. By thinking about things rationally, you will realise that chances are, there was no reason for you to be stressed in the first place! The key is to remind yourself that you have total control.

Duh?! In times of stress, an immediate response would be to either fight or flee; people deal with things in different ways, however these are the two most common reactions to situations of insecurity. Over the past couple of months I have started practicing yoga, in which breathing plays a very large part; this has helped me greatly in terms of anxiety, and allowed me to see just how important stopping and taking deep breaths is in stressful situations. Take a few moments to put things into perspective, then jump back in!

Find Your Happy Place
This is one of my favourites (not just because it gives me an excuse to spend time in bed!). When it comes to stress, there are several ways that you can ease the situation; by identifying your 'happy place', it means that there is somewhere you can go to calm down and think things over.. this can be very helpful, trust me! When I'm feeling overwhelmed, I like to lay in bed, prop a pillow under my head, and rest my legs up against the wall; this combined with deep breathing, leaves me feeling cool and calm.

Put Yourself First
This may seem like an obvious one, and no doubt you will have heard it time and time again, but it's so important to have a little 'you time' every now and then. Take a step back, focus on what you have got rather than what you haven't, and rediscover why you love what you do.. there must be a reason that you chose to study that particular subject at university, decided to teach others, or why you took the plunge and became a full time Mum? Taking a break from your busy schedule is not only good for the mind, but it can be really important in terms of your health too; over the past few weeks I have let my stress get to me, and I have found that my body has suffered.. read a good book, treat yourself to a 'naughty' meal and get an early night, you will feel a heck of a lot better when you wake up, believe me!

No matter how hard you try, you can't eliminate stress completely; but don't panic, it is a totally normal part of living- a little can even be good for you!

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