NCTV Episode 33
Continuing with the series of bitesize health tip videos which can be found here on my YouTube Channel, this episode, includes:-
- The effects of chronic stress
- The benefits of moderate stress
- A smiley emoji stress ball, of course
- 10 top tips to deal with and prevent chronic stress
- Stress busting techniques
If you’d prefer to read the content within, rather than watch the video, then feel free to read the transcript, as follows:-
Hello and welcome to NCTV Episode 33, all about Stress Management.
It’s inevitable that at various points in our lives, we will be in situations of high stress, it could be daily, weekly, monthly or annually, everyone’s different and it depends on their situations.
If left uncontrolled, this can cause insomnia, weight gain and increased blood pressure for example. It will also affect your mood, relationships and self esteem.
On the flip side, having a certain amount of stress in your life can surprisingly be good for you in a way.
Firstly, in helping you to become smarter by improving your cognitive function or brain performance. You hear how people say they work better under stress with last minute assignments or tight deadlines and that’s why, because stress makes them more focussed, motivated and productive.
In terms of other good things about stress, what’s interesting is that moderate stress produces a chemical called interleukins and that gives the immune system a quick boost to protect against illnesses which is helpful for fending things off like your common cold, unlike it’s evil twin chronic stress which lowers immunity and increases inflammation.
The final good thing to say about stress is that going through a tough situation will build your resiliency. As you confront different situations and overcome various problems, you train yourself to deal with similar incidents in the future and which will then help you cope better.
However, chronic stress is definitely the bad kind and this is what you need to keep in check for your overall health and sanity.
To help do that, here are some useful tips to help deal with or prevent chronic stress or burnout:-
1) Firstly you need to identify the cause to be able to take control of the situation. Doing nothing will only make it worse most of the time.
2) Be active – This can help you burn off some nervous energy. It won’t help your stress disappear but it can make it less intense and give you more clarity of thought to help deal with the problems more calmly.
3) Talk to someone – be it a trusted friend, family member or colleague. A good support network can help you work through your troubles or see things from a different perspective. Also the act of doing activities with friends can help you relax or have a good laugh which is an excellent stress reliever.
4) Have some ‘Me Time’ – In the UK we work the longest hours in Europe, meaning we often don’t spend enough time doing the things we really enjoy. Having just a couple of evenings a week for socialising, relaxing or exercising away from work can really help. Make sure that you actually book that time in with yourself though otherwise things to will inevitably crop up and get in the way.
5) Challenge yourself – learning a new language, skill or sport, helps build confidence and this will help you deal with stress. By continuing to learn, you become more emotionally resilient as a person, it arms you with knowledge and makes you want to do things rather than be passive, such as watching TV all the time.
6) Avoid Unhealthy Habits such as alcohol, smoking and caffeine as your ways of coping, this is called avoidance behaviour and in the long term, these won’t solve your problems, they’ll just create new ones. It’s like putting your head in the sand, it might provide temporary relief, but it won’t make the problems disappear. The causes of the stress needs to be tackled instead.
7) Help other people – evidence shows that people who help others, through activities such as volunteering or community work, become more resilient. Helping people who are often in situations worse than yours will help you put your problems into perspective. The more you give, the more resilient and happy you feel. If you don’t have time to volunteer, try to just do someone a favour every day. It can be something as small as helping someone cross the road or going on a coffee run for colleagues.
8) Work Smarter, not harder – in other words, prioritise the tasks that will make the biggest difference and plan ahead for any stressful days or events to come by making the necessary preparations in good time.
9) Try to be positive – look out for and appreciate the simple pleasures in life. You could do this by writing down 3 things at the end of the day which either went well or that you’re grateful for.
10) Accept the things that you can’t change – and try to focus on the things that you do have control over.
So there are your ten top tips for this episode. The list could go on and I have mentioned various other stress busting techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, mindfulness, yoga, tai chi, healthy eating and getting enough sleep, listening to music and counselling or cognitive behavioural therapy in other episodes so I won’t go into them in any further detail here but know that they do exist and can also help combat stress.
That’s all from me and I’ll see you next time for some more bitesize bits to help your health flourish, bye bye.