5 Best Ways To Deal With Extreme Stress

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Are you feeling extra pressure at work or home at the moment?

Perhaps you’re worried about job or financial security, stressed about your family, or working a demanding role on the frontlines.

If you feel under pressure, below are some strategies that might help. While these strategies won’t make the pressure go away, they might help you to cope a bit better until the pressure eases.


Acknowledge Your Feelings (Without Judgement)

It’s important to name your emotions, especially the more confronting ones, such as fear, anxiety, or anger.

Although it sounds counterintuitive, naming your feelings helps. It can help to reduce confusion, so you can begin to process your emotions and make sense of what’s going on.

Try not to judge or invalidate your feelings. Try to be open to all your emotions and accept that’s how you feel right now. Acceptance without judgement is a foundation for mental wellbeing, especially during times of pressure.

You may find that simply acknowledging “I feel scared right now” or “I feel tired right now” helps you to relax slightly. By calling out the feeling, you can remove some of its sting


Cut Yourself Some Slack

Living under pressure is hard. Be compassionate towards yourself. Cut yourself some slack where you can.

Focus on what you have to do, and lower your expectations about the rest. It’s okay if the dishes pile up or you eat beans on toast for the third night in a row. Now is the time to go easy on yourself.

Observe your self-talk. Notice if you make sweeping statements like “I’m not good enough” or “I can’t do this”. Bring compassion and perspective to these thoughts. Remind yourself that you’re trying to work or care for others during a challenging time and you’re doing the best you can.


Take Microbreaks

Pressure and long hours tend to go hand-in-hand. Whether you’re juggling multiple responsibilities at work or multiple children from dawn to dusk, you might find yourself wishing there were more hours in the day.

This is where 2-5 minute microbreaks can be really powerful. If you don’t have much time, taking regular short breaks throughout the day to breathe, listen to music, taste your coffee, call a friend, or anything else that boosts your mood, is essential.

Taking just a five minute break can re-energise you. And the anticipation of a microbreak can help to sustain motivation throughout the day.


Focus On The Next Best Step

If you feel as though you have 10,000 things on your to-do list, everything can start to feel equally important. Here it’s good to take a minute to prioritise, then focus on one task at a time.

To help, try to bring your attention to the present moment. Then think about the key things needed of you today (not what’s needed of you tomorrow or what you didn’t achieve yesterday). Focus on taking the next best step, and then the next best step after that, instead of trying to tackle every challenge at once.

If you struggle to stay present, the ‘5-4-3-2-1 technique’ is a great coping strategy. This technique connects you with all five senses to ground you in the present moment. Try it next time you notice your mind drifting off to the past or future.


Communicate With Your Support Crew

Ask for help if you need it. Reaching out is a strength, not a weakness.

Tell the people in your family or at work that you’re under pressure right now and you could use some support – or, at the very least, some understanding.

Call a friend or family member if you need to talk or offload.

Speak to your manager if you’re struggling to prioritise your workload – there might be some solutions you can explore together.

Keep the lines of communication open with people in your support crew. Try not to cope with immense pressure on your own.

Although these strategies might not make the pressure go away completely, they will hopefully make it easier for you to cope during challenging times


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