- Take regular breaks from the firing line. Working hard without regular breaks is a great way to build up stress and tension. Make sure you have at least one 15-minute break in the morning and one in the afternoon as well as at least 20 minutes for lunch. If possible, eat lunch away from your workstation. Equally, if you have a lot to deal with in your life right now, taking a day, or a weekend elsewhere – longer if you can – to get some breathing space will really help. Even just a day away from the firing line will enable you to get some distance from the problems and help you to gather your thoughts.
- Regular exercise can help relieve stress, depression and anxiety. Exercise releases endorphins into your system and will give you a natural boost. It will also provide you with a break from brooding and dwelling upon problems and troubles – but only if you perform the right kind of exercises. Avoid: Exercises that allow you to brood (weight lifting, jogging, treadmills) and perform exercises that require your full concentration. Competitive sports such as squash, tennis, badminton and circuit training are all excellent examples. It is important that you do not brood when you exercise because although you will be benefiting physically, you are still stressing yourself mentally and the stress, depression and anxiety will worsen.
- Stop beating yourself up. Self-deprecation is a huge part of stress, depression and anxiety. Each time you beat up on yourself, you will erode confidence and self-esteem. Never tell yourself you’re useless, worthless, stupid, hopeless, boring, ugly, and a loser. Never convince yourself that other people hate you, that others find you difficult to be around and that you’re better off being alone. You would never deem it acceptable to say such things to other people and you must deem it equally unacceptable to say them to yourself. These words and phrases are powerful and they will hurt you. Accept you’re not perfect and that you make mistakes – just like everybody else does – and cut yourself some slack. From this day, make a pact with me to never indulge self-deprecation ever again. IT IS UNACCEPTABLE.
- Isolation is another problem experienced by stress, depression and anxiety sufferers. OK, there will be times when you just want your own company. During such times, you can brood over and over again on problems and events and beat yourself up for hours on end. Not good. Instead, use isolation more positively. Occupy your mind by tackling a jigsaw puzzle, a logic problem, a crossword, read a book or perform a hobby such as painting, playing a musical instrument or whatever it is you have an interest in. In this way, isolation will help you to grow instead of causing you further pain.
- Television, radio and newspapers can all supply you with a daily hit of negativity and help lower your mood. In the main, they concentrate on the negative side of life: crime, corruption, war, scandal and natural disasters and can give you a distorted view of reality. Not to mention the amount of image manipulation they subject you to. Give yourself a break from this negative drip feed and avoid them completely for one week. You may find, like I have, that they have no place in your life after that. Trust me, you won’t miss them.
That’s five, quick tips for you to help fight stress, depression and anxiety. Please give them a try, they’ll all help to boost your mood levels very quickly indeed.