5 top tips to help you effectively manage and deal with stress

Tuesday, 22nd May 2018, 15:20 pm
Updated Wednesday, 23rd May 2018, 11:20 am

With exam season now in full swing, stress levels are likely to be sky-high among the nation's youngsters as they face the pressures of the dreaded tests.

While stress is not uncommon, its effect on mental health is on the rise, with more than 85 per cent of UK adults experiencing stress regularly, and stress among young people under 25 rising by an alarming 10 per cent each year.

Taking stress seriously

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Initiatives such as Mental Health Awareness week have contributed to getting more people talking about mental health, helping to make it less of a taboo subject, but with many stigmas still attached, many still struggle to reach out and seek help.

According to The Mix, the UK's leading support service for young people, the growing number of under 25s affected by stress stems from immense social and societal pressures, but while conversations about mental health are becoming more normalised, stress is often dismissed as something to simply overcome.

As such, it is important for young people to know and understand what causes their stress and anxiety so they can seek the correct help.

The causes of stress

Research has shown that the average wait time for a routine psychological therapy appointment is 32 weeks.

As a result, online organisations and communities like The Mix are becoming increasingly popular and are criticial in providing support to those who need it.

A recent survey carried out by The Mix revealed that 28 per cent of respondents were more comfortable using online resources for help.

It also found that 97 per cent of the under 25s questioned admitted to regularly feeling stressed, while an overwhelming 45 per cent said they thought about their causes of stress multiple times per day.

Findings of the poll revealed the main sources of young people's stress were:

Financial - 60 per centWork related - 42 per centStudies - 32 per cent

Studying is one of the biggest causes of stress among young people (Photo: Pexels)

How to deal with stress

To help manage and effectively deal with stress, The Mix have some top tips for learning to cope.

Think positively

Try to get out of the habit of thinking negative thoughts and be mindful of keeping perspective - a situation is rarely as bad you might first think.

Self-help books, such as The Power of Positive Thinking, can be excellent tools in helping you master the power of positive thought and avoid dwelling on the negative.

Set aside time to relax

Whether it's meditation, a massage, exercise or a good book and a brew, try to set aside time for yourself to relax and do the things that help you unwind.

Being proactive and planning your downtime will help you to work it into your daily routine, ensuring you always take the break you need.

Apps, such as Headspace (a meditation app), are also excellent tools in guiding you through simple techniques to help clear your mind in as little as 10 minutes.

(Photo: Shutterstock)

Get a good night's sleep

Getting a good night's sleep is essential for both your mental and physical health, with between seven and eight hours being the recommended amount.

When you lack sleep, your mind doesn't have chance to rest or reset from the day's activities and your brain won't function at full capacity, which can cause further stresses.

Try to follow a routine of going to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time each morning.

Gradually your body will adjust to establish a more stable sleeping pattern.

(Photo: Shutterstock)

Switch off

Make an effort to unplug from your phone and other devices to enjoy some off-screen time every day.

Numerous studies indicate that younger generations are addicted to screens and technology, but heavy usage can decrease social interaction, affect memory and weaken everyday reasoning.

All of these factors have negative implications which can culminate in anxiety and stress, so a short technology detox can do wonders for mental well-being.

Laugh

Laughter is the best medicine and has been shown to be an effective stress reliever, as well as improving your immune system and mood.

Prioritise time to spend with the people who lift your mood and make you laugh - whether it's watching a film or starting a new hobby, enjoy doing whatever makes you happy.