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Help Your Mental Health in a Stressful Situation
With These Three Tips

When we’re dropped into a deeply stressful situation – often without warning – it can be an exhausting and emotionally overwhelming experience. For those who haven’t had to cope with these kinds of scenarios on a consistent basis, it can be even more difficult. There are loads of different methods you can use to safeguard your mental health in a stressful situation.

In this piece, we’ve identified three techniques you can use the next time you’re confronted with a stress-inducing situation.

Practice mindfulness

Eckhart Tolle, the author of The Power of Now, popularised the idea of mindfulness. And the title of the book encapsulates what mindfulness is all about – staying in the moment.

It allows you to wrestle back control of your thoughts and triumph over any niggling thoughts that have been bothering you.

By redirecting your focus to exactly what is going on around you – it could be what someone else is saying, the environment around you or merely concentrating on the conversation you’re having – you can banish any lingering negativity.

It’s been likened to a meditative practice. And there an abundance of apps out there that help you get started with mindfulness.

Challenge unhelpful thoughts

Mental health is a battle against yourself. If you allow negative thoughts to totally consume you, eating away at any positivity, you can lose the battle.

Let’s take a public speaking event as an example. It’s a source of nerves for almost everybody. What if I trip over my words? What if my mind goes blank? What if I embarrass myself?

These are all understandable but unhelpful thoughts. Giving these thoughts the time to circulate and then dissipate is an important step in expelling them from your mind.

From there, you need to challenge these thoughts with a more optimistic and positive outlook – maybe occasions where you’ve been able to successfully speak in public in the past, the amount of work you’ve put in to make this speech perfect, or the thought that anyone else doing public speaking goes through exactly the same gauntlet of anxiety and stress.

It’s a bit like having a discussion with yourself but it’ll help you combat any worries or anxieties that you’ve been experiencing and replace them with more positive and constructive images.

Try to be as active as possible

When all our energy is reserved for worrying and stressing out, it can make the experience feel more intense than it needs to be. If you’ve exerted yourself physically throughout the day, you have less energy to expend on stress. It’s a simple tip but one that is hugely helpful.

You don’t need to wear yourself down by running miles and miles. Whatever you can manage – whether that’s cycling to and from work or a fifteen minute walk on your lunch break – will help dampen the intensity of stress and bolster your mental health.

Committing to regular exercise can also help with your mood. When you exercise, your body is flooded with mood boosting endorphins that give you a little lift. This can be a massive relief for some people.

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