Work and life have become increasingly pressured, distracted, demanding and uncertain.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed and end up unable to switch off, lying awake at night, worrying and anxious.

So here is a simple way to relieve stress.

If you notice the signs of stress as it is triggered and re-set yourself, you can build skills to maintain your cool
and focus throughout the day. Here is a simple strategy to help you when that happens as it inevitably will.

How to Relieve Stress –  First, recognise the signs…

How to relieve stress
A little stress can help you stay focused, energetic and able to meet new challenges.
But, it’s important to notice the signs when it becomes unhelpful so you can intervene.
Then, the best thing you can do is to STOP. Stopping helps you see clearly how you are engaging and whether you are making everything more difficult by bringing anxiety or tension. Pausing gives you the opportunity to re-set yourself and get calm again.

How to Relieve Stress – Then STOP

S = STOP        Click here to try a 6 minute STOP guided practice

  • Stop when you notice you’ve any signs of stress

T = TAKE

  • Take a breath, anchor your attention here

O = OBSERVE

  • Observe yourself (body, feelings, thoughts).. check in with what is happening?

P = PAUSE

  • Purposely Pause: get calm, ground yourself to regain composure, then reframe.

Having taken stock of how you are doing, is there anything you need to support yourself in this moment? Do you need a break? Can you carry on with greater ease? Is there a different way of looking at this? What is the next most important step?

REMEMBER – Resilience is developed each time you navigate a challenging situation skillfully: so  Act rather than React

How to relieve stress

and Focus on what you can control. We experience stress when we feel that situations are out of our control.
But, often the only part of an event we are in control of is our own actions and responses.
So, it’s important that we manage ourselves and choose a positive response.

This article was written by Joanne O’Malley, founder of Mindfulness at Work.