5 Awesome Ways To Handle Your Stress

Stress Scrabble

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In our daily pursuit to achieve goals and deadlines, we are inevitably subjected to stress. It is a dreadful experience, and its ubiquity ensures that it keeps coming back like a boomerang. What we don’t emphasise enough, is that stress CAN be managed.

All of us have different thresholds for pressure. Some get affected in woeful measures – the mind becomes inundated with negative thoughts, blood pressure spikes, and crankiness wins the better part of the day. Others thankfully can handle stress with greater finesse. It only takes practicing a few good habits consciously and intentionally.

Ask yourself these questions:

Do you rest enough?

So you are working on a 3000-word essay due in two days, and have been at it for 16 hours straight. You are trying to find a better way to write your ideas down but you are hitting a mental block. What do you do? STOP.

Ever heard of the phrase ‘sleep on it?’ Sleeping actually helps to improve your performance! When you sleep, your brain prunes unnecessary mental links that tangle your mind (say goodbye to mental blocks!). Memory improves as the brain assimilates important information to long-term memory. Your body restores hormonal balance. You wake up feeling more energized. Remember: Sleep is not for the weak.

Sleep is for the weak

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Even if you don’t want to or just can’t doze off, a good 10 to 15 minutes break away from work can also do wonders. Take a walk, visit the washroom, listen to your favourite music, or watch cute cat videos. After that, you will be back on track more efficiently than you would have been.

Do you exercise enough?

If you are recoiling at the mention of ‘exercise’, you might want to know that it is more than just a few movements that make you sweat. During exercise, endorphins – also known as happy hormones – are released. This means exercising can make you happy and relaxed! Get that heart pumping hard so that more blood flows to your brain and to your extremities, thereby translating into more energy. This means greater mental and physical resolve to take on pressure, and more motivation to do work!


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Do you have bad thinking habits?

Stress also has a lot to do with perspectives. When things do not go as planned, negative thoughts come to mind. You often think, “Why do bad things happen to me?” but rarely ever question why good things happen too. Learn to catch yourself when a toxic thought seeps into your mind. This can be in the form of thinking that nothing is going to work out, or that the blame is all on you when something distressing happens. If this is you, then it’s best to give yourself a time-out.

Better still, challenge yourself to see these unfavourable situations in a positive light, because there is always something to gain.

Do you spend time wisely?

Always ask yourself: What must I do right now? To avoid stress, time management is everything. Start kicking that procrastination habit by first being aware of which parts of the day you feel most energized. Then try planning your morning and afternoon tasks accordingly. Having an organizer also helps you remember and plan your daily/weekly routines better, hence saving you from the stress from forgetting datelines and meetings.


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Also don’t forget to find quality time for family, friends, and loved ones! They make up our support system, and their presence become our safe spaces. Nurture these relationships well because the love and comfort shared can make you more resilient to pressure and pain.


Volunteer HWN

Were you surprised to see this on the list? Volunteering rarely comes to mind when talking about relieving stress because we are already so pressed for time. But when you are ready to take on point #4, you are ready to volunteer. Volunteering is about giving your time, love, and energy to a cause sincerely and wholeheartedly. There are many causes where attention is needed, like helping the needy and those with disabilities, animal rights,  environmental conservation, just to name a few. What are you passionate about that can make a difference in the community? You may never know what is in store for you until you have volunteered. And yes, stress-relieving counts for it too!


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Written by Muqri Mazalan

Former Brunei intern for Heartware Network