Professor Maxwell is back with 5 MORE helpful tips to help you deal with stress.
Avoid unhealthy habits and routines
Don’t rely on things like alcohol, smoking and caffeine as your ways of coping with stress. “Men are more likely to do this than women. We call this a type of avoidance behaviour,” says Professor Maxwell.
“Women are better at seeking support from their social circle or peer group.”
Over a long term period, these “crutches” won’t solve your problem(s). They will just create some new ones. “It’s like putting your head in the sand and hiding,” says Professor Maxwell. “It might provide some kind of temporary relief, but it won’t make the problems disappear at all. You need to tackle your stress head on.”
Help other people around you
Professor Maxwell says there is evidence that shows that people who help others, through activities such as volunteering or community work, become more resilient and can tackle stress a lot better.
“Helping people who are often in situations worse off than yours will help you put your problems into a sensible perspective,” says Professor Maxwell. “The more you give to others, the more happy you will feel.”
If you don’t have time to do any volunteer work, try to do someone a favour every day if possible. It can be something as small as going on a coffee run for friends/colleagues.
Work smarter definitely not harder
Working smarter means prioritising the more important work, concentrating on the tasks that will make a real difference to your life or day. “Always leave the least important tasks for the end,” says Professor Maxwell. “Accept that your paper in-tray will always be full up. Don’t alwyas expect it to be empty by the end of the day.”
Try to be constantly positive
Look for the positives things in life, and things for which you’re grateful for or can be.
“Many people don’t always appreciate what they already have,” says Professor Maxwell. “Try to be the glass half full guy instead of the glass half empty guy,” he says.
Try writing down five things that went well, or for which you’re grateful for, at the end of each day.
Accept when there are things you can’t change
Changing a difficult situation isn’t always possible or nice. Try to concentrate on the things you do have control over or it may cause you stress.
“If your company is not doing well and firing people e.g. there’s nothing you can do about it,” says Professor Maxwell.
“In a situation like that, you just need to focus on the things that you can control, like looking for a new job.”