How to deal with stress - our top tips

Our Eudaimonia report found that financial concerns are one of the biggest causes of stress for UK adults
31 January 2017

How do we tackle stress when outside factors are inevitable? 

We examined five key wellbeing factors and how these factors can affect our overall happiness. Out of these key lifestyle factors, financial instability, proved to be the number one issue for wellbeing in the UK. Shockingly, the average person scores only 6.13/10 on an index measuring their overall wellbeing.

Furthermore, the research found that there is a 52% divide in the wellbeing scores of those who are financially secure and those who are not.  A substantial gap that unfortunately reveals that money is a major drain on our happiness, but how do we find happiness in our daily lives when these kinds of external influences are unavoidable?

While our findings identified some very negative issues affecting people across the UK, such as lack of sleep and self-confidence, it also identified some key ways that we could boost wellbeing by just including some new routines and activities into our lives.

We combined some stress tips from the NHS and BBC with our own Eudaimonia findings to come up with some fun ways to improve your wellbeing and combat stress when you are constantly tackling daily lifestyle obstacles. 

1.      Take up a hobby – by learning a new skill you are improving your mental stimulation which can result in a 13% boost in wellbeing. How about a ceramics course or learning Italian?

2.      Be active - our research revealed that leading an active life can improve your wellbeing by 13%, and being inactive can reduce it by 19%. Start your fitness journey slow, try going for a gentle run outside or take a class at the gym. 

 3.      Spend time with friends and family - spending time with family can boost your wellbeing by 56% and socialising with friends can boost your score by 49%. Try and carve some time at least once per week where you spend time with the people that make you happy. 

There is a 52% divide in the wellbeing scores of those who are financially secure and those who are not.

4. Schedule in some ‘me’ time – on average people in the UK work between 35-37.4 hours per week, which doesn’t leave most of us with a lot of time for ourselves. This is why it is so important to make sure you are taking the time to have some me-time. Try and have 30 minutes each day where you do something for you. 

5. Surround yourself with positivity – having negative relationships in your life can reduce wellbeing by 33%. And, according to Professor Cary Cooper an occupational health expert at the University of Lancaster, unhelpful thinking and pessimistic thoughts can lead to bad moods. He suggests writing three things that went well at the end of every day.

6. Make time to eat regular meals – give your body what it needs throughout the day. The Royal College of Psychiatrists told the BBC: "Simple things like making time to eat regular meals helps avoid low sugar levels caused by skipping meals, which can affect how you feel mentally as well as physically."

7. Make sure you are getting enough sleep – ‘I’ve had energy to spare’ was one of the lowest rated questions on our Eudaimonia report, which reveals that we aren’t getting enough sleep. On average 18+ adults should be getting between 7-9 hours per night. 

8. Avoid unhealthy habits – instead of coping with stress by relying on short-term fixes like alcohol, smoking, caffeine or binge eating, try seeking out support from family and friends. In the long-run dealing with the source of stress head-on might alleviate it from hanging over your head. 

Our research revealed that leading an active life can improve your wellbeing by 13%, and being inactive can reduce it by 19%.

9. Practice mindfulness – mindful habits like practising yoga or meditation, or even taking 10 minutes out of each day to sit and reflect on your thoughts, and the good parts of your day is a good way to take your mind off of stress and focus on the now. 

10.  Laugh – laughing out loud increases your blood flow and oxygen which increases your endorphins and it should leave you feeling more relaxed, happier and hopefully a little less stressed.

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