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Turning Stressed into Desserts: Six Top-Tips for Stress Management

There’s a reason why people say stressed is desserts spelt backwards because, by identifying what it is that makes you stressed, you can change it around and turn something nasty into something sweet. Get the recipe below!

LACK OF TIME

Feeling like you have so much to do, learn, make and not enough time to do it all is one of the biggest causes of stress. The key to overcoming this is to prepare and plan in advance. Procrastination may be fun in the present but it will create stress for you in the future, so get on with the work now! If you need more immediate help with time management, it might be useful to prioritise your workload by focusing on what is most important now and which activity carries greater stakes.

PERSPECTIVE

How we think about and approach a problem determines how we feel about it. If you believe that every obstacle you encounter will have a huge impact on your life then you’ll become stressed. The key is changing your perspective. That exam won’t define your life. They’ll be other jobs. You’ll get another opportunity. If this doesn’t work, try to remember back to the last thing which caused you so much stress. How significant is it now?

PRESSURE TO PERFORM

Whilst some pressure is useful at getting us motivated, too much pressure may place an excessive burden on our mental health. If the pressure is coming from yourself, it’s important to remind yourself that you’re not superhuman and that you can only do your best. If you are beating yourself up because you feel like you’re not doing your best, reflect on why you think this may be. Did you not give yourself enough time for the task? If so, then this is something that can be worked towards and changed. Acknowledge that you have control over this and will work towards changing it. If the pressure is coming from others, it’s probably because they want you to do well and believe that you can. If you feel that it is excessive, it’s worthwhile to sit and discuss their expectations of you with them.

COMPARISON WITH OTHERS

Comparing yourself with others is never productive regardless of where you are relative to them. It either makes you feel inferior to others or invalidates your own achievements or it makes you feel superior to them and makes you ... arrogant. Be humble, know that everyone is doing the best they can with what they have been given and be kind. Not only will it help your happiness but it will help you keep friends.

FUTURE THINKING

Nothing spoils the joys of today like thinking about tomorrow. Its okay to look ahead sometimes and have something to look forward to but you shouldn’t live in the future. When we live in the future and only see the destination we want to be at, we put so much pressure on ourselves and everything we do that we lose perspective. We think that every task we do will have a huge impact on that future event that we become stressed if things don’t go exactly according to plan. But in thinking like this, we forget that, although there may be one destination, there are multiple ways of getting there. Not doing well on one biology paper doesn’t mean that your dreams for medical school are over.

UNCERTAINTY

Not knowing how something is going to turn out makes us feel uneasy, powerless and this is when we become stressed. Did you get into that school you applied for? Did that exam go well? It’s the not knowing that kills us inside. The trick to dealing with this is just embracing it. Embracing that you have to wait and that there is nothing more you can do about it. Life is ultimately about uncertainty – if we knew everything that was going to happen it would be no fun!