How do you beat stress?

We’ve been talking about stress this Men’s Health Week, why it can cause problems and how you can combat it. On Twitter we asked our followers what they do to beat stress, the options they had to choose from were:

– exercise

– meditation/deep breathing

– seeing friends/family

– listening to music.

And the results are in! Of course, it’s worth noting that we did this poll on a very small scale and there are plenty more options than these to beat stress, but hey – we found the results pretty interesting.

Coming in fourth was ‘meditation/deep breathing’ at 8%. This was a surprise to us, especially with the popularity of mindfulness in recent years. Everyone is different though, and for many, meditation is a helpful tool to manage stress.

Screen Shot 2016-06-10 at 12.13.21Next was ‘exercise’ with 24% of the vote – a personal favourite stress-busting method here at Counselling Directory. Coming in second place was ‘listening to music’ (28%), an easy way to encourage a shift in your emotional state.

The clear winner however was seeing friends and family, taking 40% of the vote. Connecting with others is so important for your mental health and well-being, so this win came as no surprise to us.

So, why does seeing friends and family reduce stress? Feeling stressed and burnt out can feel very isolating. We may feel like we are the only person who feels this way. Alone with our thoughts, this just heightens our stress and anxiety levels.

When we connect with loved ones, we are offloading these thoughts. We are gaining perspective and emotional support. Feeling loved and appreciated can also help us feel more relaxed. It gets us out of our own heads and while it may not be the solution to your stress, it can certainly ease its effects.

If you don’t feel you can talk to friends and family, or if your loved ones are causing your stress, you may prefer to speak to someone unbiased – a professional. You can use our search tool to find a counsellor who you can speak to in a non-judgemental and confidential setting.

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Written by Katherine Nicholls
Kat is a Content Producer for Memiah and writer for Counselling Directory and Happiful magazine.

Written by Katherine Nicholls

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