T e stress container ... Stress fl ows into the container

Vulnerability is shown by the size of the container

If the

container overfl ows, problems develop - “emotional snapping”

from a good set of trainers and you can burn 150 calories in 30 minutes. Sleep is also a powerful stress reducer. A regular sleep routine helps calm the body and improves concentration, regulates mood and sharpens decision- making. To help get a good night’s sleep, stop doing any mentally demanding work several hours before going to bed so that you give your brain time to calm down. Try taking a warm bath or reading a calming, undemanding book for a few minutes to relax your body, tire your eyes and help you forget about the things that worry you.

As much as we all love that fi rst cup

Helpful coping strategies -

tap working, lets the stress out

Unhelpful coping strategies -

tap blocked, stress fi lls container and overfl ows

function as a tap to help let stress out of the container. These can be things such as asking for help, getting plenty of rest and taking time to do things which help you relax. Unhelpful coping methods such as working late or drinking alcohol, which we may think is helping us relax but could be doing the opposite, could block the tap and cause the container to overfl ow. As our stress reactions were originally designed to protect us from hungry predators as opposed to worrying about being late for an important meeting, it’s no wonder that the ‘fi ght or fl ight’ response doesn’t quite cut it any more. Stress has evolved and comes in

many forms including physical, emotional and chronic stress. Physical reactions to stress can include a low immune

system which increases vulnerability to infection,

gastric problems, musculoskeletal issues and skin conditions such as psoriasis.

Stress can also alter our behaviour. Stressed people are

more likely to respond with anger or irritability which risks diminishing personal and professional relationships. In addition, prolonged exposure to stress can lead to formal mental health problems such as depression or anxiety disorders.

How can we reduce our stress levels?

Pressured situations increase the level of stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol in the body. Physical exercise can be used to metabolise excessive stress hormones and increase production of your brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters, called endorphins. You don’t have to be an athlete or run miles every day to feel the benefi ts. One of the best forms of exercise is going out for a walk. No equipment is needed, apart

of coff ee in the morning, caff eine is a stimulant and will increase your level of stress rather than reduce it. We might need that fi rst cup but throughout the day, try swapping it for water, squash or herbal teas. Keeping hydrated also helps your body cope with stress. A glass of wine at the end of a busy day

may seem appealing and make you feel less stressed, but alcohol can also increase feelings of anxiety so it’s best avoided if it’s been a stressful day. We all have stress and it’s a natural reaction to many things in our life. The important thing is to recognise when it starts to negatively impact us and take appropriate steps to look after our mental wellbeing.


T rough our partnership with EC Insurance Services Limited, SELECT Members have access to a range of healthcare options

to support both mental and physical health. For more information, email ecis@ecins. or visit

“For peak performance, a degree of pressure is necessary for most people otherwise we can get bored and disengaged”


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