In 1988, Carole Spiers founded National Stress Awareness Day and to celebrate its 20th anniversary, established the first-ever International Stress Awareness Week in 2018.
Carole has shared with us her top 20 tips to combat stress.

  1. Laugh: It’s one of the healthiest antidotes to stress.  When we laugh, even smile, flood flow to the brain is increased, endorphins [pain killing hormones that give us a sense of wellbeing], are released, and levels of stress hormones drop.
  2. Socialise: Don’t be a loner.  Isolation has been tied to failure to cope adequately with stress, heightened vulnerability to illness and premature death.
  3. Get rid of anger: It is the single most damaging stress-related personality trait that can precede a heart attack.
  4. Be decisive: Indecision prevents you from taking action, causing a loss of a sense of control and thus intensifying stress.
  5. Be assertive: Stand up for your decision, express your feelings, disagree with others when you feel differently.
  6. Get some sleep: Lack of adequate sleep can make you moody, angry and more vulnerable to illness and your daily stressors.
  7. Choose positive people: Seek the company of those who are optimistic and have high self-esteem and contribute to lower stress levels to those around them.
  8. Find someone who will listen: Talk to them or seek professional help.  Choose wisely as you don’t necessarily want someone who will just give you their opinion.
  9. Recharge your batteries with adequate sleep and rest: Stop!  When you are tired, do something about it.
  10. Prevent excess pressure tomorrow by saying ‘No’ today”. By saying ‘yes’ to everyone, you may well take on too much stress.
  11. When you are ill – don’t pretend you are not! It may just not go away so seek professional help.
  12. Recognise and acknowledge what you cannot change. Learn what is inside and outside of your control.  You can only do something about that which is within your control.
  13. Manage your time better. Prioritise and delegate.  Make sure you have at least 20 minutes ‘me time’ every day.
  14. Don’t put off relaxing. Learn stress reduction techniques and use them daily.  It doesn’t matter what you choose, just make sure you know how to do it.
  15. Avoid self-medication with nicotine, alcohol, coffee and tranquilisers. When you are feeling stressed, don’t just resort to drinking.
  16. Use physical activities to work off stress whether that be walking, swimming or dancing – just do it!
  17. Don’t be too argumentative. Life should not a  constant battleground.
  18. Don’t go to bed with your phone or other electronics. Leave them outside of the bedroom door!
  19. Working on your breathing. Relax. Breathe deeply.  Visualise something pleasurable.
  20. Practice mindfulness. Make gratitude a part of your routine.  Increase your awareness. Watch the world go by.  Take control of your thoughts.   Enjoy the present moment.


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