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What can I control? - Stress Awareness Month.

 You may or may not know but April is stress awareness month. I know I've not been the best with blogging, and I know it's coming to the end of April however I felt this was relevant. 


It's completely fair to say that the past year has brought more stress upon many people than ever before. We very openly speak about many mental illnesses however form my own opinion I feel like stress is sometimes brushed under the carpet. It's that normalised we forget just how detrimental it can be to our health mentally and physically.


What is Stress? 


Stress is a intrinsic or extrinsic stimulus such as a emotion, event, situation, person or thought. This may lead to other feelings such as anger, sadness or anxiety but it can also lead to many physiological responses and adaptations in the body such as are autonomic nervous system and our immune system. Which is our stress response. Stress can have an impact on our health mentally and physically, our thoughts, our relationships, our motivation, sleep patterns, memory, energy levels and more.


What I've been doing recently.


At the start of the year I found my stress levels and anxiety was incredibly high. I had a back log of uni work, no placement due to covid, and hadn't started my dissertation due to multiple reasons. Which as a 3rd year student in Jan, I was flooded with panic. I thought my head was going to fall off in getting done everything I had to and stressing over things that were impossible to change. 


I don't know about you but I know when I have got lots of thoughts running around my head, I don't get anything done. I simply panic that much that it all gets avoided and makes the situation a hella a lot worse.


So I started doing something which I can honestly say has changed my life. It's so simple but has been super effective in controlling my stress and anxiety. 


I grabbed a huge piece of paper and split it in half, with two headings. One reading 'THINGS I CAN CONTROL' and the other 'THINGS I CAN'T CONTROL'. In that current time, I wrote down the things I could be doing and controlling and then brain dumped the things which I couldn't control or couldn't control right now in the 'can't control section'. I am a very visual person (and forgetful one), without my diary or calendar, I honestly would forget everything. So being able to see these things down on paper, is something I have found incredibly useful. 

Below I have popped a little resource where you can give it a go yourself! 





References 

Kemeny, M.E. (2003) The Psychobiology of Stress. Sage Journals, 12(4), pp. 124-129.

Yaribeygi, H., Panahi, Y., Sahraei, H., Johnston, T.P. and Sahebkar, A. (2017) The impact of stress on body function: A review. Experimental and Clinical Sciences, 16, pp. 1057-1072.


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