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WHAT IS STRESS?

Stress is a common mental health issue for young people of today. It affects each person in a different way, and can be caused by many things. This could include worrying about something; although what worries one person may not be stressful for another.

When you think of stress, the first things you think about are usually negative, such as pressure and worry. There's another kind of stress, though, that is a more positive kind and can result in things like getting good grades or getting a job.

STRESS – THE NEGATIVE AND THE POSITIVE

Negative Stress
Negative stress is often considered to be your enemy. This can cause more problems than most people realise. These problems may be long or short term, depending on what they are.

The long term problems are usually when a person has been stressed for a long period of time. Some of these cause a young person to:
• turn to a heavy consumption of alcohol or drugs
• becoming deeply depressed
• develop eating disorders
• sleep problems
• develop forgetfulness

Can you think of some other long-term problems associated with stress?

Short-term results of negative stress can be:
• butterflies in your stomach
• talking more quickly
• increase or decrease in appetite
• concentration troubles
• fidgeting and trembling hands.

These are all physical effects of negative stress.

DEALING WITH STRESS

There are many simple and effective ways to control stress.

Developing a better and healthier lifestyle.
This includes:
• getting at least 8 hours of sleep a night
• eating well
• keeping fit
• slowly calming yourself down and relaxing
• reducing intake of caffeine, alcohol and other drugs

Take a breather once in a while will make you feel less stressed and more relaxed.
• Meditation
• Yoga
• Relaxation – doing things you enjoy
• Spending time with friends

What other things can we do to deal with our stress?


SERIOUS SITUATIONS

Of course if the situation is more serious and concerning, it would be best to talk to someone whether it's a doctor, friend or family member. They will be able to support you and help you back to your normal happier, healthier life.
 
CHILL OUT AND RELAX


SO WHY RELAX?

Taking time out from your everyday routine to focus on yourself and nothing else can help you deal with stress, cope with changes, assist with problem solving and leave you feeling more calm and in control of your life. Being able to relax is really important in maintaining positive mental health.

"Chill Out"

Sometimes we become extremely stressed before we recognise that we need to do something to calm down and give our mind and body a much-needed break. When you are really upset, angry or stressed it is a good idea to calm down before dealing with problems and difficult situations.

What things prevent you from chilling out and relaxing?
What do you do to relax?

SOME WAYS OF RELAXING

There are many forms of relaxation and you don’t have to rely on just one method.

Physical Relaxation
Physical relaxation helps you to release or relieve physical tension. Going for a jog, bike ride or a skate can be a great help to some people, but others may prefer to play an instrument, dance or simply have a rest.

Mental Relaxation
Mental relaxation can help you to get in touch with how you feel, to work out what you want or to simply just help clear your mind when you feel overloaded, confused or negative. Ways to clear or "quieten" your mind can range from sitting still and concentrating on your breathing to techniques that may require learning and practice such as meditation or yoga.

 


TRY THESE OUT

Whether you are really stressed out or not you might want to try these...
• Find a quiet place, wear comfortable clothes and sit or lie down. Concentrate on your breathing. Take a deep breath in through your nose and then breathe out through your mouth... slowly. Repeat this ten times
• Sit, stand or lay down and really tense up your leg muscles and count to 5 then let them go limp. Do this again but tense up your arm muscles, then your stomach and chest muscles, face muscles and finally all your muscles. Let all your muscles relax and let your body feel heavy for a couple of minutes. This is great for releasing physical tension.
• Find a comfortable, quiet place and concentrate on a positive and calming image, thought or word. You might like to try words like calm, water, peace or forest – it's up to you. You can close your eyes or keep them open. Breathe in and out as you concentrate on your word or thought and repeat this for 5 minutes. This is a basic form of meditation and can help quieten your mind
• You could try releasing tension by walking, running or cycling and doing it for at least 30 minutes. The park, local GAA or soccer pitch and beach are some places you could do this.


Do you think you might use any of those? If yes which ones?


Tips for relaxing
Whatever methods you prefer, it's important to have the right conditions for relaxing. For example, it's no good going for a bike ride to unwind if you are going to do it in peak hour traffic or to try meditation with heaps of people and noise around you.

So, it is important to:
• Find a way to relax which you are comfortable with
• Be aware of your surroundings, but don't get distracted
• Stick it out and try to relax regularly

You don’t have to wait until you’re stressed out to chill out.