Your weekly dose of stress relief: Volume 10

By Doug Mattushek - 12 August 2019Views : 2107

In partnership with Health Grinder, SA Breaking News will be publishing weekly tips and tricks to help reduce your stress levels...

31. Find a Support Group

Having a strong and stable support group is one of the most important aspects of human life.

For some it’s their family, friends or people they know well. However, depending on the type of support you need, or where you are in your life, other types of groups may benefit you more.

This is why peer support groups like AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) are available.

They allow individuals to share, connect and release stress with those who understand them. It also offers a safe place to talk about their concerns with people who know what you’re going through. Just as importantly, there’s no judgement on their end.

When it comes to the workplace, stress and burnout, research reveals that in a group of 660 healthcare workers who were ranked in the upper 75th percentile in terms of their exhaustion and burnout scores, peer group intervention helped lowered stress and burnout.

Conversely, studies also show that individuals with poor social support suffer from negative consequences. These include increased mortality, depression, mood disorders and higher risk of disease.

Another option is to find help in smaller groups or mentors. Going back to our example on addiction, recovery coaching is a proven way of finding support and building new habits.

32. Go Out and Make New Friends

While making new friends was easy when we were younger, it becomes harder as we get older.

Yet, you should try.

Making the extra effort to forge new acquaintances and building new friendships helps fight feelings of loneliness, sadness and sometimes fear (when you don’t have anyone).

These feelings all result in emotional stress. For some, it extends a bit further psychologically or socially. It makes them feel like they don’t belong, or are excluded from society.

Psychologists reveal that having social connections not only reduces lonesomeness and depressive feelings, it also helps us avoid early death.

More importantly, they point out that the feeling of isolation, rather than the physical state of being alone, is what affects our health negatively.

33. Give Someone a Helping Hand

It may sound ironic when you first hear it, but we can help ourselves by helping someone else.

Spending some time to listen to someone who needs an ear. Or, assisting them in their work, errands, housework or even just babysitting, helps us cope with any stressful situations in our own lives.

Researchers who studied 846 residents in Detroit, Michigan discovered that individuals who helped others recently (in the prior year) were less likely to be affected by stressful events the happen in their own immediate future. This included negative events like losing a job, serious illness, or financial difficulties.

Meanwhile, participants who didn’t help others in the past year were more likely to be negatively affected when stressful events occurred in their own lives. Ultimately, resulting in consequences to their health.