We live in stressful times – everyone you meet has something in their life they consider stressful. Whether it’s balancing work with family life, relations with the in-laws or simply your daily commute, there is stress in all our day-to-day lives.

In response to the increasing amount of stress we seem to be experiencing, an anti-stress industry is beginning to grow, recommending everything from an improved diet to mindfulness. While these are great ways to manage stress, it is important to look at the root causes.

Am I overstressed?
If you are stressed about your work and family life balance, it’s because these things are important to you. Your stress is reminding you of that. While this doesn’t make the feeling of stress any easier, it is something worthy of attention and with thought and planning, can be overcome.

If, however, you are getting stressed out in the morning because of a minor delay in your journey or your favourite morning beverage being out of stock – you are overstressed. If you are not stressed about something that is actually important, it’s time to take charge.

Am I allowing stress to take control?
If you are overstressed and find yourself worrying over unimportant things, stress is not a positive influence in your life. Now is the time to look at ways to manage it – whether this be taking up a new exercise regime or trying meditation.

Am I forgetting what’s important?
If you have allowed stress to take control of your life, then you are probably tiring yourself out with unfounded and unnecessary worries.

Make a list of the things that are of paramount importance to you – this could include work, family, friends, travel, hobbies. Your list is unique to you. Whenever you find yourself getting stressed out, think about that list. If you are worrying about anything that isn’t on that list, ask yourself – is this really important? If you are worrying about something important, remind yourself that fruitlessly worrying about something won’t help – channel that energy into dealing with the issue!