How to beat stress

Stress and anxiety seem to be as much a part of modern life as iPhones and Twitter. Living a one-hundred-miles-an-hour lifestyle inevitably take its toll and more of us than ever before are ending up on the psychiatrist's couch as a result of too much worrying.

Beat stress

A little adrenalin does you good but too much and you're en route to burnout. But don't worry, there's a way to achieve a balance and have a calmer life. Check out our advice on putting your worries aside...

1. Face the fear

And do it anyway. Admitting to yourself that you're worried or frightened about something rather than sweeping it under the carpet can be the first step in unleashing your anxieties. Taking the first step is often the hardest - it won't get better on its own.

2. Get scribbling

Whether last thing at night or in the middle of the day when anxiety is nagging away at you, put pen to paper and list your worries. Having it spelled out in black and white can make problems easier to tackle. And if you really want to offload, detailing the situation in a diary can help. Look back at your words of woe a few days letter and you'll be amazed at how much better you feel now.

3. Share the problem

And halve it. Keeping problems bottled up can make things much worse and your brave face will only fool people for so long. Talk your worries over with a trusted friend or, if you want objectivity, visit a counsellor or therapist. Your GP will be able to give you a list of practitioners.

4. Take action

Whether you are fretting over your job, your health, your finances or your relationship, it's always best to tackle the problem head-on rather than burying your head in the sand and hoping it will go away. So take a deep breath and make an appointment with your boss or doctor, open those credit card statements or arrange for you and your partner to sit down and have a heart-to-heart. There will either be nothing to worry about, a solution at hand or a definite outcome. Whichever way, at least you know where you are.

5. Get some support

If you feel you need professional advice, you can contact organisations and support groups which specialise in helping people in your specific situation and many of them are anonymous. Check out the internet or Yellow Pages for details. Reading about or talking to others with similar experiences can often shed a new light on your problem.