The commute, the office, the boss, the workload, the family – modern life is not for the faint hearted. Most of us have a roof, enough to eat and the basics of life, so we refer to anything else as ‘first world problems’. That may be so, but stress is a real risk to both physical and mental health.

If you are feeling overloaded, don’t be ashamed to admit it. Try these ideas to take back control.


Rule number 1 is ‘worry about one thing at a time’. That doesn’t just apply in the working world, it also matters at home and at the gym. The stress-busting properties of a workout are much reduced if you are still thinking about those emails.

Learn to leave problems in the places where they belong. Compartmentalising is an excellent coping mechanism. It also means that when it is time for sleep, the problems have to be put aside until the morning. A good night’s sleep is another excellent coping mechanism!


This concept is really an extension of ‘one thing at a time’. Mindful eating means paying attention to your food, rather than shovelling it in while tapping on a screen. Mindful exercise means concentrating on form and effort. This not only makes your workout more effective, but also reduces the chance of injury.

There are many techniques to help you to get into the ‘exercise zone’. One simple one is ‘presence, intention, determination’. Focus on where you are (presence), what you want to achieve from the workout (intention) and finally resolve that you will achieve it.

4.        EXERCISE

Exercise releases endorphins which are natural stress busters. Exercising regularly will make you feel better and help you to relax as those endorphins flood your body. You'll sleep better too. And as a bonus - you'll look better! 


There may come a point where something has to give. To ensure that it isn’t your physical or mental health, think about how you could change things. Many people find that stress can be reduced by going self-employed, working outdoors or even changing career path totally.  Smaller changes can also give big benefits.

Put yourself first for once – deal with that stress!

The Author

Jessica Ambrose

Jessica is a fitness writer who loves long distance running, yoga, strength training and healthy eating.


Michael A.
11 October 2017

Michael A.

from experience, I would advise linking being mindful to particular daily activities such as having a shower or brushing your teeth. That way you'll always remember, and it sets you up for more mindfulness throughout the day.

Claire H.
9 October 2017

Claire H.

I would say that mindfulness combined with exercise have been the most beneficial things for me to keep me calm and unstressed. I see mindfulness as a workout for the mind which I carry on doing all day. And exercise just keeps me feeling healthy and energetic anyway.

george h.
5 October 2017

george h.

Stress is a v personal thing and as Sean says it depends on what works for you. But cortisol is bad so do what you can to get rid of it. Exercise is vg

Sean S.
3 October 2017

Sean S.

These are all great tips. But contrary to popular opinion, being self-employed can sometimes be even more stressful. My partner's stress levels came right down when he ditched his own business and worked for someone else. Work out what's best for you|

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