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The 3 P's - How to deal with stress, anxiety & related symptoms

Everyone wants that 1 magic bullet to deal with stress, that 1 easy solution that will calm your anxiety, or that 1 'hack' that will ease you out of depression.


You see people with brilliant mental health and wonder just how they do it - what's their secret?


There are no quick fixes. The people you see with good mental health and wellbeing are doing things except if you asked them they couldn't tell you exactly what it was. That's because they are just living the lifestyle they need to keep well. They have had a subconscious chemical response that makes them feel good - they get a boost of serotonin when they do those things, so they programme themselves to do more.


Yes, they may do all those fancy things like meditate and keep a gratitude journal, but they also take small actions every day to keep on top of things.



So what is it that they're doing and how can you follow their lead and make sure you can empty your stress bucket too.


What they actually do is, what I call, the 3 P's



The first P - POSITIVE ACTIVITY


Take part in activities that you enjoy.


The first thing people think of here is exercise but I'm not asking you to hit the gym if it doesn't feel good for you. A lot of people talk about the 'runners high' but running is not for everyone. Find an activity that appeals to you and make time for that. A creative hobby or maybe being outdoors in nature makes you feel good. Reading, listening to your favourite music, even stamp collecting might be YOUR positive activity.


Try something new but stay away from anything where even the thought of it fills you with dread. What works for 1 person may not work for you.



The second P - POSITIVE INTERACTIONS


Try and ensure that you take time to be around people that make you feel good.


Have some quality time with friends, family and loved ones. Positivity spreads more positivity so make sure your circle is engaging and stimulating.


Now, we all know those people who feel like energy drainers, and often we can't avoid them completely. So just be aware of them, limit your time around them if you can and focus more on those positive people in your life.


Remember, pets are also great for positive interactions. I mean how can you not feel happy around a dog!



The third P - POSITIVE THINKING


Now, this can be the most difficult one of them all but do your best.


Try and focus on those good things in your life, even if they're small. Gratitude journals are great for this and don't just write in them, read them back to yourself now and again to remind yourself of the good things.


Of all the P's this is the most tricky - so even if you focus on the first 2 P's this one will become easier with time. In fact, by doing a positive activity and having some positive interactions will create some memories for you think positively right?


So don't panic if you feel acute, intermittent stress, you can handle that.....just don't let that stress persist and become chronic. Practice your 3 P's regularly and consistently.


Find what works, and do more of that!


Gin Lalli gin@ginlalli.com

Gin Lalli is a Solution Focused Therapist specialising in anxiety, depression, stress and sleep. She is based in Edinburgh, Scotland

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