When we decide to open up about stress, whether we have been bottling it up for a while, or have only been stressed for a few hours, it can sometimes be very hard to communicate it in the way in which we want it to be perceived. This can only heighten peoples nerves surrounding opening up to someone about how they are feeling. To mark National Stress Awareness Day, we are going to be posting a few blog posts throughout the day around the theme ‘Speaking up and Speaking out’ in order to ensure that you are fully equipped to communicate your stress in the most efficient and effective way.
Understandably, communication has changed greatly in the last 10 years, the majority of the population now own mobile phones, which can make communication easier in many ways as you can now communicate easily at any time of day and in any in any mood! When it comes to communicating stress however, it is most effectively done via face to face communication. “Researchers found that conversations in the absence of mobile communication technologies were rated as significantly superior compared with those in the presence of a mobile device” (Misra, Cheng, Genevie, & Yuan, 2014). This is because, you can react and absorb the information more effectively via face to face methods and the possibility of miscommunication is far greater with communicating via technology as everyone interprets information differently without any tone for guidance.
Here are some of our top tips on how to communicate better when you’re stressed:
- Carefully think about what you’re trying to say: Take slow breathes, relax your shoulders and breathe in and out.
- Before communicating your stress, ensure that you are not too stressed to talk: signs that you are too stressed to talk; muscle tightness, stomach ache, clenched fists, flushed face or breathing difficulties.
- Understand that sometimes it takes some people a few conversations for them to absorb the information that you are trying to tell them, so be patient. Sometimes opening up to someone and telling them that you are stressed, comes as quite a shock.
- Progressive muscle relaxation; tensing, holding, then releasing muscles, has also been proven to lower both physical and mental stress.
- Be clear. Use examples and explain what you mean, so that it is easier for the person to respond and comfort you.
For more tips click here: A Guide to Communication and Stress