Stress Awareness Month: Importance of connecting with others

April is Stress Awareness Month, which is all about taking control of your wellbeing and ensuring you build coping strategies into your working and personal life.

We’ve gone through a strange time during the pandemic, with increased periods of isolation, disrupted social lives, cancelled events, travel restrictions and working from home, causing stress and anxiety. Here, we take a look at the importance of connecting with other people to reduce and manage stress.

Community is all about having a sense of belonging and connection and feeling supported and accepted by others. Relationships are one of the most important aspects of our lives - whether at home or work - and those more socially connected tend to enjoy happier lives, better physical health and live longer.
As part of Stress Awareness Month, TMD are sharing tips and advice on how to manage and reduce stress.
Talk through worries
Feeling lonely can hugely impact our mental health, increasing the risk of depression, anxiety, stress, sleep problems and low self-esteem. However, socialising with others, whether at work or home, has multiple benefits for mental health. Just having the opportunity to laugh and chat with others temporarily distracts us from worries, turning our focus outwards instead of inwards, while being able to share worries and talk through problems decreases stress levels. As they say: ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’.
Share with others
We may all be individuals with unique skills, knowledge, and experience, but we’re not meant to exist in isolation. Money and possessions don’t always make us happy and if the need for connection with other people is unfulfilled, it can result in feelings of isolation and anxiety. We need to enjoy reciprocal relationships, benefiting from opportunities to grow and develop by learning from others. Trust and inclusion are vital, ensuring we’re part of something much larger, that is essential if we’re to live happily and fulfilled lives.
Tips to help

  • Be nice to others - show compassion and empathy for those who are stressed
  • Share your coping mechanisms – if something’s worked for you, share it with others
  • Talk about stress – talking openly with friends and colleagues reduces the stigma of stress
  • Look after yourself – exercise, eat well, take time out and learn to say ‘no’ 

Volunteering can be good for reducing stress because it turns our focus outwards, and helping others with problems can give us a more positive perspective on our own difficulties. In addition, working with other like-minded people to achieve a common goal gives us a shared sense of purpose and increases mental wellbeing.
Getting help
If you feel you need some extra help, you’re certainly not alone. You may find it beneficial to talk to your GP, mental health services, friends, family, or colleagues. The important thing is to reach out.