woman having Stressful Thoughts

Stressful thoughts can overwhelm us when we’re in a jam. Even minor stressors can overwhelm the good stuff of life if we don’t have a handle on how we’re managing our minds.  

Happy Not Perfect is a mindfulness app by Brit, Poppy Jamie (coincidentally, the Pop of fashion brand, Pop & Suki). Drawing from her own struggles with stress and anxiety, Poppy developed Happy Not Perfect alongside the world’s leading breathwork experts, designers, psychologists and neuroscientists. The app offers daily tools to help people feel happier, less stressed and more emotionally balanced throughout the day.

We asked Poppy to share a few solid tips for turning off the panic response when stressful thoughts start to swamp our brains. Skim through and send to a frazzled friend who would benefit!

On Work Stress

Stress and anxiety in the workplace, whether it’s your job or studying for required exams, has a huge impact on our mental and physical health. Feeling overworked can cause stress and anxiety levels to rise, the immune system to weaken and makes burnout likely. External stress triggers include deadline anxiety, difficult co-working relationships, fear of failure, and more, leaving us feeling overwhelmed.

Try our tailored mindfulness game based on your mood. It can be done on the run (in the loo, in a cab) and can help shift your perspective. It’s made up of seven steps built as researched backed positive-psychology activities — all to help you relax the nervous system through belly breathing and encouragement to journal. These focused activities allow you to process your thoughts and calm your emotional center. You are then guided to shift perspective and reframe your thoughts through writing a gratitude diary, exercising compassion and thinking of others.

The Stress of A Big ChangePeriods of major change can be unsettling and anxiety inducing. Moving jobs, cities, schools or even homes are all stressful situations. And perhaps the irony is that change is meant to be exciting and fresh, and combined with opportunity, a really incredible thing. But the fear of the unknown can be also be challenging.

We like to find solutions that are practical and actionable. So our top tips for managing the anxiety of change are belly breathing and writing a gratitude list. Belly breathing is a simple (and free!) way of helping feel better when a lot is happening. It automatically takes us out of fight-or-flight mode into feeling safe and okay. Also, during periods of feeling unsettled, a brilliant thing to do is write a gratitude list. By simply recognizing what we do have can help us feel more grounded — it’s a physical reminder that everything is going to be okay.

 Break-Up Stress

A break-up in a relationship can feel like the most awful thing in the world. This holds true not only for romantic break-ups, but break-ups from a friend, family member or other relationship, too. But the truth is, sometimes nothing can be said or done to help that horrendous feeling. Allow yourself to have those feelings as they may be needed. Feel them, and see what lessons you can learn. Questions may arise: Am I good enough? Could I have said more? Should I have said less? But the truth is, you are exactly where you are supposed to be.

Show yourself some love, because this is exactly when we should start loving ourselves. The Happy Not Perfect app offers a brilliant self-love and kindness meditation prompt which is proven to help us feel loved, supported and all the things we need when feeling a bit blue.

The ultimate trick? Power in repetition. The power of the mind can turn any day from being the worst to manageable. Also, the more you practice taking control of your mind in stressful times, the more balance you will feel for longer. Our mind is like any other muscle, if we practice strengthening the neural circuits that help us stress less, we’ll be be better prepared for when challenging scenarios come our way.

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