How to Manage Your Stress
We talked at length in a previous post about how stress has become a part of everyday life. In small doses, stress can actually be a good thing. It may spur you on to make changes in your life, it might motivate you to be more productive or enable you to see how you can manage your time more efficiently. However, too much stress or being continually immersed in stressful situations can take its toll.
Being exposed to continued stress could induce both psychological and physical illnesses such as depression and heart disease. Furthermore, prolonged stress could lead towards self-destructing behaviors such as alcohol or drug abuse. Managing your stress isn´t as hard as it appears. The hardest thing is starting the process, as when we are consumed by stress, our energy levels are often low and our vision is clouded.
Important note: I am not a medical professional!
If you feel that you are consumed by too much stress, then it may be beneficial to talk to someone who is qualified to help you. Stress can be a factor in depression and so seeking guidance from a qualified professional is something that you should give some serious consideration.
That being said, the tools, techniques and suggestions contained in these articles are things that can help in those times when we feel overwhelmed and a loss of control in our lives.
You Are Not on Your Own
Reasons for stress differ across people and with that so do stress reducers. A decision to make some healthy lifestyle changes can provide some very satisfying ways to cope with stress. These are often very cost effective and in most cases can be applied at home, at work or when you are on the go.
It´s important to remember, that you are not in this battle alone. People the world over, have at times felt a lack of control over their lives as they became overwhelmed by stress. When anxiety starts to creep in and stress starts to weigh you down, take a step back, slow down, relax your breathing and know that there is someone who knows exactly how you feel and that someone can help.
7 Stress Reducing tips
Just a few minutes practicing meditation each day can help stress. It's simple to do, just sit and relax and keep your eyes closed. Block out all external noise and focus on repeating your own mantra of “ “
- Breathe Deeply
Take some time to do some breathing exercises. You can do this anywhere and you don´t need to go into a state of meditation; you just need to control your breathing. Start by slowly inhaling through your nose, until you have reached your capacity for inhalation. Then simply exhale slowly through your mouth. The key is to make each breath slow and deep as this slows your heart rate and lowers blood pressure.
- Reach Out
Don´t sit there and suffer in silence; reach out to people. Your social network is an incredible resource for handling stress. You will be amazed to find that other people in your network have had similar feelings at some point. Talking on the phone is good but sharing a face to face conversation is even better. They may be able to offer you a different perspective due to their previous experience.
- Laugh Out Loud
Have you ever heard the saying, “laughter is the best medicine”? Well, there´s good value in this saying. Laughing lowers the stress hormones in your body and boosts endorphins in your brain to help change your mood. Watching a comedy movie or a lighthearted television series will lighten the load. Not near a television? Who do you know that makes you smile? Call them and have a nice chat.
- Create a Playlist
There are two schools of thought here. One sis that you should listen to relaxing sounds such as the ocean waves, the other is that you should blow off some steam by belting out a few of your favorites. In my opinion, there is a time and place for both. You will often find me singing along at the top of my voice on a Saturday evening while I am cooking dinner. However, during the week, I listen to more soothing sounds before sleeping. It´s your decision but don´t dismiss either of them to readily as both provide their own associated benefits.
- Get Some Exercise
Any form of exercise is a good form of exercise in terms of providing your body with a way of lowering stress levels. Run, walk, swim, stretch or do yoga. It matters not what you do. The important thing is to get some kind of feel good high that goes to work on reducing stress and anxiety.
- Be Grateful
More years ago than I care to remember, I was in an Indian restaurant with my friends in London, England. There was a picture on the wall with the caption, “it´s the little things in life that make a big difference.” That caption has stayed with me, well into three decades.
Keeping a journal of all the good things that happen to you, no matter how small, will help you gain some perspective. Developing an attitude of gratitude and recording all the blessings that you have in your life is a great way to counteract stress and anxiety. On those days when you feel overwhelmed, take your journal out and remind yourself of all the wonderful things that you are appreciative of in your life.
My aim here is solely to provide you with some free tools to help you get through some of the more stressful days. Tools that I have applied myself on many occasions throughout my life and tools that have definitely brought about the desired change. However, and I can´t stress this enough, if you feel that your stress is hurtling down the road towards depression, please seek professional help.
You might also consider some time management advice in order to help you deal with some stress factors. Stress and anxiety can be accelerated when we feel that we don´t have enough time to do all the things that need to be done. When this happens, your current state of emotions is capitulated to forces that you seemingly have no control over.
If you have been affected by stress or would like to ask any questions, drop a message in the box below