How bad is your stress? Do you have any stress-reducing techniques? In these hectic days, people lead increasingly stressful lifestyles, but stress has always been a part of our lives. The good news is there are lots of ways to relieve your stress.
Stress is not all bad. In fact, some stress can make life more interesting or entertaining. Stress keeps you sharp and it can be vital for achieving high performance.
Stress is both a physical and psychological response. Medical research has determined that prolonged stress is bad because it blocks the body’s natural ability to repair, regenerate, and protect itself. Experts believe that stress causes over 90% of diseases. It can lead to chronic disease, obesity, insomnia, deteriorating relationships, depression, and more.
We cannot escape every deadline or commitment, but rather than trying to eliminate stress entirely, we need to control it.
It would be wonderful if there was a mathematical formula for stress—the amount of stress an individual could accept without going into overdrive. However, optimal stress levels vary from person to person and from situation to situation.
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7 Stress Reducing Tips
While we can’t always control our stress, here are seven stress-busting tips that can help you in your daily life:
1. Identify Your Stressors and Triggers
One of the first things you should do is determine your primary stressors or triggers. For instance, if cooking dinner stresses you out, consider ordering takeout once a week in order to take a break from your normal routine. While you can’t eliminate this chore, you can make it more manageable.
The main idea is to recognize your stressors and brainstorm ideas to limit their impact. Then try to lessen your emotional reactions to stressors. Most times, stressors cause you to think negatively while focusing on the worst aspects of a situation. Instead, try considering a stressor as an opportunity for improving your life.
2. Learn Relaxation Tips
A few minutes’ break every few hours would do you good. Wash your face, breath slowly and deeply. Then notice if there is tension in any part of your body and release it. You can also listen to relaxing music, or take a quick walk. Also, releasing your inner feelings to a friend is a healthy option.
Practice this act of quiet each day and you see you will accomplish so much more. At the first sign of being stressed, go back to this quiet place and start all over again until you have reached your inner place of calm.
3. The Moment Will Pass
Reminding yourself that the stressful event will eventually end can make you see the positive sides of things. Calm down your emotions and think of what is the best thing to do rather than take your energy away from what needs to be done.
4. Live in the Moment
Decide to release every thought from the past and be mindful of the now…. this thought only… this breath… this moment. Take in three deep breaths and slowly release each one. You will feel every concern, every problem, and every unresolved moment melt away. Then you can deal with them at a later time. For now, you are only in this very moment.
Now go to your inner quiet place. Go deep inside to a place where you feel at peace and then just relax and breathe in deeply and enjoy the feeling of being at one and at peace within yourself. Free your mind and body of all worry, all regret, all disappointment, all anger and grief. Use this special time and place to be calm.
Related reading: 7 Easy Steps to Develop Positive Habits
5. Learn to Use Your Relaxation Response.
Just as we all have within us the stress response, we also have an opposite response, the relaxation response that a person should elicit regularly. The relaxation response involves two steps.
1. Repetition: the repetition can be a word, a sound, an expression, or a repetitive movement.
2. Rejection: The second step is to reject other thoughts that come to your mind while you’re doing the repetition and return to the repetition.
Use the technique once or twice daily for about 15 minutes. Sit quietly and choose a suitable repetition, like a prayer, the sound Om, or the word love, or calm. Or you can do a repetitive exercise, like yoga, jogging, or Reiki. When you incorporate this into your everyday life, you become calmer and able to handle the stressors easier. Practice makes perfect and the more you practice relaxing your mind, the easier it gets.
6. Look After Your Health
Not eating and drinking properly creates stress. To protect your health, the very best thing you can do for yourself is to eat, drink and rest! When you don’t get the number of hours of sleep that you need each night, you set yourself up for additional stress.
Limit the amount of salt, sugar, caffeine and alcohol in your diet. Drink plenty of water and exercise moderately each day. This will breathe new life into your skin, hair, and nourish all of your vital organs.
7. Remember to Breathe
Breathe properly! Take deep belly breaths to send pure oxygen to all of your body. Laugh and then laugh some more.
Related reading: Set and Achieve Your Goals with These 15 Easy Tricks
Last Words on Stress-Reduction
Stress management is a practiced art—you can’t expect to master it in a single day. However, if you keep at it, chances are you will learn ways to cope with stress.
Feature image by Tima Miroshnichenko from Pexels.