Dealing with stress can be much more difficult than it needs to be; all you have to do is make sure you have the information you need to effectively address your stress issues. This blog will offer you the information you need to effectively manage your stress.
- Understand & identify your stress. What causes you to be stressed? Be it work, family, change or any of the other potential thousand triggers. It can be different for each individual. You can be more prepared and reach for your stress management toolbox when needed if you know what stress looks like for you.
- Recognise your stress signals. Because we all react to stress in different ways, it’s crucial to be aware of your own stress symptoms. What internal warning bells are ringing in your head? Low tolerance, headaches, stomach problems, or a mix of the aforementioned ‘stress symptoms’
- Learn your stress strategies. What is your go-to method for de-stressing? These are often learned behaviours that aren’t always the healthiest option. Some people, for example, self-medicate with alcohol or overeating in order to cope with stress.
- Manage your stressors. How? Simply being aware of your thoughts is a good place to start. As an outsider, try to study your thoughts. Take note of what’s going on without passing judgement or attributing importance to the facts. After that, just let them go. They’ll return, no doubt, but if you keep doing the same “thought observing,” they’ll gradually fade away. This is referred to as being “mindful.
- Acceptance. Many people find it more difficult to deal with a stressful situation because they are afraid to speak up. You must take some time out and acknowledge and accept that you are stressed. This is a critical first step in identifying and removing the source of your distress.
- Negative thinking should not be tolerated. Stress can lead to feelings of depression, anger, even jealousy jealously and vengeance, as well as other negative and unwanted emotions. These are thoughts you should try to avoid at all costs. Keep in mind that this is only a temporary blip and it will soon fade. There’s no need to let it ruin your way of thinking or allow your mind to run wild and over think things.
- Never Over-expect. It’s like that saying – ‘Life is like a box of chocolates….’ We have a tendency to over-expect, which causes a lot of stress. You may live a better, stress-free life if you learn not to expect more than you deserve. We obsess over what we might obtain and then allow our emotions to control us. This should not be the case. It’s not a good idea to have irrationally high expectations. Things will unfold as they should, and you will receive what you deserve.
- Adopt healthy stress management techniques. It’s a good idea to be aware of any present unhealthy coping strategies so you can replace them with a healthier alternative. For example, if drinking alcohol or overeating is your current go-to, you could try meditation or call a buddy to talk about what you are currently struggling with. According to the American Psychological Association, switching out one behaviour at a time is the most efficient way to create change in a positive way.
- Stop multitasking and focus on performing one activity at a time to help you minimise stress. Multitasking may save you time, but will give you a headache or create additional stress. Avoid all of the tension by concentrating solely on one task at a time.
- Hobbies. Any form of past time can be a fantastic stress reliever while dealing with stress. When you return to your problems, an active activity such as a video games night, may help you take your mind off your problems and offer you a fresh perspective. Having a creative outlet, whether it’s oil painting, trombone playing, or modern dance, can do wonders for your mental health.
Art therapy both relieves stress and assists us in better managing it. Gardening, for example, is a more passive pasttime that might help you reflect on, evaluate, and eventually overcome some of your difficulties.
- Diet. You’ve heard it before, but you are what you eat. Be mindful of having a balanced and healthy diet. Making simple diet changes, such as reducing your alcohol, caffeine and sugar intake is a proven way of reducing anxiety. The food you eat may play a role in the amount of stress you’re under. If you don’t receive enough nutrients from your food, skip meals, or wait too long between them, your blood sugar levels will drop, making you irritable. You won’t be able to deal with the difficult situations that arise on a daily basis, either.
- Take Time Out. Taking a few moments to appreciate your surroundings is an excellent way to reduce stress especially If you live a high-stress lifestyle. Make sure to take time off to recover from the damage that stress has done to your body. This can be accomplished by scheduling a professional massage, or just try noticing things you’ve never noticed before while looking out the window. This type of spacing can assist you maintain a lower stress level and it will improve your physical and emotional well-being.
- Exercise. Starting a regular workout routine three to four times a week will help you overcome stress in unexpected ways. Exercising causes your body’s hormones and chemicals to react differently to stress. Exercise relieves stress naturally by increasing feel-good chemicals while decreasing cortisol and other stress hormones. There are dozens of various fitness plans to select from, and any of them will benefit you. When your body is in good shape, it can better deal with stress. Exercising is another sure-fire technique to de-stress. It has also been shown to be just as helpful as antidepressants in the treatment of mild depression. So… get going! (We understand that this is easier said than done.)
- Stay positive. The advantages of a positive mindset are enormous. Optimists, for example, have better health, healthier relationships, are more productive, and are less stressed. This is due to the fact that optimists maintain a ‘try-again’ attitude and blame failures not on themselves, but on external factors.
- Instead of being aggressive, be assertive. Rather than becoming angry, defensive, or passive, express your feelings, opinions, or beliefs assertively with clear communication. You can then easily ask for what you want or need or what is upsetting to you by being fair and firm whilst maintaining empathy.
- Relaxation Techniques. Try hypnotherapy, deep breathing, guided visualisations, meditation, yoga, or tai-chi to learn and practise relaxation techniques. One of my personal favourite apps to use for this is Insight Timer.
- Time Management. Develop better time management and organisation skills. Before we realise it, the months have turned into a whirlwind of activity and our days have consumed us. We can live a less stressful and more joyful life by prioritising and organising our tasks.
- Set limits. Establish proper boundaries and refuse requests that might cause you undue stress. A stress-free life necessitates healthy limits. When we have healthy boundaries, we respect ourselves and take care of our well-being by communicating them to others explicitly. Establishing boundaries are the rules we make for ourselves. They set out how much time and space we require from others, what our priorities are and set out what behaviours we will and will not tolerate.
- Get enough sleep and rest. After a stressful experience, your body requires time to heal. A good night’s sleep is critical for recharging and dealing with stressful situations as effectively as possible. While the actual quantity of sleep required varies from person to person, it is recommended get about 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night.
- Big Bear Hugs. Close contact does not necessitate nudity to receive its benefits. Hugging can assist individuals lower their blood pressure and stress levels. According to one study, a good squeeze can prevent the unpleasant emotional repercussions of disagreement and conflicts.
- Smooching. Kissing releases chemicals in the brain including oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin, which make you feel happy and euphoric while also lowering your stress hormones. This cocktail of happy hormones stabilises your mood and makes you feel energised. Developing positive relationships might also help you feel less stressed and anxious.
- Avoid using alcohol, drugs, or compulsive habits to cope with stress. Drugs and alcohol might cause your body to become even more stressed.
- Have sex. A long day at work might have a significant impact on your sex drive once you get home. Sex, on the other hand, may be a huge stress release if you can muster the energy to crawl beneath the sheets with the one you love. The drawback, according to one study, is that sex can only work if you’re in a healthy relationship.
- Drink a cup of tea. Too energised to sleep? Make yourself a cup of green tea. Green tea drinkers slept better and were less anxious in one research. Teas with chamomile and mint are also very soothing. Red Bush Tea also contains a ton of healthy benefits. Although most herbal teas are naturally caffeine-free, keep an eye on the caffeine concentration of other varieties of tea. If you consume too much of this jitter-inducing substance, you may experience the opposite effect and remain awake.
- Gum chewing. While chewing on a some bubble-gum may seem to be an easy way to cope with stress, some regular gum chewers believe it truly does keeps them calm. Gum chewing, according to researchers, may help to mitigate the effects of stress on the brain. Plus, chewing gum is a lot less expensive than counselling.
- Social Support. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, spend enough time with the people you care about, reach out to a friend or family member who can help. Speaking with a healthcare expert can also help us acquire healthy coping methods and reduce stress.
- Therapy. To discover more healthy methods to deal with stress in your life, seek counselling from a psychologist, psychotherapist or other mental health professional trained in stress management or biofeedback techniques.
- Prioritise Self-care. When we set aside time for ourselves, we prioritise our own well-being over that of others. This may appear selfish at first, but it’s similar to the aeroplane analogy: we must first put our own oxygen mask on before helping others. The most basic aspects of well-being, such as enough sleep, food, rest, and exercise, are sometimes disregarded.
- Reduce the noise. How often do you disconnect from the internet? We can slow down by turning off all technology, screen time, and continual stimulus. Every day, set aside some time for silence. You may find that all of the seemingly essential tasks we need to complete become less important. That to-do list will still be waiting for you when you’re ready to return to it. Remember that recharging is a fantastic approach to deal with stress. It is worthwhile to make a change for your own sake.
- Get out of your own head. It’s sometimes preferable not to even try to deal with rushing or intrusive thoughts. It’s okay to take a break now and again. Distract yourself from the situation. Watch a movie, go outside, call or text a buddy, go for a stroll, or do something nice that you know will distract you.
- Affirmations and visualisations. The use of positive visualisations, imagery and affirmations to boost positive emotion has now been scientifically proven. How? Your brain views a happy event as a reality when you think of it. So, challenge and change the way you perceive and experience the world by replacing those negative beliefs with positive affirmations.
- Building resilience. Our ability to bounce back from stressful or unfavourable, unwanted or negative circumstances is referred to as resiliency. To put it another way, resilient people are capable of recognising that a circumstance or event has occurred, learning from it, and moving on.
- Talk about it. Don’t bottle things up. When we voice our worries out loud, they sound a lot less frightening. Talk to someone you love or trust about your concerns or the issues that are bothering you. Sharing your anxieties and worries can help you cut them in half while also allowing you to laugh at potentially silly situations. If you don’t want to share them, writing them down is a terrific way to get them out. Alternatively, you might work with a mental health professional. There are many services accessible, including some that are free, and you may easily google what is available in your city to see what is available.
- Tap into your senses. You also have the power to tap into your senses at all times, which is an old meditative skill that you may utilise anywhere, at any time. The brain will naturally slow down if you focus on your senses: sight, smell, touch, taste, and hearing.
Spend at least one minute on each of the following:
– What do you think you see? Look at colours, forms, and light up close and distant.
– What are you able to hear? Listen to as many noises as possible and constantly searching for new ones; don’t concentrate on any one
sound for too long.
– What do you think you’re tasting? When you’re not eating, it’s less pleasurable, but try to hold out until the last possible moment.
– What scents do you smell? Concentrate on the odours around you; what are they and how many can you identify?
– What do you feel? Pay attention to the parts of your body that are in contact with anything, such as the ground, a chair, or a table.
- Get a massage. Getting a lovely massage may do more than just relieve physical discomfort and pain. A massage can also help you relax and de-stress. And if you don’t have the cash for an hour long session, u se a foam roller or tennis ball to give yourself a rub, or perhaps just a 20 minute hand massage at the local nail bar. According to studies, a brief massage can help you relax and drop your blood pressure.
- Self Massage. Make your body’s natural relaxation response work for you. Take a few minutes to massage yourself at the end of a long day, at work in between chores, or in bed before going to sleep to help you relax. You can use scented oils and lotions, aromatherapy, or combine self-massage with mindfulness, hypnotherapy, relaxing music or deep breathing techniques to help you relax. If that fails, switch massage minutes with a friend and share the bliss.
- Tried Reiki? How about this hands-on approach to healing, while we’re on the subject of the power of touch? Reiki is a Japanese method that involves laying hands on someone to improve their life force energy. We’re more prone to be stressed when this energy is low, or so the argument goes. Reiki appears to be beneficial for both stress and anxiety, according to preliminary studies.
- Schedule time to worry. Choose a time of week to begin, preferably once a week, when you are generally alone and less likely to be disturbed. You’ll only need fifteen to twenty minutes. As you become better at scheduling your worries, move it to once a day (a tea-break for example). As your worries pop up during the day, write them down and tell yourself you will worry about them during your worry time.
Come tea-break, sit with each worry and ask yourself:
– Can I do something about this worry?
– When can I do something about it?
– What can I do about it?
– Schedule a time to do something about that worry.
– If you can’t do anything about it, let that worry go and move on to the next worry.
- Schedule time to de-stress. Set aside (as much as you can spare) time each day to consciously wind down. The Body Scan relaxation technique is a great example and works by bringing your awareness back to your body and slowing down your thoughts.
- Stress Relief Games. There’s a website called www.Stressreliefpig.com and they have fun filled de-stressing games to help relief stress.
Why not try a few of them:
– Bubble Wrap
– Color Break
– Paper Toss
– Relaxing Puzzler
– BONUS GAME: Tetris
- Give yoga a try. Yoga is now widely accepted and performed as a stress-reduction therapy all over the world. Yoga is a powerful stress reliever because of its blend of deep breathing techniques and positions. Yoga is available in a variety of styles, ranging from gentle to vigorous. Hatha yoga, with its soft movements, may be particularly beneficial for promoting relaxation. If you haven’t tried yoga before, now is the time.
- Get lost in a good book. The real world can sometimes become too much for us to handle.A good book might help you forget about your worries and concerns. Disappear into an epic fantasy, travel through an adventurous book or get lost in a heart-pounding thriller.
- Learn from others. Check out Kelly McGonigal’s popular and intelligent TED Talk: How to Make Stress Your Friend. Imagine the power of rethinking how we think about stress, as McGonigal puts it. People’s life could change for the better if they lowered their tension about “being stressed.” What if, instead, we saw stress as a vital chemical messaging system that helped us survive? Stress performs a significant purpose in this way since simply telling others how we feel when we are stressed might help us gain crucial assistance.
While you are at it, also look at Mel Robbin’s 5 Second Rule TED Talk and I’m sure you’ll find many others that may help.
- Progressive Relaxation. Tense and then release each muscle group in the body, from your fingers to your toes: neck, shoulders, lower and upper arms, chest, back, abs, buttocks, thighs, calves, and so on. The mind will follow the body’s relaxation. This approach has been shown in studies to help with anxiety and sadness.
- Journaling. Because of its meditative and reflecting qualities, keeping a journal may be an excellent strategy to treat stress-related symptoms. A thankfulness notebook or gratitude diary can be really beneficial in putting things into perspective. So set aside some time each day to write down a few things that bring you joy.
- Nap time. After a night of insomnia or lying awake with worries or fears, a brief power nap could be just what you need to re-energise your brain. Cortisol and other stress hormones have been proven to be reduced by napping. 20 minutes or under is all you need, or you might lose sleep the next night.
- Meditate. Even on the stormiest of days, the “mental silence” that comes with meditation can bring a sense of serenity. But it takes some mental focus first, which isn’t as simple as it seems and it is not a practice for everyone. Find a peaceful place, sit or lie comfortably, close your eyes, and take a few deep breaths. Focus on an object or repeat a term or mantra like “ohm” or “relax” to calm a racing mind. Then, with each breath, feel the stress dissipate.
- Take deep breaths. Not really into meditation? That’s ok too. Just focus on your breathing. Cortisol levels have been proven to be reduced by taking a few deep breaths from the diaphragm, which can help alleviate stress and anxiety.
- Visualization. Imagine yourself on a beach if you close your eyes. Listen to the waves crashing on the shore and admire the waving palm trees in the breeze. Do you feel more at ease?
Visualization, often known as guided imagery, is a sensory experience that involves imagining a quiet or peaceful situation.
It could be a fantastic approach to relieve stress and anxiety, particularly if you envision yourself in nature (picture yourself by a lake, a forest, on a mountaintop or by an ocean).
Use a guided recording (on YouTube) or an app like Insight Timer or Headspace if you can’t get into the scenario on your own. You’ll have your own personal tour guide to accompany you on this mental holiday.
- Try self-hypnosis. You’re getting very sleepy… It’s not about a swaying pocket watch or barking like a dog or quacking like a duck when it comes to self-hypnosis. It’s a real stress-relieving strategy that can help people feel less anxious. Self-hypnosis combined with mindfulness (think meditation) can be an even more effective stress reliever.
- That floaty feeling. Anyone (who is not afraid of water!) who has floated on water, knows how relaxing it is to bob along with the current.
Flotation-REST (reduced environmental stimulation therapy) adds a dosage of sensory deprivation to this buoyantly tranquil sensation.
Thousands of pounds of Epsom salt keep you floating in this treatment, which involves being suspended in a pool. The chamber is dark and quiet, allowing you to be alone with your thoughts.
This technique is not recommended for people who are have claustrophobia or a fear of water. Those who are comfortable floating will have less anxiety and stress, less tight muscles, and a deep level of relaxation.
Don’t have this near you or don’t have the money for it? Fill up your bathtub, add some Epsom salts if you’d like too, and float your worries away.
- A walk in the park. Take that fitness regimen outside for an even bigger boost. A peaceful, meditative walk in the park, or better yet the woods, might help you de-stress. There’s no need to rush; just go at your own leisure.
- Dish washing. Anyone who regards dishwashing as a thankless task should reassess their viewpoint. According to one study, cleaning up after supper can be a relaxing activity if done attentively. Similar effects can be seen with other dull, repetitive occupations (think gardening). Personally, I find ironing very therapeutic, but most people think I am nuts! Ha!
- Sniff it. Even something as basic as inhaling a relaxing perfume, fresh bread, a smell of a good memory or aromatic oils can have a profound effect on our mood. Plant-derived essential oils are thought to work directly on the brain’s emotion-controlling zones, such as the hypothalamus. Lavender, in particular, appears to have a calming impact.
- Pump it up! One simple method to de-stress is to go through your old music collection. Music has the power to lower cortisol levels and alleviate stress in the process. Which songs are the most effective? Something soothing, like light jazz or classical music, should suffice. But, honestly, whatever music soothes you is good medicine. You can even do a search on Spotify for ‘Anxiety songs’ and be presented with quite a few playlists.
- Belly Laugh. Genuine laughter can help the body cope with the physical repercussions of stress (such as fatigue or exhaustion). On the other hand, forced laughter has a different effect. So, turn on a movie that makes you laugh out loud and forget about your concerns as a good old belly laugh is beneficial to both the soul and stress levels.
- CBD oil. Cannabidiol, or CBD, is now found in everything from gummies to drinks. At this time, there is very little research on this popular supplement. However, experts claim that it acts on the neurological system in a way that makes it a viable stress and anxiety treatment.
- De-stress Together. You don’t have to go through a stressful period on your own and you don’t have to try and de-stress alone either. If you have a flatmate, a partner or a close friend, why not de-stress with them? Think of a phone-free dinner, doing an exercise class together, do a games night, go to a comedy club, read a book together or binge watch a series.
- Religion. Have you got faith? Religion, according to research, can aid actually help to soften the stressful effects of life events. Any religion can suffice as long as you have a spiritual bond with something bigger than yourself. There’s also the advantage of being in the company of others. In a spiritual atmosphere, connecting with like-minded people may help you discover the support you need through a difficult moment.
- Petting an animal is a stress-relieving activity. Just 10 minutes of playing with a pet can reduce your cortisol levels. The soothing motion of caressing a hairy animal relaxes you. Feeling the warmth of an animal is relaxing, and seeing your pet relax and enjoy your touch adds to the tranquilly of the moment. After a long day at the office, nothing beats returning home to a wagging tail. Pets are like furry therapists, and their unconditional love is the best medicine for your mental health.
As indicated at the beginning of this blog, stress can be tough to overcome if you lack the appropriate information to adequately manage your stress.
After you’ve done reading this article, you’ll find that the knowledge you’ve received will help you better manage your stress.
One of the ways to STOP STRESS is to see a therapist. If you need help, I can help you. Visit my page here.