Stress Management Must-Do's:
7 Ways to Go From Distress to De-stress
In our continually changing environment, our bodies and minds
are suffering from wear and tear. We call it STRESS. Sometimes
it's family problems, money problems, or problems at work.
However, we all have to deal with it from day to day. Having
stress in your life is not the issue these days, how you cope
with it is more important. Living a healthy lifestyle is one
way to reduce the stress levels. When you're living healthy,
you just automatically cope with stress better. Developing
ways to deal with your stress makes you more resilient, more
energetic, with concentration that is more effective.
The first step to determining how you handle stress is knowing
what causes it. Many find keeping a stress journal very helpful
for understanding not only the causes, but also for giving
you insight as to how you react. Use it to record each event
in your life, how you're feeling, exactly what causes you
to feel stressed and out of control, or in other words, the
patterns of stress in your life.
Once you've determined the cause or causes of stress in your
life, you can then go about finding ways to de-stress, or
decompress, bringing harmony back into your life.
1) Relaxation techniques, such as music are very effective
in calming your harried mind. Music helps by calming you
down, giving your mind a chance to relax if only for a few
minutes. Find a quiet place, where you can be alone, pop in
a CD of soft sounds, such as ocean waves or falling rain.
Experiment until you determine which sound makes you feel
relaxed and calm. Turn on the CD, close your eyes and take
a deep breath. Focus on the sound, push everything else from
your mind. Let your muscles relax, one at a time. Let yourself
just get lost in the sound.
2) Breathing techniques are very helpful and can be used
almost anywhere, even at work. Once again, find a quiet
place to sit down. Close your eyes and take a deep breath,
then let it out. Take the next breath slowly, counting to
five, hold that breath to the count of four, then release
it very slowly. This works particularly well if you feel a
bit panicky. When in panic mode, the body tends to breathe
very fast and shallow, intensifying the feeling of fight-or-flight.
Doing this breathing technique for fifteen or twenty minutes
will be very calming.
3) Sleep is so important, especially during extremely stressful
times, but stress often makes getting to sleep very difficult.
The thoughts keep swirling around in your mind, keeping you
awake. Let your body get used to a routine by keeping the
same bedtime each night, even on weekends. In addition, several
hours before bedtime, give your brain a chance to wind down.
Avoid any mentally demanding work and agitation. Cutting back
on alcohol and caffeine will help you fall asleep more easily.
Instead of watching television, find a nice relaxing, book.
Before you know it, your body will relax, your eyes will close,
and you'll drift off for a great night's sleep.
4) Exercise is another great way to de-stress your body
and your mind. It improves blood flow to the brain, bringing
it more oxygen. Believe it or not, long hours of sitting and
thinking cause the neurons of your brain to build up toxic
waste products. If you've ever experienced that foggy feeling,
that feeling that your brain has turned to mush, this is why.
Exercise releases chemicals called endorphins, into your blood
stream. These endorphins are what give you that happy feeling,
a feeling of well-being. When the pressure is on, it's the
more physically fit people who are able to fight off illness.
You'll stay healthier and suffer less from burnout. Please
remember to talk to your doctor before starting an exercise
program. In addition, keep in mind that exercise should be
fun. If it stops being fun, you'll stop exercising.
5) Try and spend time with your loved ones. Relaxing
with family and friends is a great stress reliever. Finding
fun activities will make you feel happy, relaxed, and more
able to handle the day-to-day stress. They say laughter is
the best medicine, so laugh and enjoy life whenever you can.
Take regular vacations. Not only will you enjoy the break
from work and home duties, but just the act of planning and
looking forward to the vacation will improve your state of
mind. Sometimes, anticipation is half the fun.
6) Find a hobby or a sport that you enjoy. If your
work is very competitive, try and find something that will
allow you to relax and enjoy yourself. Reading, gardening,
sewing, etc. allows your mind to focus on something besides
the worries. Moreover, working with your hands and being creative
is very freeing.
7) Try a little positive thinking. It's a fact that
optimists enjoy increased health and long life, have less
stress, and are able to move forward and succeed where others
might quit. We all have to expect some failures, some sorrow
and frustration, but we don't have to let them rule our lives.
Find some like-minded friends who will remind you of your
successes now and then. Focus on realistic goals and remember
that failure isn't fatal. And don't be so hard on yourself.
Tomorrow is another day.
Michael Lee is the author of "How to be a Red Hot
Persuasion Wizard... in 20 days or less", an ebook that reveals
mind-altering persuasion techniques on how to tremendously
enhance your relationships, create unlimited wealth, and get
anything you want...just like magic. Get a sample chapter
and highly-stimulating "Get What You Want" advice at: www.20daypersuasion.com.
He is the Co-Founder of www.self-improvement-millionaires.com
and is licensed as a Certified Public Accountant.
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