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IMGCA Article - Stress Management


Stress Reduction - 30 Easy Things That You Can Do

Ron Goodwsen

Stress affects the whole person - body, mind, feelings, and behavior, and just as symptoms can take many forms, so there are many simple actions that you can take to relieve these symptoms.

Take Action on Stress.
Ask yourself "Am I stressed, or am I in denial?" Simply making a conscious decision to act upon your situation will bring to you, such a sense of relief that this unpleasant situation is going to change, that you will immediately start to feel some benefit.

Chunk Down.
Chunking down helps you to define what the problems actually are. It helps you to divide the problems causing you stress into smaller and therefore more manageable parts. You can then look for solutions, options and ways forward. This is a good problem solving technique.

Speak to Someone.
A problem shared is a problem halved, it's good to talk. Talking it over with a friend or someone who is willing to listen, who wont judge or offer advice, can often help to de-clutter the mind and clarify your perspective and help you to take appropriate action to relieve stress.

Write it down - Let it out.
Write a letter to yourself or to someone else, without posting it, but find a means of getting your true thoughts and feelings down on paper. You can then destroy it if you wish, it's a form of release, which you can then follow up with a plan to resolve your issues.

Ask for Professional Help.
Seek out a hypnotherapy DVD or find a hypnotherapist to help you refocus on relaxation and stress relief.

Stop Procrastinating.
Procrastination is itself a cause of stress, Eliminate procrastination from your life. Don't put things off until tomorrow. Do them today. Create a "DO IT NOW" mentality.

Don't be afraid to say NO.
Change the Dynamic of your situation. If you can learn how to be more assertive, this will enable you to say what you think and act how you want to. Imagine how much less stressed this will make you feel.

Give yourself choices.
Change the stress factors that you can and strengthen your ability to cope with ones that you cannot change. Be creative, find compromises, Reframe problems and look for solutions that create win-win outcomes.

Take a step back from the situation.
Create some distance between yourself and the stressor. Walk away and find a quiet place even if that's sitting in your car or a bathroom. Take a couple of deeper breaths and imagine yourself far, far away from it. See the stressor for what it really is. See it small and manageable compared to the bigger picture and see how much calmer you feel.

Manage your Time - Be Organized.
Time management allows you to plan and organize your life to give yourself more space and opportunity. It involves planning, delegating, setting an agenda and not wasting any time doing unnecessary things or worrying about things over which you have no control.

Start the day with confidence.
Prepare for the coming day, the night before. Then you're not rushed in the morning and off to a bad start straight away.

Don't rely on your memory. (It's the first thing to go when you're stressed.)
Write down appointments, to-do lists, directions and shopping lists. Create order out of chaos.

Don't be late.
Give yourself more time to do things so that you are not pressured. Get up a little earlier, leave a little earlier for appointments.

Do one thing at a time and do it well, focus on the job at hand and forget everything else you have to do.

Take a moment.
Allow yourself some personal time, everyday, a private moment for peace, quiet and contemplation.

Have an optimistic view of the world.
Expect things to go right, expect people to be nice. You may find that's exactly what happens!

Learn to be Tolerant.
Remember that most people are doing the best that they can. Find it within yourself to be tolerant and understanding. People make mistakes. Accept the fact that we live in an imperfect world.

Take Regular Exercise.
Exercise combats many of the physical and emotional symptoms of stress and can make you feel better about yourself. Feeling healthy can bring about improvements in self-esteem and self-image and increase confidence. When our confidence and esteem are lifted our perception of ourselves changes completely and becomes much more positive.

Make exercise Fun.
Don't ignore the mental and emotional aspect of regular exercise. Giving yourself time out to do something fun simply makes you feel good, so if you're feeling stressed and unsure about whether to exercise or not, simply remind yourself of how you are going to feel afterwards.

Get Outside and Walk it off - Breathe in some Fresh Air.
If you work in an office with air conditioning, get outside and clear your head. Walk about and Fill your lungs with Air. Try some Deep Breathing Techniques, which re-energizes and invigorates your mind and body. This simple exercise also releases hormones that affect your mood, creating a more relaxed and positive frame of mind and releasing physical stress from the body.

Treat yourself - Have something to look forward to.
Get away from it all, even if it's just for one day. Better still, have regular weekend breaks and don't ever take work with you. Make sure that you book a proper holiday each year to recharge your batteries, it doesn't matter where, just do it.

Learn to use your body's Relaxation Response.
Imagine… having relief on tap - something you could experience whenever you need it, something that would remove all the stress from your body and return the sparkle to your mind.

You can use hypnosis to trigger this wonderful natural effect, which will release hormones and neurotransmitters that flood your body and mind with pure, cleansing relaxation. You owe it to yourself to feel the relief you can have instantly, so learn this technique.

Make Relaxation part of your daily routine.
The following practices will help you to relax and unwind.

  • Guided relaxation and visualization techniques: obtain a CD or DVD
  • Meditation: Brings an abundance of calm into your life
  • Progressive Muscle Relaxation: deeply, physically relaxing
  • Massage/ Aromatherapy: Go on, pamper yourself
  • Yoga; a mixture of meditation and gentle movement and stretching
  • Shiatsu; Energy balancing and deeply relaxing

Other methods and therapies include; Floatation tanks, Reiki, Indian head massage, Thai Chi and Reflexology. Do your research and try a few things and find the treatment most suitable for you.

Eat Properly - Food is not just fuel.
Make the time in your schedule to eat properly and take time to enjoy your meals when you do eat them. Don't just shovel the food in and dash off for the next meeting, give your digestive system a fighting chance by eating slowly and resting after your meal.

(Remember, peptic ulcers aren't fun).

Eat Healthy.
Look after your health by eating a sensible balanced diet. Eat breakfast to kick-start your day. If you need to, create new good eating habits. Ensure that your lifestyle changes to suit your real needs. Poor nutrition will further weaken your resistance to illness and allow other symptoms of stress to develop.

Lay off the coffee and tea. (The caffeine doesn't help you to relax.)

Take a hot bath.
Have a good soak in the evening to relieve the tension in your body before going to bed.

Ensure that you get enough sleep.
This is essential. You'll wake up feeling refreshed with more energy and able to function better throughout the day.

Enjoy the moments.
Find something that makes you smile or laugh out loud. Laughter is the answer to stress, because it's hard to be stressed and anxious when you're having fun!

Remember to Enjoy Life.
Every day, take time to do something that you enjoy.

Learn to live one day at a time and take each day as you find it. Life only comes round once, it's quite short and you have to appreciate what's good in it.

Ron Goodswen, partner at Imagine Me Media - the Hypnotherapy DVD Company. Roderick Piggott - Hypnotherapist with over 20 years of clinical experience. Imagine Me Media - Stress Reduction & Relaxation

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