Stress is one of those subjects which has an abundance of advice and thousands of experts however the best expert on the matter is often you. It is you that knows your body and it is you that knows what triggers your stress. What you really need to do is make sure you recognise the pattern of the build up and what you should do about it. Lets not make lite of it as stress can be very debilitating, but you do have the ability to control it and reduce the effects by changing or tweaking some aspects of your life. So lets have a look at some common stress management tips.
This method can have a very positive affect because it makes you stop doing what you are doing and if done properly can relax you completely. So you are in a state of overwhelm and panic. The walls are moving in on you and you feel everything is getting on top of you. Stop doing what you are doing and sit quietly. Close your eyes and blank everything from your mind and then conjure up a picture of something that calms you. It may be sitting looking at mountains on a sunny day or looking at a calm stretch of water from a sandy beech or a sunset. Then simply breath in hold it for a few seconds and breath out, all slowly. Then repeat a few times over about 5 minutes and your heart rate will drop to a more normal level and your mind will start to clear. There are several apps like HEADSPACE or CALM which you can download which will help you.
2/Take Your Foot Off The Gas
We have touched on this one before but you do not need to do everything at 100 mile per hour. The quicker you try to speed through your daily tasks the less likely they will be done properly and this leads to frustration and worry. Work out what your goals are and start managing your time more efficiently. You will find you get through more in less time by simply being organised and this will ultimately cut your stress levels.
This is a huge factor in reducing stress. Working out on a regular basis helps you to achieve a healthy body and mind. As a young man I used to jog 3 to 5 times per week and actually used to look forward to it each day. This coupled with other exercise kept me in a good state of mind. Now that I am older and my joints more likely to stiffen up I walk a fair bit and often cycle 10 or 12 miles. I try to walk up stairs and not use the lift. My exercise routine starts with a brisk walk in the early morning before the day really starts. it helps me to clear my head, it gives me some ME TIME and then I am ready for the day. Find something that suits you and your lifestyle. Once the endorphins get active you will really notice the difference.
By this I don’t mean that you need to go on a diet. I tend to find that when I don’t concentrate on what I eat, I end up eating all the wrong things over a period of time. Firstly try to eat breakfast even if you are not a breakfast person as it will set you up for the day and give you a kick start of energy. I try to have porridge and fruit or eggs and a coffee. I find it stops me snacking all morning because I am hungry. Try to have a light lunch like a salad. With my evening meal I try to have some of my daily 5. Stay off the fast food as its really not good for you and try to vary your diet with white meat, red meat and plenty of vegetables. Also try to stay off the alcohol Monday to Friday and You will be amazed at how different you feel and how quickly.
5/ Make Time For Yourself.
This is essential. You tend to spend a great deal of time doing things for others and there is nothing wrong with that. However there comes a time in every day when you need to think about you. It may be that you take time out to exercise. Possible you enjoy yoga or something similar and want to go to classes. Sometimes its as simple as taking time out to read the paper or a book. It needs to be a time where you are not running around after the kids, doing the shopping or looking after your partner. It needs to be your time…
6/Share Your Problems
Sometimes you find yourself in a situation where you simply can not see the way forward. The walls are closing in and you don’t have a solution to a particular problem. This is never a good place to be and the old stress levels begin to climb. So you need to stop. Take the problem to somebody you can trust. It could be your partner or a close relation or it may be a good friend or work colleague. It doesn’t matter as long as you are comfortable sharing whatever is bugging you with somebody you trust. Remember a problem shared is a problem halved.
7/Don’t be Hard On Yourself
We all have a tendency to blame ourselves for anything that goes wrong and there is really no need. You cant be held responsible for the actions of others. some circumstances are simply unavoidable. You can only be in one place at a time and you only have one pair of hands. Lets face it we are not perfect and we all drop the ball every now and again. So accept it and don’t beat yourself up every time something goes wrong. There is always tomorrow.
Hopefully some of these pointers will help. Deep down you will know them but may you may not be applying them. Give them some thought and try to apply some or all of them and you will definitely eliminate some of the stress in your life.
I love to get feedback on my articles so if you have other pointers you can add to these please feel free to do so below….