2 Simple Steps
Tuesday 09 August, 2016.
What can you do to manage stress?
One way to deal with stress is to avoid the event or thing that leads to you feeling stress. Often this is not possible.
A second way to manage stress is to change how you react to stress. This is the best way!
- The first step is to learn to recognize when you’re feeling stressed.
- The second step is to choose a way to deal with your stress.
It is important to notice when your stress levels are rising. Many times we don’t realise how stressed we are until it interferes with our daily lives – we become sick, we panic, relationships suffer, we binge on food, we “freeze” instead of taking action…
It is difficult to get off the stress treadmill once it is in full swing!
Remember, often your anxiety about a potentially stressful situation happens more in your imagination than in reality…
I think it was Mark Twain who said,
“I have lived through many disasters, and few of them actually happened”…
Can you relate to that?
Reduce your stress with these two simple steps:
1. Recognize early signs of stress
I highly recommend keeping a simple stress journal or diary to begin with. Click here for more information and my free sample…
Watch for these signs:
- Nervous habits – You bite your nails, chew your tongue or inside of your cheek, frown, tap your feet or fingers.
- Muscles tighten – You clench your jaw, stiffen your neck, stomach or buttocks. Your chest tightens.
- Your appetite changes – You eat even if not hungry, or forget to eat.
- You notice reoccurring thoughts – thoughts just pop into your head such as “Oh No, not this again!”, “How can he be so stupid?”, “I know something is going to go wrong…”, “This is always so scary for me.”
Be gentle with yourself!! Don’t make being a “stress detective” into a stressful experience… It might take a few times before you become aware of your own stress signals.
It is a good idea to observe other people. Sometimes it is easier to see others become stressed than it is to see the same thing in ourselves. But this will give you an insight into stress patterns.
2. Stop the Stress Cycle
The most dangerous thing about stress is how easily it can creep up on you. You get used to it. It starts to feels familiar – even normal. You don’t notice how much it’s affecting you, even as it takes a heavy toll…
So interrupt the “stress treadmill”!!
Once you realize that you are becoming stressed, deactivate the alarms and stop the chemicals from flooding your body.
There are a number of ways to prevent your stress levels from rising. You must find which works best for you…
I think there is great wisdom in the “old sayings” – “Count to ten,” for example! Or, “Take a deep breath!”…
Whatever it takes to defuse the moment and bring you to a state of control and awareness so that YOU decide how you are going to act.
You can start with these suggestions
- Slow down your breathing – Breathe in deeply and slowly and breathe out deeply and slowly. This works in two ways – it settles your energy and takes your focus away from the anxiety. This is a very effective first step!
- Distance yourself – Imagine that you are watching someone else with friendly curiosity. Observe, uncritically, your emotions and sensations and reactions. This creates distance between you and your stress and helps you to take control and manage stress – instead of the other way around!
- Press your feet into the floor – By doing this you shift your focus away from your mind (and the stress) and into your body. Imagine that you are a tree and your feet are the roots. “Plant” yourself firmly and blow tension out of your roots into the ground. Breathe in calm energy from the ground back up through your roots.
- Laugh – Be humorous! Any way that you can! Talk to your stress! Laugh at it!
To manage stress effectively is much easier said than done!
But, like any skill that we want to develop, it gets better with practice! And it really is worth the effort…
Rather know how to recognize when you are stressed and thenstop the stress cycle, than to have to deal with the long-term effects of stress on your health.
It is extremely helpful to have a relaxation programme so that you are able to manage stress in the long-term … Well, that is what this site is all about – My favourite DIY Stress Relief Techniques!
So take your time and have a good look!
Decide what appeals to you and have FUN practicing your favourite techniques.
And then teach a friend how to manage stress!
Tips On How To Manage Stress
- Sometimes stress makes you feel very alone! Reading other peoples’ stories and how they coped, is often helpful. Read this story of a back pain sufferer and how she dealt with it. Great site for back pain relief information as well!
- Your relationships can add huge positive or negative stress to your life. I recommend Clay’s Relationship Advice for answers to those tough questions about good and bad relationships.
- Please let me convince you that a regular exercise programme of any type of exercise that you enjoy, is a great stress-buster!
- Your attitude is the ‘make or break’ factor in dealing with stress. Do you know how zen mindfulness can help you be in control of your reactions?
* For more useful information on stress and how to manage stress, click on stress symptoms.
Take charge of your stress and start
Living Better Everyday