Not knowing how to manage stress is a growing problem in today’s society.
Ask anyone around you - chances are most people you talk to will tell you they are suffering from it!
I used to think that I would have a heart attack while waiting at traffic lights, in-between sales appointments, running late because of unplanned delays. It was so unhealthy, and downright frightening at times for me!
How often will you hear someone around you loudly claim that they are "Stressed out" every day?
Well, I remember having to lie down on the floor next to my filing cabinet while at work, clasping my hands over my heart, the pain around my chest was so intense I thought I would die.
I knew that I had to find ways to reduce stress in my life or I would not get a chance to enjoy old age!
The truth is we are busier now than we have ever been before, and so many of us are trying to juggle a demanding job with family pressures, plus trying to have a life as well!
The fact is that if you can learn how to take control of your stress, you’re going to drastically reduce your stress, which means you won’t have to constantly be “managing” your stress.
Does that make sense? It’s because people naturally become stressed when they don’t feel like they are in control of a situation.
Therefore, you need to learn how to take charge of your stress!
Millions, and perhaps billions, of people worldwide deal with stress on a daily basis.
Perhaps, you are one of these people, but are experiencing difficulty coping with your stress.
Most likely, you understand that your stress needs to be dealt with, but you may feel that the only way to help is by taking medications.
However, this isn’t the case. I have studied hard and I have learned how to reduce stress naturally, and also the simple home remedy methods within my control for how to manage stress that I could not eliminate totally from my life.
There are several natural methods for managing stress and I will cover most of them on this page, so take a deep breath and settle down with a cup of your favorite beverage to learn how to manage stress in your life with the natural methods that have worked for me.
There are many factors which can cause stress.
Today’s economy is very uncertain, and so many of us are worried about our job security.
A lot of people have lost their jobs, or had their working hours cut, so money can be a huge source of worry.
Added to this are stressful situations we all go through at some point in our lives- moving home, bereavement, divorce, relationship problems- the list is endless.
Latest studies show that as many as one in eight Americans are suffering from anxiety or stress related disorders- that equates to around 19 million people!
Women are twice as likely as men to suffer from stress. Anxiety, which is one of the main symptoms of stress, is now the most common mental illness.
Most of us are under a certain amount of pressure at times, and this isn’t always a bad thing - a bit of pressure can give us focus and motivate us to do a task well. However, when the pressure is prolonged or too intense then this can lead to stress.
Many people consider stress a bad thing, but it’s important to realize that there is some types of stress that are actually good. In fact, some stress can cause you to act in a way that keeps you safe and out of danger.
This is when your body takes stress and goes into the “fight or flight” mode.
This is when your body will react to a dangerous situation without your help to keep you safe. More example of good stress include the stress that pushes you to do better in school or work.
However, the stress that you want to avoid is the chronic stress that you experience every day. This type of stress can affect you mentally, physically and emotionally.
The first thing you have to do is identify what it is that is stressing you out. Is it a bad situation with a co-worker, mounting bills, your children, etc.?
Once you have identified the problem, you will be one step closer to determining how to get a handle on it.
Therefore, it’s important that you are aware of a few of the most common stressors that have the ability to lead to chronic stress.
Stress causes us all to react differently, and the amount of stress we are able to cope with varies from individual to individual - some people are able to cope with seemingly huge amounts of stress without suffering any adverse effects, whereas others buckle under the smallest amounts of stress.
It is a fact that when we are exposed to
more stress than we are able to cope with, or a prolonged period of stress, our
health is adversely affected.
When we experience stress, our bodies release certain chemicals, including adrenaline, noradrenaline and cortisol. You have probably heard of the ‘fright, flight or fright’ response.
This is a defense mechanism evolved to give our ancestors extra strength or speed to escape from or fight their way out of potentially life threatening situations.
However, we are very rarely faced with such situations nowadays, and our bodies are not required to respond physically (it is not appropriate to run away from a stressful meeting at work, although it may be tempting at times!)
This means that these chemicals are not being used, and so accumulate within the body. As adrenaline and noradrenaline build up, they increase the heart rate and blood pressure, and cause excess sweating.
A build up of cortisol can cause your immune system to malfunction and release sugars and fats directly into your blood stream.
This can eventually increase your chances of suffering a stroke, and make you more susceptible to contracting an illness. You will also be more at risk of contracting an autoimmune illness, cardiovascular disease or certain allergies.
During periods of stress, the digestive system can also malfunction as the body tries to conserve energy by shutting down processes not necessary for immediate survival.
This can cause stomach problems or stomach or duodenal ulcers. It is even thought that the changes in the chemical composition in our bodies which stress causes are related to diseases such as cancer.
Stress can also cause headaches, insomnia, IBS and a whole lot of other associated symptoms.
The effects of stress can also cause sufferers to adopt unhealthy habits in order to cope, such as drinking alcohol to excess, smoking or eating processed foods high in sugars and fats.
This can further increase risks of developing a serious illness.
How do you know whether you are suffering from stress? Stress affects us all differently, and we may display different symptoms.
Some of the more common ones to watch out for include; dizziness, feeling faint, headaches, chest pains and breathlessness, increased sweating, insomnia, stomach cramps and pain and muscular spasms/ twitches or aches.
Stress can also manifest a whole lot of mental symptoms, including; irritability, changes in appetite (either an increase or loss of appetite), loss of sex drive, anger, anxiety and depression, difficulties concentrating on tasks, fatigue, mood swings and increased emotional responses such as crying.
Stress can stop us from enjoying activities we previously found pleasure in, and can affect just about every part of our bodies.
Just experiencing the above symptoms can actually increase our stress levels- for example, if we are not sleeping then this can lead to impairment of our work performance, which increases our anxiety- and raises our stress levels.
We become locked in a cycle or ever increasing stress.
It is a major step to admit that you are stressed. There is a certain sense of stigma attached- we may feel that everyone is stressed to a certain extent, and so we should be able to cope.
But there is no doubt that stress can quite easily cause serious health concerns, and even endanger our lives. If you feel you are suffering from stress, you must talk to somebody about how you are feeling, preferably your doctor.
Your doctor may recommend a course of medication, particularly if you are also experiencing associated symptoms such as depression or anxiety. You may need a course of antidepressants, or sedatives.
You may also be offered counseling. A trained counselor will allow you to talk about what you are feeling and will work with you to eliminate the cause or find your own solutions.
Depending on where you live, your local health center may offer services such as self help groups, workshops etc or may be able to signpost you to any in your area.
Just as stress can cause a lot of problems, there are a lot of options for dealing with stress. Before you try any option in particular, you should discuss the advantages and disadvantages of it with your health care provider.
Below are several of the common stress relief options for you to explore.
You can also help to alleviate your stress levels by identifying the cause of your stress. For instance, if your job is causing you a lot of stress, can you change jobs?
If not, can
you talk to a line manager about changing certain aspects of your job, or
getting help with certain tasks?
If you are in debt, can you arrange some kind of a debt repayment plan to give you peace of mind?
If you are experiencing family or relationship issues, can you hold a meeting to look at ways of resolving these, or attend group counseling sessions?
There are certain causes which you may not be able to eliminate, such as bereavement, divorce or a house move. Sometimes these just have to run their course and once they are resolved, hopefully the stress will be too.
If they are causing real problems, then counseling may be an option. Even just talking to a close family member or a trusted friend can help.
If you are able to identify the cause or causes of your stress, you will be able to put measures into place to avoid or reduce the stress inducing situation.
By being aware of certain triggers which cause stress (for example, driving) you can learn to avoid the triggers as much as practically possible (by somebody else doing the driving when the roads are likely to be busiest for example) or seek help with dealing with these specifically.
are some possible causes to consider:
Health Problems– While we all deal with illnesses throughout our lives, the serious illnesses such as cancer, AIDS, Early Onset Alzheimer’s, etc. can be extremely stressful for those experiencing it personally, as well as, the loved ones of the victim.
Injury – Stress is usually low when everything is going the way we want it to. Therefore, when one experiences an unexpected injury and is limited to what he or she can do, it can be a very stressful situation for him or her.
Not only can the change in lifestyle due to an injury cause stress, but if there is chronic pain associated with the injury, one can become overly stressed.
Being a Perfectionist – There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting everything to go smoothly all the time and doing what you can to ensure that it does.
However, perfectionism can lead to chronic stress for those who are constantly worrying about how everything will “play out.”
Bad Relationships – Anytime one is in an unhealthy relationship, they can become stressed.
Things like strained marital relationships, bad friendships and difficult family members can cause stress.
Retirement – What? Retirement?
Yep – many people enter retirement thinking it will be great, but soon discover that they don’t know what to do with themselves and, believe it or not, this can cause stress.
Retirement, whether it’s yours or your spouse’s, will change up your daily schedule, which can lead to additional stress
Get my free natural stress management report to check out the over 40 common stress triggers and to complete your own stress test to discover your own personal stress rating.
Download here >>> How Stressed Are You?
Once you’ve identified your sources of stress, you need to closely examine how you generally deal with these stresses.
It’s important that you take the time to examine the current way you handle your stressors so that you can change your habits to gain control of it.
How we breathe can affect our whole body. Take the time to breathe in slowly and deeply.
Breathing like this has been shown to reduce stress levels, remove toxins from the body and relax muscles, which is why it is often used during meditation.
Deep, steady breathing will induce calm; it is a technique often used in practices such as yoga and meditation.
As soon as you feel yourself becoming stressed, relax and take some deep breaths.
Make sure you are breathing from your diaphragm- you can check this by placing your hand on your tummy.
It should rise and fall when you breath.
As you inhale, count to three slowly in your mind, and as you exhale, count to five.
Do this until you feel much calmer.
Learning some relaxation techniques can reduce your stress levels. When we become stressed, our muscles tense up, which can cause us problems over the long term.
Consciously tense and then relax each part of your body in turn, starting from your head and neck and gradually working your way to your feet and toes.
Make sure you build some relaxation time into your daily schedule.
Take time out, and do whatever it is that relaxes you, whether it’s taking a long hot soak in the bath to having an early night with a book.
One of the ways stress can affect us is an alteration of our sleep pattern. If we are feeling stressed, we can find it very difficult to get to sleep as things are often on our mind constantly.
Stressful situations wear us out physically and emotionally, which can cause fatigue.
If this is something you’re experiencing, give yourself the opportunity to catch up on your sleep. You don’t have to do everything and can even say “no” to activities that would keep you out of your bed if you need sleep.
When you are stressed it can be very difficult to switch our thoughts off when we need to wind down and start to enter a relaxed sleep mode, and when we do manage to get to sleep we may wake several times during the night.
A lack of quality sleep can make us feel less able to function at work etc and increase our stress still further.
There are several techniques you can use to improve your sleeping pattern;
Taking a hot bath shortly before bed will not only relax you, but your body temperature will drop afterwards, which is a signal to your body that it’s time to sleep.
Avoid drinking coffee and alcohol before you go to bed.
Get into a routine. Get up and go to bed at the same time each day.
This will enable your body to set its biological clock and you should find that you start to feel sleepy at bed time.
Play some relaxing music once you are in bed, close your eyes and use the visualization technique described in the Visualization section
Don’t do anything that really wakes you up. Don’t exercise, watch an intense movie or play video games.
This will just cause you to get a “second wind” and you won’t be able to calm down and rest. After you ready for about 30 minutes or so, try to go back to sleep.
Try not to get frustrated because you can’t sleep, as you will only make it harder on yourself.
Try not to focus on the fact that you can’t sleep. Do something to take your mind off it, such as reading a book. When you naturally start to feel sleepy again, go to bed.
these techniques do not work and you are having real problems sleeping, or your
health is affected, discuss this with your doctor as they may be able to prescribe
Generally, once you get an adequate amount of rest for your body, your mood will be better and your stress level will decrease.
Learn more here on my guide about how to sleep better with less stress
One of the most common exercises recommended for stress is Yoga.
Many are intimidated by Yoga, but all it involves is learning how to properly stretch and improve your body postures.
It can sometimes incorporate meditation techniques as well as meditation is another common natural stress reliever.
Meditation involves techniques that help you naturally relax your body and its muscles.
It has been reported that some who meditate regularly have improved their body’s alignment also.
While there are a variety of meditation styles, generally meditation is used to relax the body by focusing the mind.
Take the Chinese meditation style Qigong for example, this type of meditation places an emphasis on your qi, or “life force and energy.”
Another great meditation technique is “mindful meditation.” This is the meditation that helps people focus on, and live, in the present.
This is actually the meditation style that is recommended for those who suffer from chronic stress.
Yoga and meditation are both ancient disciplines which work on the principle of clearing your mind of every day stresses so that you can concentrate on yourself as a whole.
Many people who practice these report that they feel much more relaxed, feel in better health and enjoy quality sleep.
Most communities have at least one yoga or meditation class you can try, or your local library or the internet should have lots of information on the basics if you prefer to study at home.
Sit somewhere quiet where you won’t be disturbed.
Close your eyes and imagine yourself in a peaceful, tranquil place, such as a secluded beach or a forest.
See the scene in your mind- feel the warm sand, smell the fresh air and breeze against your face.
Hear the gentle sounds of the waves lapping the shore or the breeze rustling the leaves on the trees.
Visualize it as clearly as possible; this will become easier with practice.
Doing this exercise regularly will help you to relax and manage your stress levels.
You will find it much easier to learn how to relax and calm your mind if you use guided meditation or self hypnosis recordings.
You can learn more about these techniques here in my Law of Attraction guide
Music can be a great stress buster.
There may be a certain piece of music which always makes you feel good- if so, make a point of listening to it more, especially when you are stressed.
There is a great selection of relaxation CDs nowadays, with natural sounds incorporated such as mountain streams, birdsong or sounds of the forest.
Play one of these and feel yourself float away.
They are great when used with the visualization technique described above.
Here is a page I created to fully explore the choices of music for relaxation and meditation that you can check out and try for yourself:
Too many people turn to smoking as they believe that it helps them to relax when things are stressful.
This is a mistaken belief- smoking does not help, and can actually make your stress worse when you are craving your next cigarette.
In addition, smoking damages your body and puts you at risk of developing cardiovascular disease, heart disease and some cancers.
The same goes for drinking alcohol to excess- another thing people tend to do to try to relax.
Learn more in my guide here about how to change bad habits.
If you are concerned that your drinking is getting out of hand, have a talk with your doctor.
Regular exercise is a great stress buster.This is because stress can cause a toxic build-up within the body.
Therefore, to help reduce the effects of this toxic build-up (circulation and digestive functions), you need to get that heart pumping and the blood moving!
You can do this by exercising. Not only does exercising reduce the toxins in your body and your stress-level, it also helps reduce weight gain!
It is a fact that many of us don’t get the weekly exercise levels recommended for maximum health, so implementing an exercise routine into your schedule will improve your overall health and help prevent you from developing diseases such as high blood pressure and cholesterol, diabetes and heart disease (many of these are also made worse by stress!)
When we exercise, our bodies release endorphins, which naturally reduce our stress levels and make us feel good. Exercise also helps us to relax as we are naturally tired afterwards rather than the mental fatigue we get from a day slouching in front of a computer.
The minimum recommended guidelines for exercise are thirty minutes five times per week. Choose an activity you feel you will enjoy and will be able to stick to regularly.
Don’t choose one which you dislike or you won’t feel motivated to do it, which can add to your stress. It might be more fun to undertake an activity with others, for example playing tennis with a friend or taking the whole family out on a cycle ride.
The best forms of exercise are those that raise your heart rate and leave you slightly out of breath.
If you have not exercised for a while, it is a good idea to get the go ahead from your doctor first.
You should start slowly and gradually build up to avoid risk of injury.
Stretch Daily. As stress builds up in the body, it’s important to find a way to release it. At the very least you should do your body the favor of flexing your muscles a little bit.
Stretching daily is a way to do just that as it will ease tension from your body. Stretching will not only relax muscle tension, but it can also help realign joints.
Even if you are so unfit that you have to lie in bed when you do it, you must stretch your body every day!
Yoga and Marital Arts classes are great ways to get your daily stretching in.
Get Rid of That Aggression! You may not be interested in formal or structured sporting activities, but you will definitely be interested in doing anything that will let loose your aaggression in a positive way.
Get a punching bag to hang from the ceiling that you can pound away at - imagine it is the head of whomever you would like to KO!
You could instead buy one of those blow up clown dolls that keeps coming back up, no matter how often you hit it off its feet. Or use a big pillow on the couch to punch away at.
On a sunny day you could grab the garden shovel and dig a vegetable patch... or chop some wood on cold days.
Grab the vacuum cleaner or broom and with every ounce of energy you have clean the floor to within an inch of its life! Scrub till the floor yells "Uncle"!
Maybe you can make to dog happy by taking it for long and vigorous walks ... fast walks that leave you too puffed out to even talk while you walk.
Or if you walk in secluded areas you can also yell your head off and say the things you would like to say out loud to some of your tormentors. Let it rip!
The dog won't care, and his happiness will soon have you feeling more cheerful as well.
Consider ways that you can physically 'let off steam' without hurting anyone, and maybe even get some chores done at the same time!
It is easy to get into bad eating habits when suffering from stress.
Stress has a way of wearing down our body both physically and emotionally, draining us of energy. This is why it’s so important that you are giving your body the good nutrition it needs to cope with stress.
Studies have shown our immune systems are strengthened when we get the right amount of Vitamin C.
Not only do we need good immune systems, but we also need strong bones and muscles, which is why we need to receive the proper amounts of Vitamin D, potassium and calcium each day.
Additionally, our bodies need a way to relax when dealing with stress, which explains why we need magnesium – it improves muscle relaxation, as well as, nerve function.
Therefore, you need to begin giving your body the nutrition it needs. For example, begin eating whole grains, fruits and veggies.
You can also give your body another boost by taking a vitamin supplement daily.
You need to make sure that when you are stressed you do not turn to fatty, sugary foods for comfort, as that just gives you a 'sugar rush' followed by what is known as the ‘sugar crash’ - a steep drop in both sugar and energy levels.
This kind of diet can have longer term health implications, as well as causing potential weight gain.
Other people find that stress makes them lose their appetite - they skip meals and seem to survive on a diet of coffee.
This is equally bad as their energy levels will be constantly low, and their immune system will be taking a battering. Eating a poor diet can cause irritability, low moods and lack of concentration.
While most of us don’t realize that the foods we consume can play a role in our stress levels, the truth is they can actually help stress build.
Here’s an example of how this works.
Let’s say you’re stressed about an upcoming test, so you begin to study hard and begin eating sugary foods and drink caffeinated beverages to give you the extra “energy” you need to study.
Caffeine and sugar will only give you a short-term energy boost and will result in a “crash” later, which will only make you more irritable.
Another example is that once you’ve finished studying, you’re loaded up on caffeine and can’t get the rest you need, which will make you irritable and cranky, increasing your stress even more.
Therefore, you should begin to eat healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables to regulate your stress level.
Food can have a big impact upon our well being, and when we are eating a healthy, well balanced diet we will find it so much easier to combat stress and feel great.
Eating smaller meals regularly spaced throughout the day will keep the metabolism steady and supply a constant stream of energy.
You should aim to eat plenty of fruit and vegetables- at least five portions a day- and reduce intake of foods containing a lot of sugar and fat.
You don’t have to cut out all the foods you enjoy, just save them for special treats and enjoy them in moderation. If you eat rice, pasta and bread, try the wholemeal varieties.
Too much caffeine can make you feel irritable and anxious, and can affect your sleep, so cut back on this.
Drink plenty of fresh water, and avoid sodas, even diet varieties- they are full of artificial sweeteners, which can cause health problems.
Eating a healthy diet will help your body fight the symptoms of stress, as well as improving your overall health.
Natural supplements have been found to help some forms of stress.
A few of the supplements commonly used include primrose oil and flax oil.
These supplements have been proven to help brain function, which is why they can also help those fighting depression.
In addition to natural fatty acids, you can supplement your diet with a multivitamin that contains ample amounts of B6.
Your mood and emotions will improve by
taking B vitamins.
There have been many herbs that have been found useful for decreasing stress too.
So many people create their own stress by self-criticism. Do not allow yourself to think negative thoughts about yourself.
Instead learn to focus on the positive things you do and not the negative. In other words, give yourself a break.
Check-in with yourself. Dealing with changing life circumstances isn’t easy and causes a lot of upheaval and stress.
During these times, it’s easy to lose sight of who you really are as a person. So, stop and take the time to check-in with yourself.
Remind yourself of who you are, the things you enjoy, what you’re passionate about and what your life goals are.
Once you can reclaim your identity, you’ll feel more in control and your stress will decrease.
Enjoy Alone Time: You don’t always have to be available to others. In fact, it’s important that you take time for yourself.
Whether it’s going on a 30 minute run, taking a bath or just reading a book – take time to rejuvenate yourself.
There is nothing wrong with this and you can even tell your family and friends so they don’t worry when they can’t reach you.
Take a Break: Stress has a funny way of making us prone to blowups or “angry outbursts.”
So, if you are feeling stressed and something angers you, try to take a short break before you address the issue or respond to the person who is angering you.
If you’ve been stressed for the majority of the day, you may find it helpful to take a 15 minute break just to clear your mind.
Don’t work hard and heavy all day long. Take those breaks for coffee or to walk around a bit.
Many companies allow their employees to take two 15-minute breaks per day and these are something you should definitely take advantage of.
If you are feeling sleepy, get up and walk around the building for a bit. This will help you get your blood pumping and energy flowing.
Plan some fun activities: Plan at least one day a week to do something that you really enjoy doing.
This may be visiting with friends over coffee, watching a movie or going horseback riding. You could even sit down and really get into that book you’ve been reading.
Be sure that each day you do your “To Do” list so you don’t have things flow into your one special day of things you like to do. You also do not want to procrastinate and overload yourself on one day.
Hit the “Off” Button. That’s right – you can minimize the stress in your life just by hitting the “off” button…to your cell phone, television and computer!
A lot of times, we allow outside sources to influence our happiness and increase the stress in our lives.
Learn more here about how to achieve mind body spirit balance.
Therefore, when you start to feel stress from outside sources – turn them off.
It has been proven that people who pray or meditate for 10-20 minutes every day have a reduced stress level than those who do not.
So, why not give it a try?
If you’ve never meditated or prayed before, you can easily find information regarding both online and on this site.
You may also be able to incorporate guided imagery into your new daily routine.
You can learn more here in my free guide for how to meditate to help manage stress better
Tap Into Your Inner Artist: While you may not believe it, art therapy has actually been proven to reduce stress levels.
Therefore, tap into your inner artist and eliminate stress by signing up for an art class!
Learn a Craft: There are so many simple to do but very beautiful and useful crafts that you can quickly learn and get fast results from.
Something as simple as dried flower arranging, or making wreaths or decorating little baskets with flowers, takes little skill but is very relaxing and beautiful.
You can learn on this site how to make candles or any of the other fun crafts featured here. A lot can be made in a day or a couple of hours, and you get to enjoy your handiwork for long after!
Scrapbook your Good Times: If you already have diaries or journals, and collections of photographs, then you can start to 'tell your story' while decorating and illustrating the pages.
It is a great way to share history, share family memories, re-live and remember the good times you have had, and create a legacy that you can look back on when you are feeling a bit down in the dumps.
If you want to create graphic pages but don't have lots of photos you can get my collection of nearly 10,000 images with instant download =>> Royalty Free Graphics Pack
Start a Hobby: If you don't feel particularly creative or confident in your artistic abilities, you can still start a creative Craft, or a Hobby that interests you or begin collecting objects that you enjoy having.
The first thing you can do to reduce your stress level is adjust your perspective. Think about the things that are currently stressing you out and then look at the big picture.
Are those things going to matter in a couple of weeks, months or years?
For example, if you don’t get the pile of laundry done today, how will your life be affected in a year? More than likely, your life won’t be affected that much.
However, if you don’t get your electric bill paid by the due date, then you will see immediate results. So, adjust your perspective and stress about the things that need to be stressed about and let the other things go.
It’s easy to get caught up with a pressing issue and blow it out of proportion.
Therefore, always try to look at the big picture when there is an issue causing you stress.
For example, will the outcome affect you 5 years from now, 10 years or 50 years from now?
If not, try not to stress about it – keep it all in perspective.
This is an extension of Tip #1, as once you have learned WHAT the things and events are that trigger your increased stress levels, you then need to start working out what the things are you need to start doing to AVOID those high stress triggers from overtaking your life.
Avoid Stress: How in the world do you avoid stress? Doesn’t stress have a way of finding us?
Sometimes it does, but a lot of time it can actually be avoided. For example, you have the ability to say “no” to things that just add stress.
You can also avoid those who irritate you or have a way of adding extra stress. This also goes for stressful situations too.
If you know a situation is going to stress you out – avoid it and don’t go, if possible. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that.
While we don’t like to admit it, most of the time we cause our own stress when we fail to plan.
For example, vehicles breaking down, a forgotten meeting, health problems and other stressful situations can usually be avoided if we plan ahead and take care of ourselves.
These kinds of “everyday stress” not only has the ability to become chronic, but it can also lead to a variety of other health problems as well.
This is why it’s important that you learn how to prevent the most common everyday stresses in a healthy way.
Learn to say "NO!" ... Oh my, I can already see you wince when you read that!
As a natural 'people pleaser' myself, I know too well how hard it is to put yourself first, and simply refuse to take on more responsibilites to an already overbooked day.
But if you do not start to learn what is REALLY essential, compared to what is simply taking on the tasks of someone who just doesn't want to do it... and who knows you can be pressured into doing their tasks for them, you will always be over extended and over worked.
You know who I'm talking about, don't you? We all have those friends or co-workers who know how to take advantage of you!
If when you start to say "No" they then start to leave you alone, what have you lost? I would say you gained some space from people who just take advantage of you, not 'lost a friend' at all!
Avoid certain activities. On this page you can read about all the things you can do to help you manage your stress level as you deal with major life changes.
Well, it’s also important to realize that there are several things you need to avoid doing to keep a low stress level.
Some activities that you may 'enjoy' at the moment, may actually be worsening your condition and increasing your already high stress levels.
They include drinking excessively, gambling, smoking, excessive shopping, starving yourself, overeating and procrastinating.
Alter Stress: Okay, so we all know that sometimes stressful situations cannot be avoided. If this is the case, then look for ways that you can change, or alter, these situations.
A few of the common ways that you can do this include: communicating more and being more assertive to ensure that your thoughts and feelings are known (do this nicely), make an effort to compromise as this generally makes everyone happy, and try to practicing better time management.
Adapt to the Stress: When it’s obvious that a stressful situation isn’t going to go away or be able to be resolved, it’s time for you to adapt.
This basically means that you change your attitude towards the stressful situations. Try to look for the positive in the situation and look at the “big picture.”
Also, if necessary, change your standards. Don’t always expect things to go perfectly – be realistic.
Accept the Stress: Accepting the stressful situations that won’t go away is very much like adapting to them. However, there are a few subtle differences.
For example, when accepting the stress you will accept the fact that you aren’t able to control the situation. When this happens, you’ll just have a peace about it. You will also be able to forgive and share your feelings when needed.
Stress does not have to control your life and, believe it or not, you don’t have to do a long list of things to manage it.
If you can learn to incorporate the above principles into your life, your daily stress will go down dramatically.
Many people try to push their feelings to the side when stressful situations arise.
However, this is something that you should not do.
Allow yourself the freedom to deal with your frustration, anger or grief regarding the situation.
This is the best thing you can do for your physical and emotional health.
Don’t stew in your emotions.
While you need to deal with your emotions and allow yourself to get them out, you don’t want to allow yourself to constantly stew, or wallow, in them.
When people stew in their emotions for long periods of time it not only wears them down and drains their energy, but it can make them become better and angry people too.
So, find some things to do to take your mind off of your current emotions when you feel as if you’re beginning to stew.
Creative activities such as taking an art class, reading, sculpting and writing in a journal are great ways to work through your emotions without stewing.
It’s extremely easy to see the negative in difficult situations, which leads to more stress.
However, if you start looking for the positives in the situation, you’ll begin to feel the stress lighten and may even see the “way out” too.
Starting a "Gratitude Journal" is a great way to learn how to think positive.
Simply spend a few minutes each evening before you go to sleep asking yourself what 5 things you can be grateful about... the people who love you, the beautiful weather you had, the smile of a stranger... whatever makes you feel happier and grateful.
Once this positive form of questioning becomes a habit, you will have started to think in a more optimistic way about your day and the days ahead of you.
Herbal teas can help a variety of ailments and stress is one of them.
They have been shown to help relax people and lower their stress levels.
Therefore, give herbal teas a shot. A few popular herbal teas for stress are catnip tea, chamomile tea and lemon balm.
However, there are many more.
You can drink these teas throughout the day, but if under a lot of stress, it’s recommended that you do it right before bed as well.
Herbal remedies can include aromatherapy where scented oils release relaxing fragrances in the air. You can also use herbal remedies in your soothing bath, or in a steam facial.
I ALWAYS have aromotherapy working for me in my home and my office. I use scented candles, oil burners with water, pot pourri, and I also spray eucalyptus oil in the room when I need to freshen up and concentrate to think clearly.
You can also use rosemary oil on your pressure points to relieve stress and effects of headaches.
There are many kinds of Bach Remedies that naturopaths recommend to help reduce stress and nerves.
I personally like to take Tang Kuai herbal tablets every day. This herb acts as a muscle relaxant, and when I take it with Xtra-Cal tablets, the calcium works together with it as a form of nerve tonic that I find very helpful.
If you don’t have an herb garden in your yard, and not many people do, then you can still get your herbs from a health food store.
When it comes to herbal remedies for stress relief, the five most popular herbs are:
· Echinacea – Native Americans relied on this herb for symptoms of respiratory distress. It’s widely sought after today to combat symptoms of colds and flu.
Echinacea is also a common ingredient in commercial cough drops, although the amount in that product is less than what you could get in an herbal formula. Echinacea is also important in supporting the immune system function.
· Ginkgo and Ginkgo Biloba is rising rapidly as an herb that improves brain function and memory. The extent of it’s power isn’t known, but it does have the ability to improve circulation.
Ginkgo Biloba is also an element advertised in commercial tonics and tablets, however, consumers have to be careful that the quality and quantity of this herb is sufficient to matter.
· St. John’s Wort was a little known herb until it came to attention as a natural alternative to anti-depressant medications. Critics in the medical profession say that the dosage is not as predictable as with prescription medications.
Proponents of herbal remedies counter that the safety and lack of addiction potential still make St. John’s Wort a good alternative to prescription drugs.
· Chamomile is more than a flavorful tea, it’s an herbal remedy that relieves the discomfort of muscle cramping and reduces anxiety. This herbal tea is also a remedy for insomnia.
· Ginseng is an herbal remedy that has been handed down from ancient Chinese culture. Ginseng is an adaptogen, a substance that can ward off physical and mental strain so that the body can return to normal levels of functioning.
That’s why Ginseng is recommended by herbalists for fatigue and stress, particularly when recovering from an illness.
Start a Journal: While this may seem to be a repeat of what a lot of other people advise for handling stress, starting a journal will actually help you gain control over your stress.
By getting your thoughts and feelings out on paper, you’ll actually be able to go back later and take an objective look at the situation.
Make a Plan: By identifying your stressors, examining your current methods for dealing with them and writing in a journal you’ll be able to begin making a plan for how to eliminate these stressors.
It’s important to realize that it may take longer than a day or two to make an effective plan. Your plan needs to incorporate realistic changes that you can make on a daily basis to eliminate your stressors.
Make Changes. If you find yourself in stressful situations often, then you need to make changes to your lifestyle. Take an objective look at your current lifestyle and identify what is stressing you out the most.
Then, decide on what you can do differently to prevent the unnecessary stress. For example, maybe you feel disorganized and making a list or schedule will help. Whatever it is, make the necessary changes.
As you follow your plan daily, you’ll notice that you aren’t as stressed and overwhelmed because you’ve made the changes necessary to eliminate these worries.
You’ll also find that not only are you able to take breaks, but you’ll be able to enjoy them and not worry about the things you have left to do!
Stick to It: Once you’ve got a plan made, it’s time to put it into action and STICK TO IT.
It takes roughly 25 days to create a habit, which means you will have to make a constant effort for approximately a month before you’ll notice the difference in your life.
Pets are simplistic and they have an easygoing life. Psychologists report that pets can be very beneficial to our mental health.
They provide unconditional love and they always seem to be there for you. Just petting your pet can be a stress relieving activity.
Animals are content with just a little of attention, so you don’t have to commit a lot of time trying to please them.
You can spend as much time as you want giving them attention to help relieve your stress levels.
If you owned a pet as a child, then you know they are relatively easy to care for.
If you have a pet now, then you
should consider spending a little more time with them and trying to see how
much they can help you relieve your stress. Get to know your dog better and have some fun with your buddy.
Even people who have very hectic lives can make room for a few goldfish in an aquarium or a small garden pond. Fish are low maintenance and incredibly relaxing to watch them swimming around.
If you want to care for pets that are a little more of a hobby in themselves, and that will serve to distract you and provide an interest for you to follow, you could consider adopting exotic pets like reptiles and pet snakes even.
Remember, rapid change causes you excess stress. Try to limit the amount of change in your life.
Patterns are good and stress free. If you are able to keep your life as change free as possible the better.
Don’t schedule any changes that are not absolutely necessary.
Also, if you are getting a new job, don’t take on any other responsibilities at the same time.
If you must make changes, give yourself time to adjust to those changes that you are experiencing.
Once you are acclimated, then you can decide on any new changes that you want to add.
Learning time management is essential to better stress management!
Without a doubt, one of the triggers of your stress at this moment would be that there are never enough hours in the day, or days in the week, to get everything done!
That is a symptom that you are overwhelming yourself and have unrealistic expectations of what you can achieve every day.
Time management is much easier to learn and implement than you probably expect.
I have published a great time management book to show you how to manage time to achieve more with less stress!
I'll feature it here as soon as I have it loaded on the site here.
Pay Attention to the Time: Don’t overwork yourself if you don’t absolutely have to. For example, if you don’t have to stay late at work then don’t do it. Resist the urge to finish up and go home.
Block off your schedule into specific times for specific things. If you are in school and working, block out some time to study.
Keep Your Schedule: If you are able to get on a schedule and stay on one then you’re going to find that life is a lot less stressful.
It is very important to get on a daily, regular schedule. This will ensure that your body gets enough sleep and that your daily rhythms remain consistent.
If you have problems sleeping, it may take about a month for your body to get back on a regular sleeping pattern.
If you keep to a normal schedule by going to bed at the same time every night and getting up at the same time every morning, your body will adjust much more quickly.
More tips on my online guide here for better time managment
Sometimes stress can be so overwhelming that medication needs to be used to help people manage it.
There is nothing wrong with this. However, if you want to use medication to help you manage your stress, you should only do so with the help of a doctor.
Most of the time, medication is not recommended for dealing with normal, everyday stress. It is generally only used temporarily until you are able to find the cause of your stress and learn how to manage stress on your own.
A lot of times, stress is the result of a lack of knowledge or understanding.
If this is the case, then you should take the time to begin researching the subject it is that you don’t know much about.
There is a lot of power and relief that comes from learning about various topics.
You’ll be surprised about how much a little research can lower your stress level.
If you think that stress is becoming a real problem in your life, don’t wait until it affects your health- deal with the cause, practice some of the techniques given to you in this report and feel the benefits.
I have published a book that covers in detail all the things you can do to reduce and manage stress in your life.
If you are serious about wanting to learn how to manage stress you should definitely check it out.
This how to book has 170 pages of straight to the point steps for how to manage or reduce stress.
I'm proud of how information packed this book is, and I guarantee that you will get great results when you follow the steps in it, or you will get your money back!
For many years this book sold at retail for $27 but for this new how to book site, and to be aligned with the pricing offered on Amazon Kindle books nowadays, I have reduced it to a measly $17 - and you get the book in three formats to read and print out in whatever mode you prefer to read and learn.
Instant download of .pdf and Kindle .mobi and ePub formats!
And you will also get some great surprise bonuses too!
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