Would you not agree that everyone is affected by some form of stress or anxiety?
Once you learn what causes your stress or anxiety, you can learn the best ways to reduce it and deal with it effectively.
Use these handy tools to identify your stressors and ways to reduce their effects on you.
- Journaling how you feel and what is causing your stress will help you to determine what your stressors are and how you can react to them.
- Physical Symptoms: Do you have headaches, upset stomach, grind your teeth, tense muscles? Are you sleepy all the time, or do you have trouble sleeping? I keep a journal of when these symptoms are worse, so I can listen to when my body is telling me to slow down.
- Is Your Stress Work-Related? Are you overworked, working long hours with little reward? Do you have too much responsibility, or are you afraid of losing your job?
- Is Your Stress Coming From a Dysfunctional Relationship at Home? Are you dealing with teenagers or others who don’t respect you? Are you a caregiver for a special needs child or elderly parent?
Once you identify your stressors, you can then look at:
Creating Your List of Stress Reduction Tools
- Your attitude affects how you deal with stress. Negative thoughts make a situation more stressful. Look for the silver lining within your situatiuon.
- Deep breathing techniques. Adding guided imagery or soothing music will help you do the breathing techniques more effectively.
- Yoga releases stress hormones and has been known to relax the body.
- Meditation allows your mind to relax and find solutions to your problems.
- Practice aromatherapy, a process that uses essential oils to promote relaxation. I have a variety of oils, including Lavender and Valor, to help me relax.
- Have a variety of herbal teas to help you relax. When I feel stressed, I take a few minutes to relax with a cup of herbal tea.
- Keep track of what and when you are eating. Try not to turn to food when you feel stressed. Find other ways to deal with it instead.
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet to help build up your immune system and lower your blood pressure.
- Eliminate processed foods (fast food) to help your body feel better. When you feel better, you can cope with stressful situations better.
- Choose foods that give you energy, like raw foods such as oranges, nuts, or spinach, Omega 3 Fatty acid foods such as fish as well are fabulous options.
- Don’t skip meals. Get three healthy meals each day.
- Eliminate mindless eating. No longer snack on bags of potato chips or cookies.
- Steer clear of simple carbs like candy and sweets.
- Get out of the house when you are stressed. Attend comedy shows or watch funny movies. Laughter is a tremendous stress reliever.
- Listen to your favourite music. Classical music has been shown to soothe emotions. Dance, sing and have fun.
- Volunteer and give your time to helping others. Also, remember to keep time on your calendar for yourself.
- When your muscles are tense, spend a day at the spa. Permit yourself to get a spa treatment to help relax your muscles.
- Enjoy relaxing with a good book.
- Explore new hobbies like painting, ceramics or crafts. Find hobbies you enjoy, and that keeps your hands and mind busy.
- Gardening can become a passion. Planting flowers or vegetables can be very relaxing.
- Take a soothing bath when you’re stressed. Light candles add calming bath salt like lavender or chamomile. Put on an eye mask and relax.
- Learn to say “NO.” Your family can take care of themselves occasionally.
- Play like a kid or play with your kids. Let go. Run. Giggle. Just be silly.
- Call or spend time with positive friends when you feel stress overwhelming you. Their energy will be contagious.
- Get out of the house if the stress is there. Go to a movie or a new restaurant.
- Spend time doing things you enjoy, like taking a walk in nature or visiting a museum.
- Talk to your doctor about your stress.
- When or if your stress becomes too much for you to handle contact a professional to help you through it. You do not have to battle it alone.
Avoiding Stress – Is It Possible?
Honestly, I don’t think you can entirely avoid stress, but there are ways to assist you in “dodging” it.
- You can keep a time management log to prioritize your tasks into what is essential and what can wait.
- You can manage your time by doing things in short blocks of time or asking others to help with projects.
- You can adjust the part of your lifestyle that seems to be the most stressful. You do not have to juggle everything.
- Say “NO” to obligations that aren’t a priority. Some things don’t have to be dealt with right away. Or there may be someone else who can jump to the task.
- Get enough sleep. Sleep helps your body recover. Keep a notepad by your bed to write down what keeps you awake at night.
- You can change your lifestyle to one that is healthier. Eating healthy foods, limit your alcohol consumption and don’t smoke. Exercising, even moderately, daily.
- Whenever a stressful situation arises, do not give it your immediate response. Always take little time to think about it before you react.
- The past is in the past. Concentrate on the here and now and what things you can control.
- Learn to think positively. Try to find the good in every situation.
- Giving thanks for the blessings in your life right now is a priority to do every day.
- Spend time listening to your inner self. Take breaks when your body tells you things are getting too stressful.
- Genuinely care about others and how they feel. Smile and hug more often.
- Learn to embrace yourself in your beliefs, values, and faith fully.
- Forgiveness helps lift a weight off your shoulders. It gets rid of the bitterness and negativity surrounding blame.
I trust you have found some new tools for your toolbox as you combat the stress in your life.