Stress is a huge cause of anxiety, and when the two of them come strolling in, hand in hand, we all know things can get tough. So, when it comes to stress, be it from work, home or somewhere else, one thing we always need to keep in mind is how we keep ourselves balanced, in control and generally in a positive state. Of-course there will be times when things get a bit tough, and that’s okay. It’s a part of life, but, when we have strategies to deal with these things, we can always make sure we re-balance.
For example, students writing end year exams will generally “turn up the pressure” to get through their work, and this may be necessary for a short time. However, once those exams are done, they can make sure they take some time to recuperate and re-balance themselves using some of these techniques. The same applies of busy executives faced with important deadlines, or stressed mums who have a million things to do.
Here are 10 simple strategies you can try:
- Try the “Stop Technique” (click here to get a free copy of the “Stop Technique! ” . This is so simple and can easily be incorporated into our daily lives, and yet it is deceptively powerful!
- Have a blast! Do something you enjoy everyday – play with your kids, go for a run, a swim, a game of football or golf, watch a movie – whatever you enjoy!
- Connect with a friend – When we connect with others, our bodies release a hormone called oxytocin – also known as the cuddle hormone – which gives us that feel good feeling (click here to read more about how oxytocin is our body’s way of telling us to reach out for help during stress)
- Diet, sleep and exercise may seem obvious, but oh so important.
- Go outside – again, may seem obvious, but so easy and makes such a difference to the way you feel – plain, simple fresh air. This is linked to our body’s need for vitamin D and our body’s way of telling us to “go outside”! When you feel the fresh air or the warm sunshine against your skin and take a few deep breaths, you instantly feel more relaxed and positive.
- Take a warm shower or bath – could a bit difficult in the office, I agree! But maybe once you get home – warm water has a very calming effect – even better if you can add a few fragranced candles and some soft music!
- Go out of your way to help somebody else – takes the focus off ourselves when we can see there are always others that are in a worse situation than ourselves and releases those feel good hormones.
- Here’s a big one – Do you sometimes feel like you’re going NUTS? Well, change those negative useless thoughts (NUTS!!), and replace them with positive affirmations – something that’s useful to you – for example, when I’m stressed, I do the Stop Technique, and tell myself “I am calm & relaxed, I am calm & relaxed, I can cope” – I keep telling myself this, until I actually feel it. So much better than telling myself “I’m so stressed, I can’t cope” and then going into a negative downward spin.
- Gratitude – Thankfully, stress is not so much a result of what is going on in our life as it is about how we perceive those things. The beauty about this is that we have some control over how we perceive the world around us. But one of the most powerful ways to return balance to the body is through the constant practice of gratitude. Robert Emmons, Ph.D., and professor at the University of California, Davis, has written the first major scientific study on gratitude, its causes, and potential impact on human health. In his work entitled Thanks! How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier. Dr. Emmons concluded that “grateful people experience higher levels of positive emotions such as joy, enthusiasm, love, happiness, and optimism, and the practice of gratitude as a discipline protects a person from the destructive impulses of envy, resentment, greed, and bitterness.” Further benefits of practicing gratitude include an increased ability to cope with stress, a stronger immune function leading to quicker recovery from illness, and an increased feeling of connectedness, which helps to improve relationships.
- Be early. Being late is very stressful. Try to leave earlier by getting ready earlier, or by scheduling more space between events. Things often take longer than expected, so schedule some buffer time: extra time to get ready, to commute, to do errands before you need to be somewhere.
These are just some of the things we can do to manage stress. Like most things, we need practice. We have plenty of opportunities every day to practice these steps. You don’t have to practice them all at once. You can choose to practice one a day, one a week or even one a month – it’s completely up to you. It takes practice but, if you put in the work, you will reap the benefits.
“If you ask what is the single most important key to longevity, I would have to say it is avoiding worry, stress and tension. And if you didn’t ask me, I’d still have to say it.” – George F. Burns
Stress is a serious issue that eats away at our health, our relationships and our well-being.
To learn more about how to reduce stress and anxiety, improve performance and be a more confident leader schedule your Free Complimentary Discovery Session here.
Mind Solutions empowers executives, senior managers and business owners who feel isolated at the top with nobody to talk to and under pressure to perform, to reduce stress and anxiety, improve performance and become more confident leaders. Using cutting edge tools of psychology Corina creates a unique and tailored solution to help her clients transform their lives and their business.