Stress is like an insidious force that works against us every day, depleting our health, robbing us of pleasure, wearing us down and burning us out. The negative effects of stress on both our minds and our bodies are numerous and well-documented. Yet many of us go about our daily routine without making much of an effort to reduce the stress in our lives. But you have more control than you might think. In fact, the simple realization that you’re in control of your life is the foundation of stress management. Managing stress is all about taking charge: of your thoughts, emotions, schedule, and the way you deal with problems. Here are some helpful stress busting tips.
- If you are feeling stressed don’t forget to breathe.
“Breathing helps us to recognize our intimate connection with the world around us. . . As we learn to refine our own breathing it regulates our energy flow, allowing our tensions to ease” (Tarthang Tulku)
- Do something you enjoy. Be sure to dedicate time each day to spend with your family or working on a hobby that interests you. Doing this will bring greater balance and calm into your life, and help you get through a particularly tough day on the job. Doing things you enjoy a great antidote to stress.
- Exercise. Get out and do some exercise. Stress creates tension that can be relieved with a little exercise. Not only does exercise help you use up pent-up energy and stay loose, but it also triggers the release of endorphins – brain chemicals that counteract the negative effects of stress. So what are you waiting for – get your fix of endorphins, and relieve pent up tension.
- Smile – remember the song – smile and the whole world smiles with you. So why not give it a try today, what have you to lose?
- Beat stress! Eat healthily. Try to reduce as much as possible highly processed carbs, caffeine and sugar. These junk foods give you a shot of blood sugar/energy that wreaks havoc on your body chemistry and over time just makes you feel unwell. Try replacing coffee with tea, drink water and get your requirements of fruits and vegetables. Also eat sensible portions at meals. In addition to the physical benefits of eating well, you will also have greater peace of mind.
- Feeling stressed? Are you getting enough sleep. Experts believe that getting less that seven or eight hours each night is detrimental to most people. Yet in our hectic lives, sleep is often the first thing we sacrifice. The body and the mind both need adequate sleep to wake fully rested ready to start the next day. Try to get to bed at a reasonable time and sleep on a comfortable mattress.
- Unplug and eliminate the constant chatter! That means setting aside time each day to turn off the TV, turn off the radio, and power down the computer. We’re constantly hit by a barrage of hype, bad news, “urgent” messages, and flickering lights. Too much exposure to these things contributes to our cluttered and stressed-out state of mind. Unplug and enjoy the silence.
- Learn to meditate or practice yoga. Meditation has been practiced for centuries as a way to boost the spirit and defend against the stress of life. Consider adding meditation or yoga to your regular routine.
- Listen to relaxing music. Music is a natural mood-setter. Put on some calming music and your mind will respond by becoming calm. Listen to whatever you prefer, whether it is classical, jazz or laid-back contemporary songs.
- Try acupuncture. Acupuncture can be very helpful as it works on re-balancing our system. Stimulation of certain acupuncture points has been shown to affect areas of the brain that are known to reduce sensitivity to pain and stress, as well as promoting relaxation and deactivating the ‘analytical’ brain, which has been shown to be responsible for insomnia and anxiety.
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