Practical Tips On How To Release Stress In Your Daily Life
Living in today’s world almost inevitably means that we are going to experience stress at one point of the other in our life.
And while a bit of stress can have a positive stimulating effect and help us improve mental sharpness and become more productive, being under constant stress with no opportunity for our body or mind to come back to a relaxed state, becomes detrimental to our health.
Stress has been linked to a higher risk of heart attacks, higher blood pressure and cholesterol levels, as well as weight issues. It can affect both gastrointestinal and immune systems. And of course, stress can affect relationship and work performance.
One of the problems with stress is that it becomes so habitual that people do not always realise they are stressed. Ongoing tension, strain and worry become normal.
That’s Why It Is Important To Recognize One’s Stress Symptoms
These can range from:
- Headaches, neck and shoulder tensions, back pain, excessive tiredness
- Sleeping difficulties
- Shortness of breath and asthma
- Indigestion and other gastrointestinal problems
- Hormone imbalance
- Behavioral symptoms such as excessive anger or irritability, frustration, anxiety, or withdrawal
- Excessive alcohol or caffeine intake, overeating, in particular eating of sweet, salty and fatty foods, and of course smoking
Identifying The Source Of Your Stress Is Part Of The Strategy In Learning To Deal With It
Is The Stress In Your Life Due To Internal or External Causes?
Internal factors can include perfectionism such as:
- setting unrealistic expectations for yourself or taking on too much
When The Source Of Your Stress Is External, It May Be Possible At Times, To Remove The Cause Of Your Stress By:
- changing the environment – as in changing relationship or changing jobs
But in most cases removing the source of your stress can be difficult. What can be done though, is to learn to deal with it better.
The First Thing You Can Do To Help You Deal With Stress
- Maintain optimum health, as our ability to cope with stressful experiences, is always higher when we are in top form.Optimum health means that we are well hydrated and eat at regular times the right balance of proteins, complex carbohydrates and good fats; we rest well and exercise appropriately.Once this is done it is important to relax body and mind of tensions that may accumulate throughout the day either by stretching regularly or choosing a type of exercise that helps release tensions such as yoga – although some more intense, high-energy exercises like boxing, martial arts or weight training can also help release stress – or by getting a massage.
- A hot bath and shower with essential oils such as lavender, citrus oils (lemon, lemongrass, orange…), rose, sandalwood or frankincense are another wonderful way to relax body and mind after a busy day at work.
- To calm the mind, use the breath. Breathe in through the nose, slowly and deeply and breathe out through the nose or mouth, letting go of stressful thoughts and counteractive emotions as you do.
- Or meditate. Meditation helps stop the chatter of the mind; you can choose to focus either on the breath, a word that you repeat like a mantra, or a positive emotion such as joy or peace or just by looking at a candle with a soft gaze.
If You Find That You Feel Stressed Because You Have Too Much On All The Time, Work Towards Managing Your Time Better
- For example by saying no to some activities or people
- Are there activities, which clutter your life, and that you need to let go of?
- Or do you need to delegate more or ask for support
Do You Need To Focus On One Task Rather Than Multitasking?
You will find that by focusing on one task at a time you are actually more productive.
Make Sure Also To Take Some Time Out and Have Regular Breaks During Your Day or Week
Schedule activities in your every day life that you love doing and that will help you relax.
Another great tool that can help us release stress, as it is physiologically impossible to be both stressed and grateful at the same time.
People who write gratitude journals find, after a while, that they start to notice more good things happening in their life.
Finally remember to laugh often
Laughter has been shown to lower stress hormones and among others, boost the immune system.
So develop a good sense of humor. Laugh at yourself and ask: “How serious is this?”
This will help put things into perspective and look at stressful events in a lighter manner.
Keep in mind that with stress, it is not so much what happens to you that matters but your perception of what happens to you!
Image Credit: Marina del Castell