What techniques can we apply to encourage stress and anxiety relief in our lives? In this article we will look at 10 simple ways to relieve stress and anxiety.
What is stress? Stress is a feeling of emotional or physical tension. It can come from any event or thought that makes you feel frustrated, angry, or nervous. Stress is your body’s reaction to a challenge or demand.
A certain degree of stress is healthy, it keeps us on our toes and drives us to achieve. In essence stress will cause us to lead more fulfilling lives.
The difficulty however is, how do we create a healthy balance of stress? Because, too much stress and anxiety is certainly harmful to our health and well-being.
1. Tune Into Your Body
A simple idea it may be, but one that is the key to unlocking the box to the other techniques that relieve stress and anxiety we shall examine. Be aware of the degree of stress that you’re experiencing at any one moment in time.
First of all you need to know when your stress levels are rising.
Measure your stress level on a scale of 1-10. While you’re at home find a time when you are alone and when you can lie down with your eyes closed. Put on your favorite music for relaxing or just sit in silence, whatever works best for you.
Just let your mind wander and do not seek to hold your thoughts, no matter how fleeting. After 10 minutes or so you should be aware of level zero stress.
This is the gauge for measuring all other stress levels. During the day check into the scale and not the level of tension that you’re feeling: are your shoulders hunched and tense; how does your gut feel, is it tight and churning; is your jaw clenched?
2. Take time to move
Movement is a great way to relieve stress and anxiety levels. Just by getting out and moving around you will find that you will feel a measure of stress and anxiety relief. A brisk walk a few times during the day and a short jogging session at the end of the day will reduce tension.
Generally aim to keep fit anyway.
3. Take time for deep breathing
Simply breath deeply, inhaling through the nostrils, after holding the breath for a count of three exhale slowly through the mouth.
4. Take time to use your minds power of imagery
This is another great way to bring stress and anxiety relief into you life. Just take a moment or two to imagine that you are somewhere else.
Hear the sound of the sea, create the vivid colors of the sky in your mind, soar of to your favorite place and do not wait for that distant vacation; go there today. The more vivid the images the better this stress and anxiety relief technique will work.
5. Take time to challenge your irrational thoughts
Be aware of you inner voice and the messages that it is sending to you. Often these thoughts are based on previous mind conditioning and the thoughts will be harmful and create unnecessary levels of stress.
For example if you are under pressure to get something done by a particular time you may find yourself thinking” I must get this done or else I’m fired and I’ll need to find another job!” This is probably not the case and if it is then you’re probably better looking for another job anyway.
6. Take time to plan work into smaller manageable tasks
A large task can be overwhelming and may need to be broken down into simpler easier to complete jobs. We meet more step by step targets this way and feel a greater sense of achievement after each step is finished.
Give your self a reward for completing the smaller task and do not wait for the final task before you give yourself a pat on the back.
7. Take time to reduce caffeine intake
Have you ever seen a two-year old completely wired after chomping through a few cookies or drinking cola? Well that’s exactly what happens to all of us when we take in too much sugar or caffeine. Unlike regular tea Red Tea has no caffeine and is a healthy choice.
8. Take time to have a play break
Some professionals keep “squish” balls, or stress balls, in their work space a simple squeeze is all that is needed to relieve stress and anxiety. Other people take a few minutes to play a quick video game on their phone to relieve stress.
9. Take time to Blow Off Steam – but fairly
Don’t think that you can’t vent a little, but just remember words spoken in anger can haunt you for a long time if they’re read or overheard by the wrong person. Don’t put anything in email you don’t want the whole office to see.
10. Take time to understand that a little stress is worthwhile
Finally, remember that it’s natural to feel stress when you leave your comfort zone. Some stress must be endured as you expand your horizons, learn new tasks and earn new responsibilities.
That kind of stress may not be much fun, but in the long run, it’s worth it!
BONUS: This is a fantastic tip to help you when you’re stressed, angry, anxious or upset
Try holding your frontal eminences. These are bumps on your forehead that many people hold instinctively when they’re upset.
For those of you who don’t do this naturally, lets locate them. Feel up from the middle of your eyebrows going towards your hairline. Your forehead comes outwards before it curves back in towards the hairline. Hold your forehead at the points where it is furthest out – about 3cms (1.25 inches) above the middle of each eyebrow.
While you hold these points think about the stressful event. It can be something that has already happened, something that is about to happen, or something you fear may never happen! Gradually you should find that the stress lessens.
You can use it for small things, but you can also use it for more traumatic events too. If the thoughts/images are too overwhelming initially, imagine you are watching it on a TV – you can always switch it off if becomes too stressful – you’re the one in charge.
You can watch it in black and white if that feels easier too. Use it to defuse anything that you feel anxious, stressed, angry or fearful about.
You may want to do it several times covering different aspects of the problem. You can do them one after the other, or at different times, whichever feels best for you.
As you hold the points and think about/imagine the event, you will probably start to feel calmer – you may even find that you start to feel a little bored thinking about this scenario that previously stressed or angered you so much.
Why does it work?
These particular points on the forehead, known as frontal eminences, are reflex points with connections to the central meridian (involved with the brain), the stomach meridian (and your stomach often churns when you’re anxious or angry), and the bladder meridian (trips to the bathroom are often necessary when we’re apprehensive).
Consult your doctor for more advice.
Consult your doctor before using any health treatment, including herbal supplements and natural remedies. And, tell your doctor if you have a serious medical condition or are taking any medications.
The information presented here is for educational purposes only.