All You Need For Long Term Stress Relief

Stress relief comes in many different forms and as people increasingly feel the pressures of their everyday lives, more and more people are looking to manage their stress relief.  And the internet is an increasingly valuable source of information with more websites (including this one) devoted to the topic of stress management.

Most stress relief techniques are effective for the majority of people if followed properly.  I know this from personal experience.  However, if you are looking to eliminate your stress completely, practically all stress relief techniques do not go far enough.  This is because they only treat the symptoms, rather than addressing the cause of your stress.  So if you want to eliminate or lower your stress over the long term, you need to tackle your stress from a whole different perspective.

The commonly known stress relief techniques, such as deep breathing exercises, gentle walks, vigorous exercise, meditation, massage and so on are all excellent to reduce stress levels once they have reached overbearing levels.  However, they are all reactive ways of tackling stress.  They do not address the root cause of the stress.  In reality, they are simply stress “band aids”.  And in the long term you need an altogether strategy to reduce your stress.

So what can you do if you want to really tackle your stress?  To answer this you have to go back to the beginning of what exactly stress is.

Stress is what you perceive it to be.  This means that if you do not perceive something to be stressful, then it is not stressful.  And this is irrespective of whether or not your best friend, mother, partner or work mate or whoever gets stressed out at the same situation.  So to reduce your stress in the long term, you simply have to change what you perceive to be stressful.  In other words, you have to decide to stop getting stressed out by changing your perspective of what stresses you.

Fortunately achieving this level of internal relaxation is not as difficult as it sounds.  But it does need you to want to do it. 

Step 1

You need to take stock of what triggers your stress levels to rise, and when these situations arise.  You must realize that it is not actually these triggers which cause you to get stressed, but rather your reaction to them.  And more specifically your inability to control your reaction causes your stress levels to rise. 

Step 2

Secondly, you need to reframe the situation.  This means that you need to turn it around to view it from a different perspective.  For example, if you always get stressed when the train is late, why not take the opportunity to get fitter by cycling instead?  Or if you are feeling the pressure from that big meeting, try see it as an opportunity to shine instead. 

Step 3

Lastly if you find reframing difficult to do, imagine the worst case scenario.  This is usually not nearly as bad as you originally feared and will help you realize that you really are stressing too much.

Step 4

Get into the habit of using positive affirmations to change your perspectives of stressful situations. 

Use these steps to get your perceptions of stress under control and you will soon realize that you are becoming more relaxed as the days go by.  Stress management works, but stress avoidance is the only way to lower your stress  levels long term.

What do you do to relieve your stress?  Do you agree that positive affirmations work?  Leave a comment and let me know!

The Only Guaranteed Way To Beat Stress is…

Best Stress Relief Techniques
No, It's Not Eating Chocolate!

I wonder how many people take stress relief seriously.  Sure, stress can lead to many serious, even fatal health conditions, can put untold pressure into already strained relationships and can cause untold misery as sufferers get pigeon-holed into desperate situations as they become blinkered to realizing their full potential (if you want help on this last one, just click on the ebook, top right). 

And all this can make anyone complain about their stress levels. But is it enough for them to take stress relief seriously?

I have discussed stress relief techniques and methods in numerous posts before, but the more I think about it, the more I come to realize that actually there is only ONE form of true stress relief.  Everything else simply alleviates the symptoms of stress for a finite length of time, and nothing more.

I know that everyone who exercises regularly, or who does a weekly yoga, salsa, zumba class or whatever, is going to think I’m wrong.  After all, exercise releases natural endorphins, but actually I don’t think even exercise is the ultimate stress relief.  I think it is an excellent way to manage the tension and stress that is built up in static muscles and so reduce your blood levels of stress hormones.  But again, these are only ways to deal with the stress once it has ALREADY built up.

So I’m going to stick my neck out here and argue that the ONLY way to reduce the stress in your life is to change your mindset.  If you change your attitude to it, then you will stop seeing every situation as stressful.

Think about it.  Not everyone perceives the same situation as equally stressful. I am sure that whenever a seasoned singer steps onto a stage to perform, they would be MORE stressed if there was nobody in the auditorium to hear them sing than if the 50,000 seater stadium was full. On the other hand, I would be more stressed in exactly the reverse situations!

So, it’s really what’s in your head that makes you stressed.  And to become less stressed you have to CHANGE what is in your head, your beliefs and attitudes. Let’s face it that is hard, and takes time to achieve.  Which is probably why people prefer to do “stress relief” in chunks, as and when they can fit it in.

But there is a “cheat’s” way of changing your mindset, if you want to try it.  And this works for me so it may also work for you.  Think of someone YOU believe is “laid back”.  It can be anyone at all, and you needn’t know them particularly well. But it is important that YOU believe they are relatively easy going about stress. Then next time you get into a situation that you find stressful and you start to feel the tension in the back of your neck, simply imagine yourself inside the “easy going” person’s head and imagine how they would feel and react. You will find that you do not get so stressed.

This is because imagining how your easy going friend would view the situation is actually an easier way of changing your own mindset.  By putting yourself inside their head and reacting in the same way as they would, actually lowers your own stress reflex, helping you to adopt a lower stress perspective.

So next time you are feeling pressured, rather that getting stressed and medicating your stress levels later, why not try this technique and choose not to get so stressed in the first place?

Leave a comment and let me know what you think.