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.
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.
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.
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.
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!