Stop Stress Ruining Your Life – 5 Ways

As you probably know, if you’ve read this blog for any length of time, high levels of unmanaged stress can lead to very serious physical symptoms and illnesses.  But did you know that excessive stress can also cause damaging changes in your behaviors too, such as stress eating or self harming?  These are just two ways in which stress can serious ruin your life.  But there are many others.  Here are my five best tips to stop stress from ruining your life.

Tip #1 Make Everything Bite Sized

Question: How do you eat an elephant?  Answer: One bite at a time!

Just like the joke, if you are faced with an enormous task that seems just too hard to do, break it down into little achievable steps and tackle them one at a time.  It’s easier to accomplish small goals and doing so will give you a great sense of  achievement.  And as you finish each small step, you will be moving closer and closer towards your overall goal.  One day you will wake up and realize you’ve actually done the enormous task and how good will that feel?

Tip #2 Be Kind To Yourself

Have you ever heard the saying, “the grass is always greener on the other side”?  What this means is that everyone always looks to be better off than you (in whatever way you’re thinking about) when see from your perspective,  And “falling short” is one way to pile the stress on.  Stop self sabotaging.  Stop comparing yourself to everyone you meet.  That way you can never come off worse.  And if you don’t allow yourself to feel inferior to everyone you meet, you will soon find your confidence starting to soar.

Tip #3 Get a Furry Friend

Stroking a furry animal has been shown to have such beneficial effects on your stress levels and heart health that hospitals allow them in to help patients manage their stress,  And research has shown that during a play session with a dog, the owner’s and dog’s serotonin levels rose and stress levels fell significantly.  Pets can give your mood a much needed lift but if you are allergic to fur, don’t worry.  Any pet, even a goldfish can be a great boost after a hard day.  Just make sure you repay your pet’s loyalty by looking after it properly.

Tip #4 Laugh More

Laughter is great stress relief.  It helps the body to clear the stress hormones and helps to release serotonin. But even if you don’t feel like laughing, faking it still works because it still releases “feel good” endorphins.  One of the best ways to fake a laugh is to stand with your legs apart, inhale and stretch your arms up over your head.  Now bend down to place your hands on the ground.  As you do so, exhale, letting out a great big “Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha” sound.  Return your arms over your head and repeat.  I guarantee you’ll soon be laughing for real.

Tip #5 Do Some Spring Cleaning

Having too much clutter in your living spaces is depressing for most people.  So when you are suffering with too much stress, one of the easiest ways to make yourself feel better is to declutter some part of your home (But see Tip#1).  Choose one small area to tackle first, such as your kitchen work surfaces, your desk top, T-shirt drawer or anything that is easy to spot.  Focus on it and tidy, clean or throw out things as needed until you have a spacious and relaxing environment where you can relax and unwind and think clearly.

Remember, most daily stresses are temporary.  All stress passes in time but you can go a long way to reducing it on a daily basis if you put these stress busting tips into action.

What’s stress relief technique do you use?

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.