Beat Stress Before It Beats You

Are you a strong believer in the saying, “When it rains, it pours?”  Or do you feel like your whole life revolves around Murphy’s Law – where anything that can go wrong will go wrong?  Some people feel as if they’re always getting beaten up by stress – and they begin to suffer both mental and physical ailments because of it.

It’s important that you learn how to beat stress early on or the effects could be disastrous.  Scientists have even linked excessive stress to a shorter lifespan, so it’s not something to brush off as just a simple part of life.

You can beat stress by discovering what triggers those feelings and working on a solution for the problems.  Sometimes you feel stuck in a rut.  Your job may be causing stress, for example, but in this economy, who wants to just quit and risk not being able to find gainful employment again?

In a case like this, you have to beat stress by learning how to handle it when it crops up in your life.  First, start with the obvious solutions – is there a way to fix whatever it is that’s broken?  If you can’t change the situation, then think of ways to alleviate stress that it causes.

Sometimes all you need is to find a quiet space and doing some deep breathing exercises.  Make this a habit and it can help a lot because the cleansing effects help you calm down and relax immediately.  But if you need more in order to beat stress, you should establish an anti-stress routine that incorporates a healthy lifestyle for both your body and your mind.

Whatever course of action you take, make a commitment to it.  After all, if you don’t take your stress levels seriously, who will?

Guided Imagery as a Stress Buster

Stress is universal.  Everyone suffers from it in some form or other.  And there are as many different types of stress reduction techniques and methods it seems!  You can distress using medications or herbs; incorporate diet and exercise changes into your life; meditate; do calming deep breathing exercises that have a soothing effect on your nervous system and so on.  

Now I’m not one for medicating if I can do something “natural”, by which I mean non-invasive (I definitely do not think some yoga positions are in any way “natural” – well not for me anyway! LOL)  Anyway, one interesting stress busting method I’ve heard a lot about is guided imagery.

Guided imagery is a technique for stress reduction that uses directed thoughts and images to guide your mind up a path to a more relaxed and focused state.  It is based on the concept that your mind and body are connected and what the mind suggests, the body can feel and experience.  So when the mind is becoming calmer and more relaxed, the body follows.  In essence you “think” yourself into becoming less stressed. 

I am a strong believer in the power of the mind and this technique has been shown to have powerful effects.  But it does need practice.  Guided imagery can be done by using CDs, scripts or with the help of a trained instructor.  A friend of mineclaims that when the guided imagery session is complete, he feels calmer, more focused, better physically and less stressed.  And it seems he’s not the only one.

In fact, when guided imagery is used on a regular basis as part of a stress reduction program, it can combine with other relaxation techniques to produce much lower overall levels of stress and longer lasting feelings of relaxation and of being more capable of dealing with life’s stresses.

And like all stress relief programs, guided imagery can help lower blood pressure.  But it can also be used to deal with pain, and help the body heal itself quicker.  And it can also be a useful tool in your armory when battling weight loss or want to kick your smoking habit. 

Actually, I’ve read so much about it recently that I think I’m definitely going to try it.  If you’ve done it, let me know how you’ve found it.