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.

The Best Ways to Manage Stress

Stress isn’t always a bad thing.  You’re probably aware of the tense rising exciting stress you feel when you’ve been given a challenge that’s just out of your reach, but which you’re sure you can do.  This positive stress, called eustress, is what every honed athlete feels just before their “big race”.  Our bodies are primed to handle stress in low doses.  It gives us the “fight or flight” reaction which was vital for our survival in the past. 

But it’s when your stress becomes prolonged or unexpectedly severe that it becomes harder to manage.  And dangerous to your health.

You have to take an active role in the management of your stress relief options and choose solutions that work best for you.  One way you can alleviate stress is to move your body more.  For some, committing to exercise seems like more of a load in the stress department.  But in reality, exercise releases endorphins, which combat stress hormones.  Some people become addicted to the feeling they get when they’ve exercised.

You may also want to engage in some deep meditative activities that help you calm your mind down as well as your physical functions.  Meditation and exercises such as yoga, deep breathing and tai chi can instantly reverse the harmful effects stress has on your mind, body and soul.  It can take as little as 15 mins meditation/deep breathing every day for you to get relief from your stresses.

Whatever you do to relieve stress remember that prescription drugs, alcohol or other addictions which seem to help are actually masking the symptoms of stress, and not tackling the problems.  The only long term health benefits from stress relief come from stress busters like exercise and mental focus.  

The most important thing you can do if you’re suffering from on-going stress is to take a break from it so that your body has a chance to heal.  Break the cycle.  De-stress.  How you do it is ultimately up to you!