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!

Reduce Stress By Banishing Negative Self Talk

Stress occurs whenever we feel that too much is being asked of us and we have no control over the situation, such as tackling a complex project with tight deadlines just as your colleague goes on vacation, or possibly juggling a dental appointment with the school Nativity play and the Christmas food shop all in the same afternoon. But what about the stress we all put ourselves under every day?

Why, when I KNOW it’s what I really want to do, do I NOT settle down to finishing my ebook?  Somedays it seems I will do anything NOT to write.  I know I’ll be really happy when I finish it. Why, when we are in control do we still make excuses not to do something that we actually DO want to do?

Why do we stress our already stressful lives with such self sabotage?

Perhaps the biggest stressor in the developed world today is time pressure. We never seem to have enough time. And yet we all seem to make time to watch our favorite soaps on the TV, or go to a ball game or daydream listening to the songs we just downloaded. So maybe using lack of time as an excuse is simply a way of talking ourselves out of something we actually did not want to do in the first place. Or maybe there is another issue.

Whilst you MAY have a valid reason for not doing something right NOW, there is no reason to suppose we will not have time at some point in the future. More often than not, our excuses are just negative self talk rooted in some other deep insecurity. And it is this insecurity which causes us everyday stress. Maybe you have poor self esteem and do not truly believe you are worthy of success?  Or something else?

Whatever the reason, constant negative self talk can drag us into a downward spiral of inactivity and under achievement. We start to believe in our own excuses, accepting them as true. They can make us miss opportunities and may even make us lead smaller lives than we really want to.

If you find yourself making excuses for why you are not doing something you actually DO want to do, then you are using negative self talk to increase your own stress levels. Stop excuses from destroying your life. If you would rather live life to the max, laugh lots and meet challenges with excited anticipation, then look inside yourself and figure out why you are using negative self talk – and address this issue. Counseling, self hypnosis and positive affirmations can all help with this, which makes these all very good stress relief techniques . But YOU have to do them

When repeated often enough, self talk becomes real. So make sure your self talk is positive. Do not let your excuses hold you hostage. Use positive affirmations to help change your mindset and you will become empowered, achieve more and feel less stressed.

I use affirmations a lot but they need to be used daily to be most effective.  I am thinking of writing something on this topic as I believe a great many people would like to know more but believe that positive affirmations belongs out there with the tree huggers.  What do you think?  Please leave a comment and let me know.