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?

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!