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?

5 Easy Ways To Beat Work Related Stress

Image of Stress Ball by Desk

Whether you work in a busy office, teach high school kids, work with animals, or as a volunteer, whether you are self employed or work for someone else and even if you love your job, some days the stress that has been building so slowly you hardly noticed it, will suddenly become overwhelming. These simple stress busting tips will get you back on track in no time.

Tip 1 – Step Back From The Coalface

Whatever you are doing, you will benefit when you put some physical distance between you are your job. Take a walk, go for a jog or take a weekend away somewhere completely different.

Things that can become overwhelming close up can fall into perspective when viewed from afar. Putting some distance between yourself and your job also frees up some mental space allowing your unconscious mind to work. When you return to your job, you will find that you are easily able to tackle even previously impossible tasks!

Tip 2 – Stay Hydrated

Water is essential for the biochemistry of the body. The brain needs water to function properly. Water is a natural de-stressor flushing out toxins and restoring balance to the body. Drink at least eight large glasses of water every day and you will notice a benefit. And keep caffeine drinks, such as coffee, tea and cola to a minimum. 

Your body rapidly becomes accustomed to this new level of water and you will not need to visit the rest room more than normal if you space out your water drinking over time.  Keep a 2L bottle of water at your workstation and make sure you drink it slowly throughout the day.

Tip 3 – Eat Regularly

Skipping breakfast and grabbing a quick coffee on the way to work is one of the worst ways to start the day if you want to reduce your stress levels. When the body is subjected to colossal sugar highs followed by crashes of sugar lows, it is guaranteed to leave your nerves jangling.

Aim to eat a good breakfast with some slow release carbohydrate and protein. Snack on fruit, nuts and oat bars. Never skip meals and keep your evening meal light.

Tip 4 – Use Stress Toys

Stress relief toys, such as stress balls are cheap and highly effective stress relievers. Keep one in your desk, glove compartment or your car, hand bag, briefcase etc. Take it out and pummel it whenever you start to feel stress building. Over time the continued stimulation of the acupressure points in the hands will have far reaching benefits throughout the body.

Tip 5 – Prioritize
Do you really need to do all of your work yourself? Can some of it be delegated effectively? Is every task essential or can some be skipped? Once you have decided on all the essential tasks that only you can do, prioritize them. Then do the most important thing first. Work at it until it is completed and only then move onto the second most important task and so on. This way you will find that you get more done and your stress will reduce accordingly.

For more serious longer term stress, a systematised stress reduction program should be followed but for routine daily stress, these tips will work well.