We all experience stress as part of our daily lives. Whether it’s rushing to get to work after dropping the kids off, preparing for an important meeting or interview, setting up a business, or trying to manage our finances. A little bit of stress can be a great motivator. But too much can have a last negative affect on our physical and mental health. Here a 4 techniques to help manage stress:
1. Plan your day
Organising yourself at the start of the day, or even better the day before, can make a huge impact on reducing your stress levels. It’s useful to take things one step at a time. Write down a list what you need to do and just focus on the first one. When that’s completed move on to the next. Try and let go of the outcome as you are not always in control of that. You are only in control of doing your part As long as you keep doing the next right thing it will work out. Be sure to reward yourself for each task completed, even if it’s just making yourself a nice chai tea, or taking time out for 10 minutes.
Meditation can seem a bit out there to some people, but it’s good centring yourself and going within, away from your external environment. It releases happy hormones and just 5 minutes can make to feel more relaxed and grounded. Here is a simple breathing meditation I use regularly:
Sit on a chair with your back straight and your feet flat on the ground. Take a deep breath in and as you breathe on feel your body relax from you head down to your toes. Feel any tension in your body leaving through the soles of your feel and into the ground. Repeat this a few more times. Now focus on your breath, letting go of any negative thoughts on the out breath, letting in positive, healing white light on the in breath. Do this for a minimum in 5 minutes in the morning, or whenever you notice negative self talk coming in.
One of the best ways to reduce the stress hormone cortisol is through exercise. It doesn’t have to be long and sustained. Even a 20 minute walk helps reduce your stress levels. A 20 minute home workout is great if you are unable to leave the house, there are plenty on the internet. Also, Yoga is both good exercise and extremely relaxing. If you are able to you could take a dance or aerobics class, or go swimming. Try taking 20-30 minutes out a day to move your body.
4. Down time
Taking time to switch off is really important. Some ways people like to switch off by taking a bath, reading a good book, listening to some music, or curling up on the sofa in front of a film. If you are feeling more adventurous you could go for a meal, go to the cinema, or see some stand-up comedy. What’s important is to shift your focus away from what stresses you out and toward something you enjoy. Taking some time out won’t slow down your progress. In fact, by refreshing you it will generally make you more productive.
5. Talk to someone you trust
Talking to another person often takes some of the power out of a stressful situation. Getting a different perspective and feedback from someone is really helpful when dealing with stress. Just getting the thoughts and feelings out of you head can significantly reduce stress levels. Talk to a professional for solid advice, exercises and techniques for reducing stress levels and creating a better quality of life.