So, what can we do to help ourselves and reduce our stress?
Here are some helpful tips for managing stress:
• Laugh More – Laughter is one of the most effective ways to manage stress. In fact there’s a science to the stress reducing impact of laughter. It is called psycho-neuro-immunology. That science has proven that laughter can help boost your immune system function and reduce your chances of getting colds and flus. If you do get sick, laughter will help you get better, much faster.
• Breathe! – Do you know that most of us hold our breath when we are stressed? Breath holding adds to our stress by allowing toxins to accumulate in the blood stream. Poor breathing contributes to anxiety and fatigue and makes the stressors in life even harder to cope with. Become aware of your breath when you are stressed. If you are holding your breath, consciously breathe in a slow and rhythmic way, until you feel your stress subside.
• Face Your Fears – Don’t run away from difficulties because it is easier than facing them. It is better to risk failure and confront your problems. If you don’t, nothing ever gets resolved and the tension created may be more than you can bear. Address your difficulties as they arise, reflect on your unfinished business and make plans to resolve it. These actions will help you over come your fears and reduce your stress. As you succeed, little by little you will feel more enthusiastic and empowered and will have much less stress in your life.
• “Just Say No” – Managing stress is sometimes a matter of reducing the demands that are placed upon you. You may be saying “Yes”, to too many things. Saying “yes” to too many things can add to your stress. Everything you take on should add value to your life and should be considered only if you have the required time and energy. Take the time to prioritize your commitments and then say “no” to any of those that are not a true priority in your life.
• Simplify - A sure way to reduce stress is to do less and to reevaluate both your financial and personal commitments. Getting out of debt is a good start. Buy only the things you really need and avoid becoming a slave to your possessions. Also, is it really important to belong to that bowling league, bridge club, work full time, raise the neighbor’s children and coach the swimming and baseball teams? (Think carefully about your answer) Choose one or two activities that you truly enjoy and reevaluate your commitment to the others. When you reduce the demands on your time and have more time for leisure activities you will naturally feel less stress in your life.
• Get Some Bodywork – How do you know if you are accumulating stress if you can’t remember what being relaxed really feels like? Having a deep muscle massage is a good place to start. Massage quiets the central nervous system and enhances your ability to relax and take stock of your life. When you experience what being relaxed really feels like, it allows you to feel and become aware of what is really causing your stress. This awareness will give you a new ability to choose happiness and change your life in ways that reduce your overall stress.
• Eat Well – Stress drains your body of energy and vital nutrients. Consequently, you need to ensure that you nourish your body with the nutrients it needs to combat stress and limit your intake of foods that aggravate stress. Avoiding caffeine drinks and eating refined sugar, eat balanced meals and take nutritional supplements that help combat stress. Check with your local health food store for suggestions about nutrition and stress management using herbal supplements.
• Talk to Others – One of the best ways to manage stress is to share your feelings with others. Find a community group of like-minded individuals who are working to improve themselves and ask to join the group. I can’t express how important it is to establish supportive relationships in your life, especially with those who are positive and are consciously moving toward health and happiness. Groups that are truly supportive are built on a foundation of active listening, mutual self-disclosure, love and trust in one another’s healing internal process.
Consider trying one or more of these helpful hints. Each one you try will help reduce your stress and increase your overall health and happiness. The result will be greater happiness and peace of mind and a body that is much more comfortable to live in.
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