We all talk about stress but often do nothing to change this damaging aspect of life. If you are fed up with your life spiraling out of control, then, it’s time to kick stress into touch. Ready to say goodbye to fatigue and irritability? Here are 6 ways to beat stress today.
The perils of stress
First, let’s look at what stress is. It’s a very natural response to feelings of danger. These dangers may be perceived and so, not actually real but that doesn’t matter. Your body still hops into fight or flight mode in an instant. If you feel fear or a sense of nervousness, then, you are probably stressed. At one time, the stress response was a very real, life-saving resource that alerted you to very serious danger and was there to save your life from predators. These days, we become stressed over a multitude of other reasons. While they may be important such as: insufficient funds in the bank, a business meeting that could result in promotion or redundancy or, someone in the family being unwell, in the main, these are not life-threatening occurrences. So, how we perceive stressors is important.
Stress and your health
Stress has a very negative impact on your health and well-being. It’s detrimental to one and all, yes, even those people who manage to hide it. It’s also detrimental to those who boast that they thrive on it. They may be able to continue in highly pressured situations, but, stress still impacts health. Let’s be clear – stress can kill. It’s sort of ironic that the very thing that is designed to save us, could be the thing that causes the body to shut down and then, that’s it.
So, if you are fed up with being harassed by stress, you need to follow these six easy to do techniques so to be as stress free as possible. Ready?
1. Take a deep breath
We all know that we instinctively draw breath when we are feeling stressed or angry. There’s no doubt that slow, steady breathing can help to reduce the inner turmoil provoked by stress. It relaxes your mind, helps alleviate stress from the body and gives you a moment to pause before saying something you shouldn’t. Sometimes, a pause is all we need to clear the mind and with fresh oxygen pulsing through the body, we can bite back that angry retort. The adage count to ten is highly beneficial.
Yoga is another great way of letting go of stress. Although many people practice it as an exercise system, it’s far more than this. It really works. While it can tone and shape the body through regular practice, importantly, it helps balance mood and becomes a moving meditation while you are on the yoga mat. It’s fantastic for helping to alleviate distractions of the mind or to dissipate any worries or general fretting and this is important. Even a fifteen-minute workout will be surprisingly beneficial. Try a yoga sequence which works key areas of the body and enables a flow of postures or, practice the Sun Salutation as this works the whole body. You will soon will feel free from stress and invigorated when you step off the mat.
Meditation provides a great way to let go of daily stressors. It may take a little time to learn the basics of meditation, but the benefits will be experienced even during the learning process. Meditation has a calming effect on you, even if you struggle to control the vast amount of thoughts that fill your mind. You will still benefit from rising levels of peace and stillness.
One of the most difficult aspects of meditating can be sitting quietly and being comfortable with this. Our lives are usually so busy, so stressful and fast-paced that it encourages us to constantly keep moving. When we do stop, we are unable to sit and enjoy the peace, but often slump gratefully in front of the television where we continue to be distracted from the real world.
Take five minutes and you will gain a greater connection with the mind, body and soul. Meditation is enjoyable, so practice it often. In a stressful situation, you will be glad that you have learned the techniques. This is because it can quickly offset the damage caused by the adrenaline that is pumping through your body. When stress is consistent and constant, a state that many of us live in, we often fail to recognize it. This is where it becomes incredibly harmful for health and well-being. When you feel under pressure, just close your eyes and tune into your sense of self. Let go of all thoughts. When you use meditation in this way, you develop a greater instinct with your body. You’ll know when stress threatens and can deal with it.
4. Go for a walk
Sometimes, you just need to walk away from a stressful situation. Go for a walk and get some fresh air. By gaining all-important space, you can diffuse even the most difficult of situations. It’s best to head somewhere a little green if possible and there are usually some green, or scenic spaces even in cities. Green has a soothing effect on us and so, try to spend a little time in natural or a peaceful setting if you can.
Laughter is an amazing stress-busting technique. If you can laugh, you are half-way to letting go of the tension that exists in the mind and body. But if you feel really stressed and under pressure, when you have time, opt to sit and watch a comedy program and just laugh your cares away. You will feel instantly more relaxed and happier.
6. Positive thinking
Negative thinking is harmful. We all do it too often. We fret and worry about the smallest of things. These escalate into damaging thoughts that actually increase the size of any stressors. This affects perception and even alters behaviors. When you find yourself thinking in a negative way, stop, and challenge those thoughts. Remember, they are not real. They do not exist right now outside of your mind, only you can hear these thoughts and only you can deal with them. Listen to them and then, correct them by sending out positive thoughts.
Self-depreciating negative thoughts are very powerful, and they are harmful. When you correct these thoughts, you change your mind so that you naturally start to feel more positive. You will soon instinctively feel more positive about everything and this acts as a great stress buster.