Reduce A Worrys Power Over You
One very effective way to reduce a worrys power over you is by getting the negative thoughts out of your head and on to paper. Being able to see the worry in black and white helps give you more perspective.
Study your worries by keeping a Worry Diary.
Write down what you fear might happen and then later write down if what you were worried about actually happened, whether it was as bad as you expected, and what you did to cope with the situation.
This will help you understand your worries better, distinguish between worries that are useful and those that are useless, and help you realize that you can cope no matter what happens.
- Set aside some time during the day to worry your worry time. Select a time every day that is convenient for you and pick a suitable amount of time to worry . Use this time to think about your worries and about possible resolutions. It can be helpful to write things down. It will take time to train yourself not to dwell on worries at other times of the day or night.
- Practice is key here. What you can do if you worry outside of the set aside time is to write the worry down and put it in a worry box . Then, when its your official worry time, you can look at your worries and deal with them appropriately.
I hope you find these 6 tips useful. If you would like to read more about ways to overcome anxiety and worrying please take a look at my free booklet.
When clients first come in to see me, the main concerns that come up again and again are:
Embrace The Adrenaline And Treat It As Positive
Fortunately, there is evidence that some level of stress is actually helpful, and can improve performanceprovided you believe that this is the case.
Elite athletes, for example, often believe that adrenaline, one of the main stress hormones, is helpful in improving performance. It is, after all, the flight or fight hormone, so you can harness it to help you to fight. Changing your mindset to embrace adrenaline can be a good start to changing how you view stress, especially if you have taken steps to reduce and avoid it more generally.
More on Stress Management:
Tips For Developing An Exercise Routine
An exercise routine doesn’t develop overnight. Here are some tips to get you started:
- Get an activity tracker: Logging at least 30 minutes of exercise five days a week can help improve your mood.
- Start slow: You don’t have to do 30 minutes of exercise all at once five to 10 minutes at a time makes a difference.
- Go outside: Getting away from a screen and into the fresh air can help reduce stress.
- Buddy up: Having a friend to exercise with can be motivating and hold both of you accountableâplus it’s more fun.
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Listen To Music On The Drive Home
Listening to music offers many benefits and can be an effective way to relieve stress before, during, and after work. Playing an uplifting song while you make breakfast can help you start the day off feeling better prepared to interact with the people in your life. Likewise, combating the stress of a long day with your favorite music on the drive home can help you wind down and feel less stressed when you get there.
Remember To Seek Help And Support When You Need It
Remember, that it is okay to ask for professional help. If you feel that you are struggling to manage on your own, then you can reach out. It is important to know that you can get help as soon as possible, and that you deserve to get better.
The first person to approach is your family doctor. He or she should be able to give advice about treatment, and may refer you to another local professional. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Mindfulness based approaches are known to help reduce stress. There are also a number of voluntary organisations which can help you to tackle the causes of stress and advise you about ways to get better.
Anxiety UK runs a helpline staffed by volunteers with personal experience of anxiety from 9:30-5:30, Monday to Friday. Call 08444 775 774.
Citizens Advice provides free, independent and confidential advice for a range of problems as well as providing information on your rights and responsibilities.
StepChange provides help and information for people dealing with a range of debt problems. Freephone 0800 138 1111.
Mind provides information on a range of mental health topics to support people in their own area from 9.00am to 6.00pm, Monday to Friday. Call 0300 123 3393 or email .
Rethink Advice and Information Service
Rethink provide specific solution-based guidance – 0300 5000927 Fax: 020 7820 1149 email .
Specialist mental health services
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How To Lower Cortisol With Deep Breathing
When youre under stress, your chest gets tight and your breathing becomes fast and shallow.
These are automatic reactions that are part of the stress response.
Unfortunately, this unnatural breathing patterns has now become normal for most adults.
You can learn to minimize your physical reaction to stress by consciously breathing from your diaphragm.
A few minutes of diaphragmatic breathing will lower levels of cortisol and stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system to induce a state of calm.
To breathe from your diaphragm, focus on keeping your chest still while expanding your stomach.
You can place one hand on your chest and one on your stomach to monitor your breaths.
Maintaining A Good Bedtime Routine
A good bedtime routine usually results in longer and higher-quality sleep. People should get into the habit of turning off all screens and just relaxing before heading to bed.
It will usually also help to keep phones, and any other potential distractions turned off. Limiting fluid intake before bedtime can also minimize the likelihood of disturbed sleep.
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Stay Away From Conflict
Interpersonal conflict takes a toll on your physical and emotional health. Conflict among co-workers can be difficult to escape, so its a good idea to avoid conflict at work as much as you can.
Dont gossip, dont share too many of your personal opinions about religion and politics, and steer clear of “colorful” office humor.
When possible, try to avoid people who dont work well with others. If conflict finds you anyway, make sure you know how to handle it appropriately.
How To Release Stress Through Stretching And Exercise
Not only does exercise reduce the bodys stress hormones, it also stimulates the production of endorphins, which elevate mood. Walking and jogging, or any type of exercise where you use large muscle groups in a repetitive fashion, will help you reduce stress. Even a short 10-minute stroll can relax the mind and clear your head of overwhelming thoughts. Try one of Headspaces guided walks to ease your mind and de-stress.
Stretching, on the other hand, can relieve the muscle tension created by carrying stress in our body. This, in turn, can also help you sleep better. Stretching in addition to regular exercise is a recipe for living a less stressful, more peaceful life.
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How Do You Measure Your Stress Level
Sometimes it is clear where stress is coming from. You can count on stress during a major life change such as the death of a loved one, getting married, or having a baby. But other times it may not be so clear why you feel stressed.
It’s important to figure out what causes stress for you. Everyone feels and responds to stress differently. Tracking your stress may help. Get a notebook, and write down when something makes you feel stressed. Then write how you reacted and what you did to deal with the stress. Tracking your stress can help you find out what is causing your stress and how much stress you feel. Then you can take steps to reduce the stress or handle it better.
To find out how stressed you are right now, use this Interactive Tool: What Is Your Stress Level?
Tips To Manage Stress
We all have stress at work, at home, and on the road. Sometimes we can feel especially stressed because of a bad interaction with someone, too much work, or everyday hassles like getting stuck in traffic.
Negative stress can keep you from feeling and performing your best mentally, physically and emotionally. But no ones life is completely stress-free. Its important to know how to manage the stress in your life. Try these three simple techniques for dealing with it.
1. Positive Self-Talk
Negative to Positive
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To really make it work, practice positive self-talk every day in the car, at your desk, before you go to bed or whenever you notice negative thoughts. Its a great practice to teach kids, too!
2. Top 10 Emergency Stress-Stoppers
Emergency stress stoppers are actions to help you defuse stress in the moment. You may need different stress stoppers for different situations, and sometimes it helps to combine them. Here are some ideas:
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How To Relieve Stress
Sometimes life is just plain stressful. Maybe youre on a tight deadline at work or you or someone in your family is having health problems or maybe both are happening at the same time and it feels like youre juggling 100 things at once. No matter the circumstances, youre likely wondering how to relieve stress so you can lead a more peaceful and healthy life.
While its not always possible to control everything that is happening to us or around us, it is possible to change the way we relate to those things that are happening. Softening the way we perceive stress and relating to it in a more accepting way is the first trick for how to deal with stressful feelings.
Below, weve listed stress reduction techniques that will put you on a path towards acceptance and help you reframe overwhelming situations. But first, lets go over whats happening to your body and mind when youre stressed out.
How Can I Identify The Signs Of Stress
Everyone experiences stress. However, when it is affecting your life, health and wellbeing, it is important to tackle it as soon as possible, and while stress affects everyone differently, there are common signs and symptoms you can look out for:15
- feelings of constant worry or anxiety
- feelings of being overwhelmed
7. Dont be too hard on yourself
- Try to keep things in perspective.
- Remember that having a bad day is a universal human experience
- When your inner critic or an outer critic finds faults, try and find truth and exception to what is being said
- If you stumble or feel you have failed, dont beat yourself up
- Act as if you were your own best friend: be kind and supportive
- Take a few minutes each day to appreciate yourself
Now, we would like to move on to a more detailed look at the causes and effects of stress. In this section we will focus on the effects prolonged stress has on your body, behaviour and emotions, and look at key causes such as relationships, money, work, alcohol and drug use.
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The Effects Of Chronic Stress
Your nervous system isnt very good at distinguishing between emotional and physical threats. If youre super stressed over an argument with a friend, a work deadline, or a mountain of bills, your body can react just as strongly as if youre facing a true life-or-death situation. And the more your emergency stress system is activated, the easier it becomes to trigger, making it harder to shut off.
If you tend to get stressed out frequently, like many of us in todays demanding world, your body may exist in a heightened state of stress most of the time. And that can lead to serious health problems. Chronic stress disrupts nearly every system in your body. It can suppress your immune system, upset your digestive and reproductive systems, increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, and speed up the aging process. It can even rewire the brain, leaving you more vulnerable to anxiety, depression, and other mental health problems.
Health problems caused or exacerbated by stress include:
How To Reduce Stress Using Mindfulness Meditation
Now that we understand just how important it is to manage our bodys stress response, what are techniques we can use to reduce stress? One helpful approach for how to reduce stress is practicing mindfulness.
Mindfulness is the ability to be fully present and engaged in the moment. Mindfulness lets us step back from unpleasant thoughts and emotions that arise because of challenging situations. It lets us calm the mind, get in touch with our body, and gain perspective of the world around us.
People who incorporate mindfulness meditation into their lives often report a greater sense of positivity, patience, acceptance, and compassion, as well as lower levels of stress, sadness, and frustration. A study published in mindfulness journal PLOS ONE found that 10 days of practicing mindfulness meditation using the Headspace app reduced stress by 14%.
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Let Go Of Things Out Of Your Control
As I stated earlier in this post, you hear so many things that are stressful. Whether its tornadoes, abuse, politics, violence, or personal tragedy, there is so much that often feels like a burden. Whenever I hear of injustices, I want to fix it. But I cant.
I think most of us are like this. However, that only leads to more stress. The Bible talks about taking our thoughts captive.
In other words, dont let your thoughts run wild. Get them under control. If something you are constantly thinking about is causing you stress and not solving the issue, stop thinking about it.
Im not telling you to avoid responsibilities, but the things that are only causing you to lose sleep and make you sick to your stomach, let them go. Dont let them weigh you down. They are burdens you werent meant to carry.
As a Christian, I pray. I ask God to help where I cant and to bring peace to all involved. I ask Him for wisdom and strength and cast my care on Him.
I hope these 5 things have helped you reduce the stress in your life. You dont have to live in a constant state of stress.
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Be More Realistic About Your Capabilities
It is helpful to remember that most people underestimate how long it will take to do something, and overestimate how much they can do. This means that they end up taking on too much, and then failing to deliver.
Develop the simple habit of doubling your time estimates for any task.
You are then far more likely to under-promise and over-deliver. This will make everyoneincluding youmuch happier than the other way round .
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Get In Some Light Exercise
Dr. Saltz recommends doing any form of aerobic exercise for at least 30 minutes, three or four times a week a is great for stress, anxiety, and improving your mood. Some examples of heart rate-boosting activities include a light jog, dance cardio, or sex. She encourages you to find an activity that you find the most fun and stick with it. If possible, squeeze it in before work, during your lunch break, or even make exercise a family activity after work by taking a walk.
Tip : Identify Your Stress Response
Internally, we all respond the same way to the fight-or-flight stress response: your blood pressure rises, your heart pumps faster, and your muscles constrict. Your body works hard and drains your immune system. Externally, however, people respond to stress in different ways.
The best way to quickly relieve stress often relates to your specific stress response:
Overexcited stress response: If you tend to become angry, agitated, overly emotional, or keyed up under stress, you will respond best to stress relief activities that quiet you down.
Underexcited stress response: If you tend to become depressed, withdrawn, or spaced out under stress, you will respond best to stress relief activities that are stimulating and energizing.
The immobilization or frozen stress response
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Ways For Men To Reduce Stress
A man’s health can be negatively affected by high levels of stress. Protect yourself by practicing some simple rules to limit your stress.
Stress has become a major modern-day factor affecting men’s health. The tension and emotional strain of day-to-day living has been linked to heart disease, high blood pressure, migraine headaches, back pain, diabetes, cancer, and a weakened immune response to disease.
Men experiencing high levels of stress can experience anxiety, insomnia, fatigue, and depression, and may turn to unhealthy habits like smoking, drinking, overeating, or drug abuse to help deal with their stress.
Mens Health: The Dangers of Stress
Stress is harmful because it presses biological buttons inside men that have long outlived their usefulness. When a man had to battle wild animals to save his family, that stress prompted certain fight-or-flight responses within his body:
- The heart rate soared to send more blood to the brain, improving quick decision-making.
- Blood shunted into the large muscles of the arms and legs to provide more strength and speed, and away from the gut.
- Blood sugar rose to provide more fuel for quick energy.
- Blood began to clot more quickly, to prevent blood loss from wounds or internal damage.
It’s not hard to draw lines from those natural responses to the diseases now associated with stress.
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