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:
Breathing And Relaxation Exercises
Many people find exercises that focus on breathing and muscle relaxation to be helpful in relieving stress. The playlist below will help you to understand how stress works and start feeling better. These exercises can be done anywhere and are designed to help you feel more relaxed in general, as well as helping you feel calmer if you are becoming stressed.
This playlist is free to download, and you can also stream it using the Soundcloud website or app. You can download and listen to individual tracks if there are particular exercises that work best for you. If you’re listening to it for the first time, it’s best to start from the beginning.
To access a BSL version of this playlist, .
Find out more by checking out these 10 stress busters.
What Happens When We Dont Manage Stress Effectively
In small doses, stress can actually be useful as it helps you to stay focused, alert and increases energy. But when stress becomes chronic though, it can damage your health, mood and relationships. Basically, your overall quality of life!
Stress is sneaky! It can easily creep up on you so that being frazzled and overwhelmed starts to feel normal. You may not even recognize how much it is affecting you so it is really important to recognize the signs and symptoms of stress and then take steps to stop feeling so overwhelmed.
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Its Time To Commit To Yourself
Stress and anxiety doesnt have to be in control of you and its definitely not the norm. That doesnt mean that youll never feel stressed. On the contrary, life is messy and stressful things happen.
But you CAN manage stress and anxiety, be more resilient to stress and even prevent much of it.
Take back control of your life by implementing the above practices so that you can naturally relieve and prevent stress. And be sure that youre consistent with your practices !
And if youre serious about decreasing your stress levels, dont forget to download 5-Minute Stress Solutions for proven mindset and stress management strategies that will decrease stress, increase resilience and help you take control of your thoughts .
Grab your FREE copy here here:
Talk It Out With A Friend
When youre feeling stressed, take a break to call a friend and talk about your problems. Good relationships with friends and loved ones are important to any healthy lifestyle.
Theyre especially important when youre under a lot of stress. A reassuring voice, even for a minute, can put everything in perspective.
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Stress And Your Appetite
Stress can have a huge impact on your eating habits. During acute stress , the stress response can shut down appetite. The fight-or-flight response is designed to suppress hunger you wont be effective in battle or run that fast if you are thinking about food. But chronic stress has the opposite effect. Repeated doses of cortisol in your body due to high stress can lead to an increase in appetite.
According to the Harvard Health Letter, gender can play a role in how you eat during times of stress. Some research suggests women are more likely overeat due to stress while men turn to alcohol or smoking.
And the reality is that food really can make you feel better during times of stress. So-called comfort food like chocolate cake and ice cream literally blunt the bodys response to chronic stress. The problem with continuing to self-medicate chronic stress with comfort foods is that it will lead to weight gain and poor health.
Just as you need to reframe your view of stress and exercise and meditate to give your body a break from stress, you can also adopt strategies to use food to help you better cope with stress.
Shred Recycle Or Trash Anything Outdated
Do you have receipts from a decade ago? Is there a jacket in your closet that no longer fits you? Are there outdated medications eating up space in your bathroom cabinet? If so, dont hesitate to shred, recycle, take to good-will, or trash these outdated items.
In a recent move, I filled an entire black garbage bag with old receipts, bank records, homes purchased and sold, etc. I should have shredded them but I hadnt kept up with that chore. Also, I had written down every expenditure Id ever made in my life from the time I was 15 years old. I gave it all away to my friend the large blue recycle bin.
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Smoking Drinking And Drug Use And Stress
You might find that you smoke, drink alcohol or use recreational drugs to reduce stress. However, this often makes problems worse.28
Research shows that smoking may increase feelings of anxiety.29 Nicotine creates an immediate, temporary, sense of relaxation, which can then lead to withdrawal symptoms and cravings.
Similarly, you may use alcohol as a means to manage and cope with difficult feelings, and to temporarily reduce feelings of anxiety. However, alcohol may make existing mental health problems worse. It can make you feel more anxious and depressed in the long run.30 It is important to know the recommended limits31 and drink responsibly.
Prescription drugs, such as tranquillisers and sleeping tablets, which may have been prescribed for very good reasons, can also cause mental and physical health problems if used for long periods of time.32 Street drugs, such as cannabis or ecstasy, are usually taken for recreational purposes. For some people, problems start as their bodies get used to repeated use of the drug. This leads to the need for increased doses to maintain the same effect.33
Learn To Avoid Procrastination
Another way to take control of your stress is to stay on top of your priorities and stop procrastinating.
Procrastination can lead you to act reactively, leaving you scrambling to catch up. This can cause stress, which negatively affects your health and sleep quality .
Get in the habit of making a to-do list organized by priority. Give yourself realistic deadlines and work your way down the list.
Work on the things that need to get done today and give yourself chunks of uninterrupted time, as switching between tasks or multitasking can be stressful itself.
Prioritize what needs to get done and make time for it. Staying on top of your to-do list can help ward off procrastination-related stress.
Yoga has become a popular method of stress relief and exercise among all age groups.
While yoga styles differ, most share a common goal to join your body and mind.
Yoga primarily does this by increasing body and breath awareness.
Some studies have examined yogas effect on mental health. Overall, research has found that yoga can enhance mood and may even be as effective as antidepressant drugs at treating depression and anxiety .
However, many of these studies are limited, and there are still questions about how yoga works to achieve stress reduction.
In general, the benefit of yoga for stress and anxiety seems to be related to its effect on your nervous system and stress response.
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Simple + Quick Ways To Reduce Stress Naturally
Effective stress management strategies should help you to naturally and quickly:
- Calm your mind,
- Refocus and be more present,
- Be aware of your thoughts and feelings,
- Gain control of your emotions , and
- Stay positive in the face of challenging and stressful circumstances.
This is what enables you to take back control. Luckily, the natural stress management strategies below all help with one or more of these areas.
Here are 20 easy and effective ways to reduce stress naturally, bounce back quickly and keep stress levels low:
Procrastination As A Contributing Factor
Heres the thing about procrastination: The negative emotions you associate with a given task dont go away when you avoid that task. They feed on themselves and grow, rapidly.
Say you put off creating a work presentation. You want to impress your boss, but youre worried about meeting their high standards.
Of course, the more you delay, the less time you have to do the work. As the deadline approaches, you dont just doubt your ability to create a successful presentation. You also feel overwhelmed about the amount of work involved, and youre stressed at the thought of not getting it done in time.
You know youve created a sticky situation for yourself, but you care more about the peace of mind that avoiding the project provides. Its this fleeting peace that generally reinforces the procrastination loop.
Ask yourself: Do you actually feel calm? Probably not. Youve likely noticed an undercurrent of anxiety rippling through your waking thoughts.
And therein lies the rub. Procrastination creates a cycle thats difficult to escape, because the temporary reward of putting something off reinforces your desire to do it again even though it creates more problems.
A procrastination habit can eventually complicate the emotional concerns that triggered it in the first place.
Over time, procrastination and the loop it tends to create can lead to:
These strategies can help you break the procrastination cycle even when its an ingrained habit.
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Expressing Anger In Healthy Way
This is one of the strategies to overcome stress. If you find yourself regularly expressing anger towards others, stop and ask yourself why you feel the need to act this way. Also, you might consider expressing anger towards objects instead. You can do this by taking up boxing or other martial arts classes to get out your frustration.
Here Are Some Stress Relievers:
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Stress Is Closely Related To Worry So Worry Less
So how do we worry less? Obviously easier said than done but the first step is to distinguish between worries that require your attention and worries that are unnecessary.
The following questions can help you clarify this:
Can I do something about this problem?
Is this something I always worry about, but nothing ever happens?
Is this something that has a solution?
Will my worrying make this situation better or worse or have no effect at all?
If there is something you can do about the problem, take action or consciously choose not to take action.
People often delay or avoid taking action or making decisions because they are worried about making a mistake.
If the situation is out of your control and there is nothing you can do, worrying does not make the situation better!
Tell yourself that your worries are not helpful and let them go. Again , I know this is easier said than done, but it can improve with practice.
It can help to challenge your thoughts about the worry and ask yourself:
Wheres the evidence for that? or
What would be so bad about that? or
Is this problem so important that I should spend all my time thinking about it?
To read more about reducing worry read The Number One Question That Helps Worrying
A Comprehensive Stress Management Technique
Apart from calming a busy mind, where you apply the techniques physiologically to reduce thoughts and calm the mind, here we need deeper expertise and the application of subtle energies to create specific thoughts to reduce and eliminate mental stress.
For fast results, one thing is to keep the mind calm and reduce stress, but more importantly you need to train the mind to stay busy and efficient. We will work with a two-in-one technique here.
Identify the stressor . You can discover this by being aware of your surroundings and of your reactions to it is it the person and her/his actions/behavior that are causing my stress? Is it the idea I have about how things are happening around me ?
Be realistic with yourself in identifying the root-cause of your stress. No one can do it more quickly.
After you have identified the stressor, generate specific thoughts, such as, I am grateful for this challenge, and I will find a way to accept it as is and work on changing my approach and reaction to it. Once you achieve this, the stressor has no longer the same level of influence on you.
Develop/apply the stress relieving activity together with the tool, and approach the stressor when youre ready .
Apply gratitude and practice breathing exactly when the stressful situation is happening and not only when walking in the park or when you know that you are safe from the mental stress.
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How Can We Handle Stress In Healthy Ways
Stress serves an important purposeit enables us to respond quickly to threats and avoid danger. However, lengthy exposure to stress may lead to mental health difficulties or increased physical health problems. A large body of research suggests that increased stress levels interfere with your ability to deal with physical illness. While no one can avoid all stress, you can work to handle it in healthy ways that increase your potential to recover.
There are several other methods you can use to relax or reduce stress, including:
How To Reduce Stress
Article revised on 26 April 2020.
Stress is a deeply unpleasant state that saps all the texture, beauty, and joy out of being alive. It is an important cause of depression, suicide, anger, accidents, headaches, heart attacks, cancer, and countless other ills. Stressed people live poorer and shorter lives. They live less.
Although stress is often related to life events, such as losing a loved one, getting divorced, or falling ill, most of the day-to-day stress that we experience comes from smaller background stressors such as constant deadlines, tense relationships, painful memories, isolation, discrimination, poor housing, and unpaid bills.
The amount of stress that a person can handle is largely related to her thinking styles and social skills. People with positive thinking styles and social skills are in a better position to diffuse stressful situationsfor example, by doing something about them, putting them into perspective, or talking them through with someone.
1. The first step in dealing with stress is to recognize its warning signs.
2. Next, make a list of situations in which you feel that way.
3. For each situation on your list, come up with one or more strategies for preventing, avoiding, or diffusing it.
Here’s an example:
You can also use some more general strategies for reducing stress.
Deep breathing involves regulating your breathing:
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