Make Time For Leisure Activities
Leisure activities can be a wonderful way to relieve stress. Yet, many people feel as though their lives are too busy for hobbies, games, or extra fun.
But building time for leisure into your schedule could be key to helping you feel your best. And when you feel better, you’ll perform better, which means leisure time may make your work time more efficient.
Whether you find joy in caring for a garden or you like making quilts, hobbies and leisure are key to living your best life.
Relaxation Techniques And Meditation
There are many ways to use structured relaxation techniques to help control stress and improve your physical and mental well-being. While some types of meditation and relaxation therapies are best learned in a class, it’s also possible to learn meditation techniques on your own. There are hundreds of different types of relaxation methods ranging from audio CDs to group martial arts and fitness classes.
The following are only examples of the types of structured programs available that can increase our capacity for relaxation:
- Yoga: There are many forms of yoga, an ancient Indian form of exercise based upon the premise that the body and breathing are connected with the mind. The practice of yoga is thought to be over 5,000 years old. One goal of yoga is to restore balance and harmony to the body and emotions through numerous postural and breathing exercises. Yoga, which means “joining” or “union” in Sanskrit, has been called the “search for the soul” and the “union between the individual and the divine.” Among the benefits of yoga are increased flexibility and capability for relaxation. No special level of conditioning is required yoga can be learned by nearly anyone. Classes, books, and videos are widely available. Those with special or chronic physical conditions will want to get clearance from their doctor before beginning.
Snag 15 Minutes To Yourself Every Single Day
When youre dealing with coworkers, friends, a partner, and kids all day, every day, it can be helpful for your stress to just take a few minutes to yourself each day. Set aside 15 to 20 minutes of me-time every day, the AHA suggests, and do whatever you want. You can simply sit in your car and breathe deeply or listen to music before you go inside for the night or spend that time on your porch with a cup of coffee in the morninganything that helps you relax.
Don’t Miss: Can Stress Make You Itch
Depression: Depression & Related Conditions
Stress reduction methods can be thought of as serving two functions. There are restorative techniques for reducing the unpleasant and unhealthy emotional effects of stressful events that have already occurred, and there are preventative techniques that can help you avoid succumbing to stress in the first place .
There isn’t any neat and orderly way to divide the various techniques we describe here into unique categories. While some techniques are primarily useful for their restorative function, and some for their preventative function, many may serve both functions at the same time. For instance, the diaphragmatic breathing technique described below could be used to deal with anxiety feelings that have already occurred, or it could be used to prepare for a stressful event . Overall, the best, most comprehensive stress reduction plans consist of techniques that offer a mixture of preventive and restorative benefits.
We start our discussion of stress coping strategies by focusing on methods primarily suited for decreasing the effects of existing stress symptoms. Here, the idea is to refine your ability to calm yourself down from an aroused state that the sympathetic nervous system has created. We cover preventative coping strategies later on in the article.
Restorative Strategies for Reducing Stress
Stress Relief via Breathing Strategies
Benson’s Relaxation Response
Handy Pdfs & 1 Ppt About Stress Management
Now that weve covered the various stress management solutions, here are some handy downloadable PDFs for creating your personal stress management plan:
For adults and teens, this PDF Stress diary is an excellent template put together by Mindtools.com. It helps make us aware of when we stress, how we stress and how often we stress. Download the diary and make regular entries to start increasing the awareness surrounding your stress.
Its easy for stress to come and go, with us accepting its just part of our lives instead of something that needs addressing. Once we bring our awareness to these key stress components, we can start taking steps to manage it.
Once youve identified how you show stress, you can start fleshing out a plan that works best for you. This Stress management PDF will help you to put in place some solid solutions, such as social support, emotional skills, ideas for a healthy life balance, and how you can best attend to your basic needs.
Specifically for teens, this PDF is an easy to use 10-point plan put together by www.fosteringresilience.com to help manage stress. It has been broken down into four digestible parts for you to work through including:
If youre looking for a handy PPT, this Reducing Stress Presentation explains how we can best manage our stress by changing our health behaviors.
You May Like: How To Clear Up Stress Acne
Start Your Day Off Right
After scrambling to get the kids fed and off to school, dodging traffic and combating road rage, and gulping down coffee in lieu of a healthy breakfast, many people arrive to work already stressed. This makes them more reactive to stress in the workplace.
You might be surprised by how affected by workplace stress you are when you have a stressful morning. When you start off the day with planning, good nutrition, and a positive attitude, you might find that the stress of your job rolls off your back more easily.
Stress Management In The Workplace
Whether it be extended hours, near impossible deadlines, demanding colleagues or unappreciative bosses, workplace stress is something many people are familiar with.
According to the World Health Organizations definition, occupational or work-related psychosocial stress is the response people may have when presented with work demands and pressures that are not matched to their knowledge and abilities and which challenge their ability to cope.
But the effects of workplace stress arent simply isolated to the workplace they spill over into our personal relationships, our home lives, and our overall productivity.
Duke University found that workplace stress was responsible for over 70% of workplace accidents, 50% of absenteeism, and over $300 billion in associated costs .
These figures require action.
You May Like: How Does Stress Affect Ms
Vividly Imagine Your Scene
Once you get to a relaxed state, begin to envision yourself in the midst of the most relaxing environment you can imagine. For some, this would be floating in the cool, clear waters off of a remote tropical island, where attractive people bring drinks and smooth music plays in the background. For others, this might be sitting by a fire in a snow cabin, deep in the woods, sipping hot cocoa and reading the latest bestseller.
You may want to remember a time and place when you felt wonderful and relaxed , a vividly-described scene from a book you love, or the way you imagine a place you’ve always wanted to visit.
Make A List Of Things Youre Grateful For
We get it, it can be difficult feel gratitude for anything when it feels like the world is falling down around you. But showing gratitude for the smallest things, like a warm cup of tea or a sunny day can lift your spirits and reduce anxiety, Gail Saltz, MD, associate professor of psychiatry at NY Presbyterian Hospital Weill-Cornell School of Medicine and host of the Personology podcast, tells Health. If possible, start a daily gratitude journal where you list what you’re grateful for that day, turning the stress-relieving habit into a routine.
You May Like: How To Deal With Stress While Pregnant
Stress Relief Techniques To The Rescue
Activities that switch on the bodys natural relaxation response feel great, Buenaver says. And they have been proven by research to improve sleep. They help by reducing the release of the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline and by slowing your heart rate and breathing. Your body and mind calm down.
Yoga, tai chi and meditation are helpful stress relief techniques. So are these two simple exercises that Buenaver recommends to patients who are struggling with sleepless nights.
- In a quiet place, sit or lie down in a comfortable position. It may help to close your eyes.
- Breathe slowly in and out for about five minutes. As you inhale, breathe down into your belly. Focus on your breath.
- If youd like, repeat to yourself, Breathing in I am calm, breathing out I am coping.
Progressive muscle relaxation:
- In a quiet place, sit or lie down in a comfortable position.
- Take a few gentle breaths, in and out.
- Begin tensing groups of muscles one at a time as you breathe. Hold the tension as you inhale, then release it as you exhale. Take a few breaths as you notice how relaxed each muscle group feels.
- Start with the muscles in your head, neck and face. Move down to your shoulders, hands and arms, back, stomach, buttocks, thighs, calves and feet.
- Repeat for any areas that are still tense.
As you go through this exercise, feel the presence and absence of tension so you can spot lingering tension and do something about it, Buenaver says.
Popular Strategies For Stressed Students
Being a student can be a stressful time of life, filled with many competing priorities, deadlines, and expectations.
If you support students to manage their stress, these strategies may be a good place to start.
Don’t Miss: Does Hair Fall Out From Stress
Prepare For The Next Day
Fretting over what you need to do the next day, or how a meeting will go, creates a lot of unnecessary stress. Instead, at the end of each workday, create a plan for what youll do the next day. Prepare thoughts you want to share at the meeting, along with a manageable to do list. This will help you avoid procrastinating and get high-priority tasks done on schedule.
Quick Stress Relief At Home
Entertaining. Prevent pre-party jitters by playing lively music. Light candles. The flicker and scent will stimulate your senses. Wear clothes that make you feel relaxed and confident.
Kitchen. Ease kitchen stress by breathing in the scent of every ingredient. Delight in the delicate texture of an eggshell. Appreciate the weight of an onion.
Children and relationships. Prevent losing your cool during a spousal spat by squeezing the tips of your thumb and forefinger together. When your toddler has a tantrum, rub lotion into your hands and breathe in the scent.
Sleep. Too stressed to snooze? Try using a white noise machine for background sound or a humidifier with a diffuser for a light scent in the air.
Creating a sanctuary. If clutter is upsetting, spend 10 minutes each day to tidy. Display photos and images that make you feel happy. Throw open the curtains and let in natural light.
You May Like: How Can Stress Affect Your Period
Immerse Yourself In Sensory Details
As you imagine your scene, try to involve all of your senses. What does it look like? How does it feel? What special scents are involved? Do you hear the roar of a fire, the splash of a waterfall, or the sounds of chipper birds? Make your vision so real you can even taste it!
Engage In Deep Breathing
According to Sharon Melnick in Success Under Stress, by regulating your breath, you can break unconscious emotional patterns that persist through short, stressed breathing. Set an intention to consciously take several deep breaths at different points throughout the day, ideally before you feel extreme stress coming on.
Also Check: What To Do When Stressed About School
Tip : Find Sensory Inspiration
Having trouble identifying sensory techniques that work for you? Look for inspiration around you, from your sights as you go about your day to memories from your past.
Memories. Think back to what you did as a child to calm down. If you had a blanket or stuffed toy, you might benefit from tactile stimulation. Try tying a textured scarf around your neck before an appointment or keeping a piece of soft suede in your pocket.
Watch others. Observing how others deal with stress can give you valuable insight. Baseball players often pop gum before going up to bat. Singers often chat up the crowd before performing. Ask people you know how they stay focused under pressure.
Parents. Think back to what your parents did to blow off steam. Did your mother feel more relaxed after a long walk? Did your father work in the yard after a hard day?
The power of imagination. Once drawing upon your sensory toolbox becomes habit, try simply imagining vivid sensations when stress strikes. The memory of your babys face will have the same calming or energizing effects on your brain as seeing her photo. When you can recall a strong sensation, youll never be without a quick stress relief tool.
Take a break from technology
Taking a short hiatus from the television, computer, and cell phone will give you insight on what your senses respond to best.
Implement Healthy Stress Management Strategies
Its good to be mindful of any current unhealthy coping behaviors so you can switch them out for a healthy option. For example, if overeating is your current go to, you could practice meditation instead, or make a decision to phone a friend to chat through your situation. The American Psychological Association suggest that switching out one behavior at a time is most effective in creating positive change.
Recommended Reading: Does Stress Cause Stomach Pain
Tip : Bring Your Senses To The Rescue
To use your senses to quickly relieve stress, you first need to identify the sensory experiences that work best for you. This can require some experimentation. As you employ different senses, note how quickly your stress levels drop. And be as precise as possible. What is the specific kind of sound or type of movement that affects you the most? For example, if youre a music lover, listen to many different artists and types of music until you find the song that instantly lifts and relaxes you.
Explore a variety of sensory experiences so that no matter where you are, youll always have a tool to relieve stress.
The examples listed below are intended to be a jumping-off point. Let your imagination run free and come up with additional things to try. When you find the right sensory technique, youll know it!
Why Is Stress Helpful
Historically, stress was our friend. It acted as a protective mechanism that warned us of danger a natural reaction that told us when to run. This response is now referred to as the fight or flight response, or the stress response. When your evolutionary ancestors saw a saber-toothed cat and ran from it, stress saved their life.
Stress has remained part of the evolutionary drive because of its usefulness in survival. When used at the right time, stress increases our awareness and improves physical performance in short bursts .
Don’t Miss: How Does Stress Cause Heart Attack
With The Advent Of Globalization Ceos Face More Factors That Increase Stress Levels Than Ever Before
With the advent of globalization, CEOs face more factors that increase stress levels than ever before. Companies must remain competitive in a global marketplace.
Teams are cross-functional and cross-departmental, working together on a global scale and different schedules.
Finance must meet the ever-changing needs of the business. As a result, the job of a global CEO has never been more challenging.
As the highest-ranking official in a company, CEOs run their operations while managing their resources. As a result, the CEO is not only the face of a company and the main point of communication between operations and the board.
Restorative Strategies For Reducing Stress
In the following sections of this document, we review various techniques and practices that are useful for recovering from the negative effects of stress. We have organized our presentation of these techniques based on the basic modalities different strategies share:
- Breath-related techniques.
- Psychological interventions.
- Environmental awareness strategies.
Our categorization is imperfect, and many strategies defy such simple placement. Nevertheless, organizing the strategies in this manner hopefully makes choosing one from among the group a much simpler prospect.
You May Like: How To Go On Stress Leave From Work
Tips To Manage Stress
We all have stress at work, and managing a household. Worse, some groups are at increased risk for the mental health problems that stress can bring on:
- Hispanics are twice as likely to feel hopeless compared to non-Hispanic Whites.
- LGBTQ individuals are at an increased risk for mental health conditions, due to discrimination.
Its important to know how to manage stress. Try these simple techniques for stressing less.