How do you react when your plans fall through? Do you roll with the punches? Or does anxiety keep you from enjoying life? To a great extent, our personality determines how we deal with stress in our lives, but here are 8 things to help keep your stress under control:
1. Make time to switch off from the daily trials and tribulations and relax for at least one hour every day. Just shut the world out and do something you enjoy. Reading, playing a musical instrument, taking a relaxing bath with music and candles (and maybe a glass of wine) are all great ways to unwind and will be extremely beneficial to your mental health.
1. Sleep more. It’s very common in our society to exist on less than 6 hours of sleep a night. But experts keep telling us we need at least 8 hours. Not just to rest our bodies, but to rejuvenate our minds. “Tired” and “cranky” seem to go hand in hand. Don’t use your bedroom to watch the news or finish up some work from the office. Make that room your haven, a place to relax and escape the day. Have a hot cup of tea, take a warm bath, or read a paperback to help you unwind.
2. Have faith. Saying a short prayer in times of stress can give you a sense of calm, especially when the situation is one you really have no control over. Studies have shown that people who trust in a higher power have lower blood pressure. Being able to forgive people also can affect your blood pressure. Holding a grudge is not good for your health!
3. Treat yourself to a pamper day. This is a day where you escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday living and enjoy some stress-free time. You’ll also feel great and give your well being a huge boost. On this day, have a light workout, sign up for a yoga class, a swim, a sauna, a Jacuzzi, a steam room. A massage would be nice and if you have access to one, a Turkish baths will give you an invigorating experience. Try to do this at least once a month, it is an excellent stress-buster also a great way to recharge.
4. If you’re dealing with a stressful situation and you have a lot on your plate then it can be very hard to find solutions. You’re caught up in the midst of a sandstorm and it is very difficult to see the way out. A good idea is to get some distance from your problems so you can gather your thoughts. If possible, take a day or even a weekend away from your usual surroundings, somewhere peaceful, and relax. Take a journal along so you can jot down any ideas. Distance away from problems can bring clarity and by relaxing, you’ll be calmer and solutions will come far easier than when you’re in the heat of battle.
5. One of the reasons people become stressed is because they are facing a change or even a number of changes to their lives. Change is a constant in life and refusing to accept change can cause stress levels to soar. When you are faced with a change, try to find the positives associated with change and embrace change instead of resisting it. Every change presents an opportunity for you to grow and there are always positives to find in even the most trying of circumstances. Change doesn’t bring stress, it’s all about how you react to change and if you react in a negative way, you will do yourself no end of harm.
6. There always seems to be an endless list of jobs that need doing: repairs around the home, paperwork, car maintenance, throwing out junk, cleaning the patio, weeding the garden – on and on and on! The more we put them off, the more the list grows and the more they contribute to your stress levels. So make a list of all of these chores and then schedule something I call a “Blitz Day”. On this day, you will rise early and spend the whole day sorting out each of these jobs. Take few breaks and only have a quick bite at lunchtime and just blitz through these irritating but necessary tasks. This will get rid of them, you’ll lower the stress they cause but more importantly, you’ll realize just how effective and industrious you can be when you apply the full force of your will to accomplish things.
7. Turn it off. The convenience that cell phones have added to our lives can actually be a double-edged sword. We depend on them so much it seems we can’t live without them. This increased accessibility means not only can our loved ones reach us at any time, but so can work. If your employer legitimately needs to have your cell phone number, make sure you set clear limits on when you can and cannot be reached. Your time off is yours.
8. Take a holiday. It doesn’t have to be a fancy vacation resort. A day at the beach, or an afternoon at the park will do. Just anywhere you can be and not think about the bills, work, or whatever tensions you may have. It’s important to take time for yourself, so do it! You’ll feel better with a fresh outlook.
Stress is unavoidable. But what we do about it is up to us. Experiment with these suggestions and see what works for you! you’ll be amazed at the results!