Take a deep breath before you read this post.
The most effective way to manage stress is by learning healthy coping strategies. Practice a few of the below to find what works for you. Then challenge yourself by turning them into real habits.
Relax Your Mind:
- Write – Try writing for 10-15 minutes daily about stressful situations and how you feel about them. You can also start a stress journal to help you find out how much stress you feel. This will help you find out whats causing your stress and better ways to deal with it.
- Express Your Feelings- Talking, laughing, crying, and expressing anger is a healthy way to relieve stress. People available to talk to include friends, family, counselor, or a member of the clergy.
- Do Something Fun! Be creative, make some arts and crafts. Practice a hobby. Spend time with/care for pets. Volunteer. If you feel you’re too busy to do something you enjoy, make time for it. Relaxing and reducing stress levels may help you get more done in other parts of your life.
- Stay Focused on the Present- Meditate to focus your attention on things occurring in the here and now. Breathing techniques are incorporated into this. Check out this article. Use guided imagery by imaging yourself in any setting that calms you down and helps you feel relaxed. Sometimes using audiotapes, books, or a teacher to guide can help.
Relax Your Body:
- Exercise – Consistent exercise is one of the best ways to deal with stress. Stretching can also decrease muscle tension. If you’re having trouble getting started, try starting with walking.
- Breathing Exercises – Deep breathing, such as roll exercises, help your mind relax. When you breathe deeply, your brain gets a message to calm down. Then the brain transmits this message all over your body. Your increased heart rate, fast breathing, high blood pressure, and other effects you feel from stress all decrease as you breathe in and out deeply. Learn more about it here.
- Progressive Muscle Relaxation – This technique relaxes separate groups of muscle one by one to reduce muscle tension. Throbbing or aching back/neck pain that comes with stress benefits from this strategy.
- Yoga, Tai Chi, and Qi Gong – They combine exercise and meditation into various techniques. Books and videos are helpful to learn them. Yoga improves how you view the world, which aids in calming the spirit and decreasing stress. Studies have shown it helps decrease blood pressure, help people with asthma breathe easier, and improve fatigue in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. Tai chi and qi gong improve posture, balance, coordination, endurance, and flexibility to keep good health and quality of health. In addition, tai chi has shown to increase immunity and resistance to the shingles virus in older adults.
You can breathe a sigh of relief. Clearly there’s so many ways to relieve stress. Which works best for you?