Friday, February 17, 2012

When Stress Happens

Stress is important and natural, and makes positive contribution to our normal performance, at work or at home.  There is a point, however, where we can feel that we are stressed excessively - this is something we need to be on the alert for, as excessive stress has many ill effects.  

Sometimes we actually don't have enough stress, as strange as that may sound.  This is probably as bad as too much, and will have the same negative effects on our health, both physical and mental.

So what do we do to relieve stress?  There are some neat ways to get that awful feeling out of our bodies, and even though it may take a little planning sometimes, and a little effort on our part, it is well worth digging deep and finding the resources within us to take action - and turn negative into positive.

To simplify, I will list in bullet points:

  • Slow, deep breathing.  Concentrate on your breathing only.  Do this for perhaps ten to 15 times
  • Distract your thoughts - perhaps by counting backwards, or using a relaxation technique you have (listening to classical music, perhaps)
  • Take a break.  Go outside, go for a walk.  Take time for yourself, and enjoy what is around you.
  • Exercise!  A good practice is to make a time each day to do some  exercise, and set that time aside just for yourself.  It doesn't have to be strenuous, just get the blood flowing and energise the body.
  • Complete relaxation through meditation, listening to music, laughter, singing, anything that works for you.
  • Be positive.  When you start thinking negative thoughts - sweep them into the cupboard!   You are the one who knows what you are thinking - and it is ONLY a thought, which you can change!  Praise yourself for your achievements this day.
  • Talk with someone you trust about how you feel.  Often just letting the feelings out and letting them go will be enough to reduce that stress.
  • Manage your time - there are only so many hours in a day, don't try and find more!
  • Prioritise!  Make a little list even, of the most important things to do, and do them one by one.  Nobody can do everything at once.
  • Eat well, give your body nutritious food and you will gain energy and be able to heal faster. 
  • Avoid negative people.  Speaks for itself.
  • Get enough rest.  Get enough sleep.  If you are tired, trying to tackle problems will be twice as difficult.
  • Plan!  Get some order into your life, make plans about what you wish to do and when.  If you feel disorganised you will feel stressed.

Hopefully this will be of some help to you - the main thing to remember is that there is only one of you, and you cannot be 'everything to everyone'.  The most important person in your household is YOU!

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