"Stress is not what happens to us. It's our response to what happens. And response is something we can choose."
Stress is something that we all encounter and is often defined by how we perceive a situation. Many of the stressful situations we face in our life are outside of our control. For example, if a close loved one becomes ill, an accident holds up traffic, or a change at the work place occurs. While we may wish we could change these situations, we can't; but we can choose how we react to them, which can mean the difference between increasing stress or dealing with it in a healthy way.
Because stress can impact our health, finding positive ways to relieve it is important. Fortunately, there are techniques to help us manage and reduce stress. The next time you are feeling stressed, try some of these techniques:
Breathe Deeply, Breathe Slowly
Find a quiet place to sit, close your eyes and breathe out slowly. You should feel your stomach relax as you breathe out. Then breathe in slowly and deeply. Repeat this sequence for as much time as you have.
Exercising regularly is a great way to manage stress. Exercises such as walking, jogging, or even everyday activities like cleaning or yardwork can help. Stretching is also another activity that can relieve muscle tension.
Focus On The Present
Practicing meditation is a way to help focus on things that are happening right now. Focusing your attention on the present relaxes the mind. One way to get started is to pay attention to your breathing. Place one hand on your chest and the other hand on your belly. If the hand on your chest is moving more than the hand on your belly you are not breathing deeply. Slow down by taking a deep breath.
Do Something You Enjoy
This can be a hobby such as fishing, gardening, crafts, or volunteer work. Allow yourself to have some fun to reduce stress!
Write about the things that are bothering you and how those things make you feel. This will help to identify what is causing your stress and can help identify your triggers and what to avoid.
Talk About It
Talk, laugh, cry and/or simply express your feelings with friends, family a counselor or someone you trust. Talking about your feelings is a healthy way to ease stress.
Unplug from your electronic devices. When working on a task, turn off e-mail chimes, hold calls, and resist any urges to check your social media or text messages for a planned amount of time, such as one to two hours.
Overcommittment and overscheduling is one of the most frequent sources of stress, and in today's hectic and fast-paced world, it is difficult to get a handle on. Learn to say no politely.
Now you have some tips to inspire healthy changes to your lifestyle, be sure to try them out and share with us any other techniques that help you de-stress!
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