Tips To Relieve Stress
If you’ve ever found yourself worrying about what might happen or stressing over what already happened you know how all consuming it can be. Stress not only impacts your mood but chronic stress can have a negative effect on your physical well-being too! Today I’ve got 5 Tips to help you relieve your stress.
Stress Is Normal
Stress is a normal reaction built in to protect us from danger.Stress is useful in preparing us to fight or run (also known as the fight or flight response). When we’re in danger our heart beats faster, blood and adrenaline are released, we begin to sweat and consume more oxygen. All very useful to stand and fight or to run like the wind!
While this could wear you out….in the old days (when we were fighting or running from wild animals) it was typically an isolated event and we had time to recover before our next encounter. However, in modern times we can find ourselves under continued stress with little relief and that can cause serious health issues.
Tip 1 – Express Gratitude
Here’s the cool thing about gratitude. You can’t be stressed, worried or anxious and grateful at the same time. It’s impossible! When you’re worried or stressed your thinking is automatically negative. By expressing gratitude, you switch your thinking and start to focus on a more positive target. As a result, you feel better and less stressed.
Tip 2 – Meditate
When you meditate you calm your body and your mind which helps reduce stress and tension
While there are many forms of meditation one of the easiest to learn is to simple focus on your breath. Feel the air entering and leaving your body, the slight rise and fall or your chest or abdomen
To meditate you want to find a quiet place where you can sit by yourself. You don’t need to twist yourself into a pretzel by the way.
While mediation sessions can vary in length even sitting quietly and focusing on your breath for 5 minutes can be very beneficial to start.
When you meditate you can experience some pretty amazing benefits including:
- Slowing your heart rate and breathing down.
- Normalizing your blood pressure.
- Using oxygen more efficiently.
- Improving your immune function.
- Slowing the rate at which your mind ages
- Increasing creativity and mental focus.
Tip 3 – Exercise
Exercise is an excellent stress reducer because it acts as a natural way to normalize stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol. Additionally, exercise stimulates the release of endorphins which can also elevate your mood.
I haven’t found any evidence that one exercise is better than another for reducing stress although I will admit that one of the reasons I like biking so much is the meditative focus I often achieve while riding.
Tip 4 – Focus on Now
When we’re stressed or worried it’s usually about something that we think might happen in the future or something that’s already happened in the past. Very rarely are we stressed about what is happening at this very moment.
So staying focused on NOW and being present is an excellent way to combat stress and anxiety. Here are a few simple techniques to connect with NOW:
- Focus on your breath
- Tune in to your senses (listen to the sounds around, feel a breeze on your skin, etc..)
Pay attention to what your mind is doing right now, listen to the thoughts that it is generating, the chatter it is chattering. Don’t get involved in or respond to that inner chit chat, just observe it. (you may be surprised by all the hurtful things you say to yourself).
In fact, a recent study done with college students found that being mindful may help increase your self-esteem. When you feel better about yourself it can reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.
BONUS: – One of my favorite books of all time is THE POWER OF NOW by Eckhart Tolle. If you’re interested in mindfulness and being more present this is a life changing read.
Tip 5 – Laugh
This one is super fun! It’s hard to feel stressed when you’re laughing. Laughing can also boost your immune system and your mood. (giving you even less to worry about).
Want a good laugh? Watch a funny TV show, movie or video clip or hang out with friends that make you laugh. It really is the best medicine!
This week I’m sharing all my favorite tools / resources and hacks to Chill – A Reference Guide for Stress Management! You’ll find resources to help you meditate, journal, be mindful and even some easy pressure points you can use on yourself to ease anxiety, worry and stress.
I’ve got your FREE copy waiting for you at SteveStearns365.com/chill