Stress affects us all in different ways at different times, to different degrees and for different reasons. It could be something relatively trivial or due to a more significant cause. Either way, it is important to try to reduce stress otherwise it can get out of control and affect your health. Here are six quick tips which can help to reduce and manage stress. I hope you find them useful.
Tip 1: Have a You Day
This may sound obvious – we all need some alone time for ourselves to try to get away from things for a while.
Life is tough enough with all the demands it places on us which in turn can cause stress as life gets on top of us.
Make a conscious effort to split yourself of some time for YOU.
No distractions, turn off the laptop, turn off the mobile – your you time is for YOU – nobody else.
Then do whatever you feel like doing that makes you feel happy and less stressed.
That might be reading a book, listening to your favourite music, generally chilling out.
Find the time to switch off for a while and you’ll feel better for it.
Tip 2: Your Happy Place
Another quick stress reduction tip is when the going gets tough to imagine yourself in your happy place.
We’ve all got one (or perhaps more than one) – imagine you are there and how it makes you feel.
This is sometimes known as guided imagery and has been around for hundreds of years.
If you want to get in to it seriously there are guided imagery therapists and practitioners you could see.
Or you can buy up guided imagery books and CDs.
And of course there’s good old YouTube for videos.
Guided imagery goes hand-in-hand with meditation which is another technique to help with stress reduction and management.
Tip 3: Clean and De-Clutter
A clean and tidy home (silly as it may sound) can help with stress reduction and management.
Sift through everything you have and identify what you do need/has value to you and what does not – be brutal – what can you live without.
Anything you can live without or no longer need you may be able to sell online or donate to charity.
Next clean the house – not necessarily all in one go (you can if you want to of course) – perhaps a room at a time.
Just the exercise involved in cleaning will stimulate hormones which help to make you feel good.
To help pass the time whilst you clean put on your favourite CD.
A clean and tidy home makes you feel better too doesn’t it?
Tip 4: Digital De-Clutter
Now you have de-cluttered and cleaned the house, it’s time to do the same for your digital life.
Emails, social media, the pressure for instant replies, more likes, more Twitter followers and keeping on top of all that can be stressful in itself – right?
So have a digital clean up and de-clutter.
Remove yourself from email lists you do not need to be on.
Turn off notifications, alters and similar which you do not need.
Set aside specific times of the day to check your emails instead of constantly (may not apply to work emails of course).
And turn everything off (or at least on silent) before bedtime because you don’t need to be awoken throughout the night with emails pinging in and social media alters popping up.
Tip #5: Relaxing Sounds
This stress reduction tip ties in with the happy place tip we looked at earlier.
The right sort of sound can help you to relax and de-stress.
Just like closing your eyes and going to your happy place, listening to a relaxing sound for a while can have the same effect.
It might be bird song, waterfalls, gentle waves breaking, whale song and similar – whatever works for you.
Any number of relaxation sound CDs, streaming and downloads available everywhere.
Plug yourself in, listen, relax and feel the stress leave you.
Tip #6: Meditate
A spot of meditation can help tremendously with stress reduction and your state of mind in general.
This can be a simple as sitting down, clearing your mind and doing some repeated deep breathing.
In for four seconds to fill your lungs, hold, breathe out slowly and repeat for a few minutes.
Not unlike being in your happy place we touched on earlier.
If you fancy getting in to meditation and you have a smartphone there are any number of meditation apps to download.
And of course any number of books, videos etc.
In addition to helping reduce stress, meditation can help with anxiety depression and high blood pressure.
Start now. Take some action. One step at a time. Do not procrastinate
There is no right or wrong order in which to try these stress reduction tips. See which work for you.