Top ways to reduce stress


A better way to look at stress is to view it as information, that we can examine and use, to better inform our processes.

For example, stress teaches us about our personal triggers and how we react to them. Is it deadlines that get to you? Or fear of failure? Or maybe it's a phobia of public speaking?

Sometimes and ironically, when we study our triggers it becomes apparent that we, in fact, can handle the stressful situation. What lets us down is our reaction to the stressor.

There are varying methods and tips on how to manage stress, but the following covers methods which are consistently repeated in all stress-related literature, i.e solid concepts and also some innovative tricks, to help you better manage your stress.

1. Change your mindset

If your job is point blank stressful then try to view stressful situations from a more positive perspective.

Reframe problems. If you start to embrace challenges and understand the huge benefits bestowed on you as soon as you step outside of your comfort zone, you will be hungry for the next stressor. You will start to build an "I can handle it" mentality and soon enough, all of your stressful anxiety, will turn into adrenalin and keep you pumped as you take on challenge after challenge.

2. Take a break from a stressor

When you feel like you can't think. Writer's block, brain block, however you want to name it, it's a thing. It's when you lack mental clarity to resolve a problem. When this occurs the worst thing to do is to obsessively try to tackle the problem - you just end up more confused. The absolute best thing to do is to take a 20-minute break, preferably walking in nature. Stop thinking about the problem and take your mind off it, completely. When you come back to the problem, after your break, you'll be surprised about how differently you start to approach something that just some 20 minutes ago, seemed insurmountable.

3. For immediate relief, breath

For moments when your heart is racing and you feel like you might keel over from the immenent stressor, the only way to calm down is to breath. Sounds simple but it's actually continually overlooked as not strong enough to cure a near panic attack moment. But trust me (and all of the science-based findings) it does and will help you. The key is to take at least three deep diaphragmatic breaths - so deep you fill your entire lungs with air and then slowly release. You will feel the benefits in seconds - it's a lifesaver.

4. Find your quiet place

This is, in effect, a short 10-minute meditation but without actually meditating.

You must find a quiet place, get comfortable and focus on a short phase (your most inspiring or relaxing mantra) no more than five words and repeat it over, and over. Whilst you do this take deep diaphragmatic breaths.

5. Be on top of your unhealthy coping methods 

Whether you hit the bottle, develop a short fuse or become emotional - be self-aware about who stress makes you become.

As soon as you feel inclined to turn to one of your unhealthy habits - stop yourself. I promise you will only make it worse, instead turn to one of these methods, listed in the article and before long you won't need to turn to anything that's bad for you!

6. Practice journaling 

Journaling reduces stress by removing the worry and thoughts racing over and over in your mind. You move these worries, concerns, hopes or dreams out of your body onto the paper.

And you can re-read these worries and concerns and see how you've overcome different tests in your life.

7. Value friendships 

Friendships are not a luxury but are essential to your wellbeing. Even if you're feeling exhausted after work don't cancel pre-arranged social commitments with your friends. You gain a huge amount of happy hormones from being with your friends. It also increases your circle of support when you feel bad and gives you people to talk to. If that's not enough science finds that people who have a strong network of friends increase their immune functioning and decrease their mortality risk.

8. Be healthy

Look after your body. Give it the nutrients it needs and also exercise as often as possible. Not only do these practises boost your happy hormones but they help to decrease existing stress hormones in your body. So if you want to fight stress, start fighting fit.


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