Reducing the Effects of Stress in Everyday Life (Part 2)

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Stress and anxiety are common issues for many people these days. And stress management is a key factor to living your happiest possible life (which is the goal of this whole BeHappy! system).

Everyone experiences different degrees and types of stress. And, everyone handles that stress differently ... feeling various levels of anxiety as a consequence. And, as you know if anxiety is an issue for you, it does not feel good!!

It can reduce, or even destroy, your ability to be happy and can affect your relationships, and really, the quality of your entire life.

Stress can even cause performance to drop (for example, job performance).

Stress can also affect our health, as we have already discussed, and if it continues unmanaged for long periods of time, it can lead to depression and/or severe anxiety.

To organize the process of reducing the stress in your life and the effect whatever stress remains, here is a "stress management map" outlining the process:

The first tip in managing stress is to identify recognize your stressors. That’s what we discussed in last week’s blog post. In fact, psychologists have identified life's most stressful events, circumstances, and situations. If you want to assess the level of stress in your life, click here to access the list and "score yourself" on how much stress you are under in your life (and what to start doing about it).

After identifying your specific areas and levels of stress, the next step is to put each of them in their place.

The following stress management tips can help:

Relaxation in the Midst of Stress

Relaxation is essentially the opposite of stress and is, therefore, one of the best techniques you can use to cope with stress and reduce its negative effects.

Therefore, learning how to relax in the midst of too much stress in your everyday life could make a big difference in the way you feel.

To experience the full benefits of such relaxation strategies, though, you need to take time each day to perform them.

Only then would you be able to really benefit from it.

It does not have to take so much of your time each day, maybe just around 10-15 minutes to as much as 20-30 minutes is enough for stress management.

For better success at developing this routine, consider the following tips:

  • Determine a given time for each day when you can perform these relaxation exercises.

    If possible, schedule once or twice a day, whichever is most convenient for you.

    Then, make sure you follow your schedule strictly.
  • Refrain from scheduling your relaxation practices near bedtime since you might fall asleep while performing then, and therefore, not get the full benefit.
  • Don’t choose an exercise routine that could stress you out even more.

    Find a level of practice that works for you and meets your needs.

Breathing

Deep breathing is one of the easiest and simplest exercise you can perform to relief stress.

It allows fresh air to get into your lungs, which oxygenates the body and can relieve some stress very quickly. To perform effective deep breathing, follow these guidelines:

  • Sit straight with one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach.
  • Breathe through your nose, enough to make your stomach rise. Make sure your chest moves very little.
  • Use your mouth to exhale and push the air out with as much force as possible.
  • Repeat the same process several times. Take note of the rise and fall of your lower abdomen.

Deep breathing is one simple way to start the process of a “relaxation program” since it can be done anytime and anywhere, and almost instantly helps you relax.

So, give it a try.

Take a deep breath and count to 10.

Do it several times and then repeat it a few times throughout the day.

Take Time

For many people, stressful events can build up to critical levels and prevent us from enjoying the good things in life. So, it’s important to take the time to focus on the good things in life. I know it’s not easy sometime, but too often we neglect this, with significant consequences, both mental and physical. And really, time is the only thing we really have total control over. We just have to choose what to do with our time. So, choose to take a part of your time to recognize the good things in your life.

Also, if faced with significant problems, don’t react.

Take the time to evaluate all sides of the issue. Many times, that takes a few days.

Sleep on it. Reevaluate the pros and cons of the issues you face the next day. List them on a piece of paper and then put the list away and take a second look in a day or two. Most of the time, just taking the time to take a step back and look at the issue the next day can change the scope and severity of the situation.

Be Grateful

This was touched on in the June 18th blog post, so go back and review that for a quick tip on developing a greater sense of gratitude.

Learn to focus on the positives in your life (which always exist) and feelings of stress will be reduced.

Know Yourself

Everyone has limits and we all overextend ourselves at times.

Sometime there is no way to avoid it. But, there are other times when just knowing yourself and your limits can be a huge factor in reducing stress since you can learn to not exceed those limits on an ongoing basis.

Many people, for example, just find it hard to say no when asked to do something or take on extra work. So, it’s important to learn to say no.

Sometimes that is difficult to do, especially if it’s your boss telling what you should or must do.

Also, many people feel guilty about not being able to get everything done, or even about not successfully completing certain tasks or projects when things outside of their control intervene. Give yourself a break – IF the outcome of this guilt causes undue anxiety or additional stress.

NOTE:

I am a “hard-driving”, success and results-oriented person, so I am not suggesting here that you cop out and make things easy on yourself so that you “feel better” about life. If you are a hard-driving person like me, that will surely backfire on you. So again, you need to know yourself and your limitations. If a fast-pace, intense life does not create significant feelings of stress and anxiety within you, then maintain whatever level of “activity” that works for you.

Just know where the line needs to be drawn.

Other Quick Tips to Help Reduce and Manage Stress:

  • Exercise
  • Get the proper amount of sleep for you
  • Read
  • Eat healthy, nutritious foods
  • Listen to music
  • Plan out your time and prioritize your activities
  • Meditate
  • Balance your life
  • Talk to someone about your problems and challenges
  • Get a massage
  • Take a nap
  • Take a warm bath
  • Don’t watch the news!

Use this basic information to reduce the effects of the inevitable stresses of life. Look into the specifics of each of these techniques here at BeHappy101.com or other sources of information. Stick to a relaxation schedule. Do some deep breathing. Exercise. Take a walk. Don’t watch the news. Learn to say no whenever you are overextending yourself consistently. Within a few weeks, you will feel much less anxious and a lot happier!

BeHappy! my friends


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If the information on this site helps you and you'd like to make a donation to BeHappy101.com (to help make others happy), please click on the button below to make a contribution. The amount you donate is entirely up to you. A portion will used to contribute to the happiness of others and is greatly appreciated.



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