Everyone has stress; it’s part of the human experience. Although we may not be able to eliminate stress, we absolutely have it within our ability to control how much stress we experience, how we react to it, and how we manage it. Check out these 8 tips to help you reduce stress and have more fun in your daily life.
Lately I’ve been noticing that regardless of why my clients hire me for a partnership, advertising, marketing, or one-on-one coaching, at some point in our discussions stress management comes up. Whether we are focusing on weight loss, getting our exercising into routines, work/life balance or any other aspect of wellness, stress seems to play a role. Everyone has stress; it’s part of the human experience. Although we may not be able to eliminate stress, we absolutely have it within our ability to control how much stress we experience, how we react to it, and how we manage it.
On any given day most of us deal with circumstances that challenge us and lead to stress–many are life’s little hassles, like flat tires or computer problems and some are life altering, such as sickness or divorce. It’s important to remember that not all stress is bad. Even life’s happiest moments can cause stress. Ever notice the stress level of a bride planning her wedding, a couple moving into their dream home, or the executive who just got promoted? All great stuff, but it still can lead to feeling stressed and out of control.
Research has shown that chronic stress can make us sick. And it certainly takes the fun and joy out of life. So it would make sense to learn tools to alleviate and manage the stress, no matter what the source is. Try some of the suggestions below and see if you begin to manage your stress and bring greater calmness to your life.
1. In times of extreme stress, make self-care to your highest priority. Although the tendency for many is to neglect self-care when dealing with very stressful times, it is when it is needed most. In order to have the stamina to get through difficult times, make sure you continue to exercise, eat well, and get the rest and sleep needed. Remember, if you fall apart, you’ll be no good to anyone else.
2. Breathe! Recognize the signals your body gives you when the stress is mounting. For some it’s tension in the neck, others feel knots in their stomachs, tense muscles, or aching heads. The moment you feel these sensations, take three or four deep, cleansing breathes. Try something as simple as counting to 10 with deep inhales and exhales. You’ll be amazed at how some of the tension will release, and allow you to think clearly rather than feel panicked.
3. Make an appointment with yourself for “me” time. In order to handle the little stresses of every day life, and the big storms that come our way, it is important to have breaks to rest, rejuvenate, and nourish the soul. Take a bath, read a novel or inspirational book, walk the dog, meditate or write in a journal. Do anything that makes you feel revived and strong.
4. Nourish your personal relationships. When the stress builds, it is so easy to lose sight of our greatest source of comfort and support; those we love and care about. Schedule a date night with your spouse or significant other. Have lunch with a friend. Call someone who makes you laugh and fills you with joy. The time you take to nourish relationships will pay you back with a reduction in your stress level, and the renewed strength to handle what must be done.
5. Take mini-vacations often. Even short breaks from your daily routine can have a powerful impact on managing stress. A long weekend away, one night out of town, an afternoon off from work, even an hour escape to get a massage can melt stress and make you feel as if you’ve been on vacation.
6. Surround yourself with positive people. Whenever possible, reduce your exposure to individuals who drain your energy, or those who seem wired and stressed all the time. We really do take on the mood and temperament of those around us. Spending time with happy, optimistic, and calm people can help us feel those emotions as well.
7. Stay in the present and enjoy what life has to offer. When we spend time worrying about what may happen, or ruminating over problems or circumstances of the past, we miss out on what’s going on in the moment. Practice staying fully engaged in what you are doing and whom you are with. Stressing over what has happened or may happen won’t change anything except your enjoyment of life.
8. Try to find the humor in life’s ironies. Remind yourself that life is filled with unexpected trials and tribulations use humor and laughter to help you cope, and remember, as my Mom always says, “This too shall pass!”
Identity Magazine is all about empowering women to get all A’s in the game of life — Accept. Appreciate. Achieve.TM Every contributor and expert answer the Identity 5 questions in keeping with our theme. As a team, we hope to inspire and motivate ourselves and inspire you to get all A’s.
What have you accepted in your life that took time, physically or mentally?
The stress that comes and goes. I just had two twins and it’s added stress for sure, but I make sure to keep active, keep a balanced diet, and communicate my thoughts through writing or with my husband.
What do you appreciate about yourself and within your life?
I appreciate having Identity Magazine as an outlet to release some of my tress.
What is one of your most rewarding achievements in life? What goals do you still have?
Today, it’s staying cool and calm learning to be a new mom of twins.
What is your not-so-perfect way? What imperfections and quirks create your Identity?
I’m driving my husband crazy with my house cleaning. I had it under control, but now that we have two newborns I feel like I need to keep the house cleaner. I’ve always had a little OCD, but it’s really surfaced. Working on gaining control, but it is part of who I am and heck, my husband should be happy the house is always clean. 😉
How would you complete the phrase “I Love My…?”
I love my new role as being a Mom.