Stress is a reality for most of us from time to time, and it has even been suggested that a little is in fact normal, and can improve our performance.
However, when it becomes something more permanent, instead of protecting us, it can eventually make us more vulnerable to health problems, including headaches, high blood pressure, and even heart disease.
How To Deal With Stress
So, here are 15 simple, yet effective, ways to deal with stress, before it escalates out of control.
1. Breathe Deeply
Merely focusing on your breathing may seem a little too easy, but it really does work. Deep breathing helps to ease tension, causing you to feel more relaxed almost instantly.
Try closing your eyes and inhale slowly through your nose, hold the breath for a few seconds, then exhale slowly. Visualizing a relaxing scene, such as watching a beautiful sunset, or walking on the beach, can also add to the feeling of calm.
2. Count To 10
Reacting negatively to situations which stress you will only serve to make you feel worse. Instead, take a few moments to step back and count to 10, gather your thoughts, take a few deep breaths, and then carry on.
3. Mini Massage
With the thumb of one hand, massage the palm of the other hand by making small circles, working every area of the palm and fingers also. Switch and do the other hand. This is surprisingly very relaxing!
Stretching can be a very simple and effective way of de-stressing.
- Move your head from one side to the other, and also up and down.
- Shrug your shoulders up toward your ears, and then relax.
- Bring your arms high above your head and reach alternately toward the sky, then drop your arms and reach toward the floor.
- Try the “child pose.” Kneel down on the floor, sit back on your heels, then lean your body forward, putting your forehead on the floor with your arms alongside your legs, palms up. Hold there for a few moments, concentrating on your breathing.
5. Pressure Points
Putting pressure on specific points on the body can help ease away the stress:
- Scalp soother – place your thumbs behind your ears while spreading your fingers on top of your head. Move your scalp back and forth slightly by making circles with your fingertips for 15-20 seconds.
- Easy on the eyes – close your eyes and place your ring fingers directly under your eyebrows, near the bridge of your nose. Slowly increase the pressure for 5-10 seconds, then gently release. Repeat 2-3 times.
- Sinus pressure relief – place your fingertips at the bridge of your nose. Slowly slide your fingers down your nose and across the top of your cheekbones to the outside of your eyes.
- Shoulder tension relief – reach one arm across the front of your body to your opposite shoulder. Using a circular motion, press firmly on the muscle above your shoulder blade. Repeat on the other side.
- Neck tension relief – on the back of the neck slightly below the base of the skull, about half an inch to the left or right of the spine.
6. Write It Down
If you tend to worry continually, restrict yourself to a half hour each day when you allow yourself to think about worrying matters. During this time you can write down your concerns, and evaluate them.
However, throughout the rest of the day say to yourself, “I’ll think about that later.” This will help reduce the amount of time you spend each day worrying unnecessarily.
7. Just Say “NO!”
Are work commitments getting too much for you? If they are, remember there’s no shame in saying no to your boss, friends or family. You don’t have to, nor can you, please everyone – so don’t try!
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