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  • Writer's pictureSteve Feller

How Do You Reduce Stress?

Everyone has some sort of stress in their lives, whether it is at work or at home. Stress normally appears when something is not going our way or to much of a burden is placed on you. It could be a lot of different situation, and not all people can handle different kinds of stress. One personal may be able to deal with a bad boss and do just fine, were someone else just has a breakdown. We all have our triggers, but how do we stop it from taking our lives over?

The first step is knowing what triggers your stress, then you can try hard to avoid that particular trigger. Another way is to try and remain positive, saying in your mind, this will be ok, I can do this, or it will get better. A positive attitude can go a long way with the reduction of stress.

On Heart.org they have a great article called “3Tips to Manage Stress”. In this article they have two great lists. One is “The 10 Emergency Stress Stoppers and the other is Stress Busting Activities.

I included these two lists, but you can go directly to their site here. https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/3-tips-to-manage-stress

Top 10 Emergency Stress-Stoppers

· Emergency stress stoppers are actions to help you defuse stress in the moment. You may need different stress stoppers for different situations, and sometimes it helps to combine them. Here are some ideas:

  • Count to 10 before you speak or react.

  • Take a few slow, deep breaths until you feel your body un-clench a bit.

  • Go for a walk, even if it’s just to the restroom and back. It can help break the tension and give you a chance to think things through.

  • Try a quick meditation or prayer to get some perspective.

  • If it’s not urgent, sleep on it and respond tomorrow. This works especially well for stressful emails and social media trolls.

  • Walk away from the situation for a while, and handle it later once things have calmed down.

  • Break down big problems into smaller parts. Take one step at a time, instead of trying to tackle everything at once.

  • Turn on some chill music or an inspirational podcast to help you deal with road rage.

  • Take a break to pet the dog, hug a loved one or do something to help someone else.

  • Work out or do something active. Exercise is a great antidote for stress.



Stress-Busting Activities

Doing things you enjoy is a natural way to relieve stress and find your happy place. Even when you’re down, you may find pleasure in simple things like going for a walk, catching up with a friend, or reading a good book.

When stress makes you feel bad, do something that makes you feel good, even if only for 10 or 15 minutes. Some of these activities may work for you:

  • Make art -- draw, color, paint, or play a musical instrument.

  • Work on a scrapbook or photo album to focus on good memories.

  • Read a book, short story or magazine.

  • Meet a friend for coffee or a meal.

  • Play a favorite sport like golf, tennis, or basketball.

  • Do a hobby like sewing, knitting, or making jewelry.

  • Play with your kids or pets – outdoors if possible.

  • Listen to music or watch an inspiring performance.

  • Take a walk in nature.

  • Take a relaxing bath and feel the stress wash away.

  • Meditate or practice yoga.

  • Work in the garden or do a home improvement project.

  • Go for a run or bike ride to clear your head.

How do we know what stress looks like? Stress may be something we have just lived with for our entire lives and we don’t recognize what it is doing to you. Stress can create major problems, mentally and physically. Here is a list of things that you can use to create a gauge for you to measure our stress.

· Irritability

· Anxiety

· Depression

· Sleep disturbances

· Muscle tension

· Difficulty concentrating

· Change in eating habits

· Tiredness

· Lack of motivation

· Increased use of alcohol or other drugs

I hope that this can help you acknowledge your stress, identify where it comes from and find ways to minimize the occurrences. We all have stress and some manage it better than other.

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