Keys To Managing Stress Naturally and Successfully
By Chris Green
If you're feeling like everything is getting on top of you, or you're finding it difficult to cope and function as you normally do, or perhaps you're feeling down in the dumps, then try these five stress relief tips...
- Recognize and learn from mistakes
It's a fact about life that everybody at some point will make mistakes. For many people, the mistake is made, learned from, corrected if possible and quickly forgotten. But some people carry on replaying the mistake over and over again for months - years in some cases - and it causes no end of stress and misery. When you're stressed, you can be vulnerable to this replaying of mistakes further exacerbating the stress. So avoid the urge to replay events from your past over and over again. Learn from them, find the positives, accept that you'll make mistakes from time to time, and move on as quickly as you can.
- Regain control
Sometimes, life can be very difficult to cope with because you are dealing with a multitude of major events. For example, a relationship breakdown can trigger a number of events: the split itself, moving house, finances, social life and so on. During such trying times, the plate is already full and it's important to not pile the plate higher by making other major, life-altering decisions. Postpone changes at work, relationship commitments, house moves, etc. until the plate is less full and control has been regained.
- Get some distance
If you're dealing with a stressful situation and you have a lot on your plate then it can be very hard to find solutions. At these times, you can feel as if you're caught up in the midst of a sandstorm and it can be nigh on impossible to see the way out. A good idea is to get some distance from your problems so you can gather your thoughts. If possible, take a day or even a weekend away from your usual surroundings, somewhere peaceful, and relax. Take a journal along so you can jot down any ideas. Distance away from problems can bring clarity and by relaxing, you'll be calmer and solutions will come far easier than when you are in the heat of battle.
- Resolve to act
During an episode of stress, depression or anxiety, a belief that you are helpless can creep in. You say things like: "I can't do anything, things are totally beyond my control and there's no point in trying to do anything about it because nothing I do ever works." This is a very powerful and limiting belief. If you believe that you are helpless, then you will act accordingly because you won't take action to change things. Why would you if you strongly believe it is a hopeless cause? Helplessness is learned and it is also flawed. Many people are blind to the power they possess and a belief in helplessness keeps them in the dark. But just as helplessness is learned, it can be unlearned and a good way to start is to resolve to take action to create the outcomes you want. Keep writing down positive outcomes and keep taking action each and every day to move towards them.
- Vary your days
Performing the same routines day in day out really can become a grind. Although routine gives us a sense of certainty and security, it can also make us feel like robots who live a predictable existence. This feeling can trigger stress, depression and anxiety as you don't enjoy life when you feel it is predictable. So try to vary your days: start and finish work at different times, don't eat the same types of meal each day (e.g. cereal for breakfast each day), vary how you start the day (go for a swim, a walk, a jog, rise at different times) and try to visit somewhere new at least twice a month (a restaurant, a museum, a theatre, a town etc.) as this will help to bring variety to life and keep life interesting. It's also a great way of easily managing stress without making major changes.
Former anxiety sufferer Chris Green is the author of "Conquering Stress", the internationally acclaimed guide to managing stress, anxiety and depression - quickly, naturally and permanently.