Stress and anxiety affect everyone, there is no escaping it. Knowing how to cope and reduce stress, anxiety, and overwhelm is definitely an advantage in order to function without buckling under the strain. Well you know how to manage anxiety, it becomes a lot easier to cope. Here are easy to adopt ways to alleviate stress and enjoy a more relaxed existence
Include exercise in your daily routine. Do this before you are stressed or feeling overwhelmed. Exercise has proven time and time again to minimise the effects of stress. The psychological benefits of exercise have a neurochemical basis. Exercise lowers levels of the body’s stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol and stimulates the production of the body’s natural painkillers and mood enhancers, Endorphins.
Learn to Laugh
Physically it is impossible to feel stressed while you are laughing. The brain just cannot do it. Laughter is a powerful antidote to stress and anxiety. Nothing works faster to lighten the load. Watch funny videos, listen to comedians, play a joke on a friend, do anything that will make yourself and others laugh. Humour lightens your load, inspires hope, and keeps you grounded. Laughter will boost your immune system, relax your body, and allows your body to release endorphins that promote physical and emotional well-being. Laugh every day to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression.
Mind Your Thoughts?
Thoughts lead to emotions which lead to behaviour. When you monitor your thinking, you alter the associated emotions and behaviour. Think thoughts that support you as this will automatically reduce stress and anxiety. We all tend to work ourselves up by thinking of the worst possible scenario. This creates stress. Ensure that you challenge your thinking regularly. Investigate before you worry.
All work and no play leads to a life that is out of balance. A lopsided life will lead to stress and anxiety. It’s important to maintain a balance and keep your eye on your lifestyle goals. I often remind my clients that there is only one of them, and the company they work for will carry on with or without them. People feel misguided loyalty and almost kill themselves for their employers. This lack of balance clouds a person’s perspective and it’s only when physical health problems kick in that people sit and take notice. Introduce balance into your life before your health is affected.
Be assertive – Say No!
Learn to say “no” and stop pleasing others. The more you stand up for yourself the easier it is to keep stress and anxiety in check.
When stressed, we exaggerate the worst possible consequences of our situation. This only makes stress and anxiety worse. If you detach from the situation you can look at the problem from a distance. Often when you ask yourself whether this current problem will still matter six months from now. Often it helps to imagine yourself on a balcony looking down on yourself. From this detached position, it is often easier to maintain perspective and remove yourself emotionally from the situation. It is easier to think clearly and reduce stress and anxiety when you are detached from the situation.
Put Yourself First
If you live your life for others, you ignore your own needs at your own peril. It is never a successful strategy to put another’s needs constantly ahead of your own. This will lead to resentment. This does not mean you have to be selfish but when we try to be martyrs for too long this always ends up in confrontation.
Be Your Own Leader
In order to be truly happy, it is important to know what it is that gives you the most fulfillment. What is that feeling when time flies and you feel truly alive? Ensure you make time for those activities in life that inspire you and fill you with positive energy. Energy awareness is vital in managing stress levels. When we spend time with emotional vampires, they suck the positive energy out of us. Limit your time with these people and be aware of where you get your positive energy. Fill up those coffers!
Do What You Love
Lifestyle and quality of life are important if you want to reduce stress and anxiety. When you spend a large amount of your life doing things you really don’t enjoy, this negatively influences your mood and increases your anxiety levels. As far as possible, design a life that is full of things that you love doing. Find your passion and purpose and incorporate it into your career and daily life. Change your self-limiting beliefs and start to decide to believe that “where there’s a will, there’s a way”
Stop Watching the News
We are constantly influenced by our surroundings. Be aware of your environment and what you are exposing yourself to in terms of positive and negative energy. Bad news sells, so the news can be a source of negative energy and can lead to a sense of powerlessness and hopelessness. Rest assured if anything urgent happens, someone will tell you about it. If you can’t ‘not’ watch or listen to the news be aware of the effect this can have on you and limit your time watching programs of a negative nature.
Decide what works for you and design an anti-stress strategy. Whether its regular exercise, planning your life to include more balance, or making time to follow your passion, it’s vital you have a plan. Energy awareness is key in order to reduce stress and anxiety. Limit negative energy sources (difficult people, negative media stories, etc) and increase positive energy sources (fun music, inspirational people, exercise, etc) to maintain relatively stress and anxiety-free life.
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