Stress Management - 10
Tips For Coping
From 1985 to 1991, the percentage of Americans reporting
high stress doubled from about 20% to over 40%. During the same
period, the percentage of people who reported stress-related
illness also doubled.*1
Here at BestLiquidVitamins.com, we care about you! If you
find yourself under a great deal of stress and you're looking
for a few helpful tips to get you through, here's our
collection of the Top Ten Tips For Managing Stress. We hope
they help you (as much as they have helped us) during this
stressful time in your life.
Stress Tip #1 - Deep
I start this section off with deep breathing, because it is
something you can do anywhere and anytime. I also highly
recommend you perform deep breathing exercises at least 3 to 5
times throughout the day - more if you feel the need.
Whether standing, sitting, or laying, try this... Take a
long deep breath to the count of 3 (as in one-thousand-and-one,
one-thousand-and... you get the picture?). Feel the air fill
from the diaphragm up slowly to the top of your lungs. Hold it
for a count of 4 - then release it slowly for a count of 8 to 9
- long and slo-o-ow. Repeat 4 times for a total of 5 deep
breaths. (Increase or decrease your counts and repetitions as
Stress Tip #2 -
I have this excellent soothing cassette tape -
10 Minutes to Relax - it's old, and worn, yet still a favorite of
mine when times get particularly busy! (I think it's only
available in CD now?) I find a quiet spot, pop it into my
cassette player, then lay back and let the soft tones of
the announcer guide me through a "virtual vacation" in my
mind. You'd be amazed at how refreshed and calm I feel
after this brief 10 minute interlude in my day.
Whether you choose a guided meditation tape like I have, or
prefer quiet music or total silence, take 10 minutes to breath
deeply and let your long-drawn exhales sweep the stress and
tensions from your muscles - head to toe. Surprise yourself
with the extra energy and coping skills you feel as a
Stress Tip #3 -
Notice how a good long stretch can make you feel great all
over, even when you're not under stress? Whether you choose
Tai Chi for relaxation, it's a great way to loosen up
those muscles which tend to tighten up subconsciously
during stress. Pay attention to your breathing again, and
let your deep breaths help push the tension out and away
with each stretch.
Stress Tip #4 -
Sometimes I just get way too busy to eat right, especially
during times of increased deadlines (my major cause of stress).
I already know how important breakfast is, but geez-oh-petes, I
just don't have the time and don't want the junk that comes
with most snackbars out there. At the very least I try to start
my day off with a protein drink - whether it be a high-protein
smoothie, or one of the many excellent protein shakes (from
non-GM soy or other)
It is strongly recommended from highly qualified sources
that you get your necessary nutrition from the foods you
eat - and during times of stress, this is a time when a
well-balanced diet is more important than ever. As
PDRHealth*2 states it, "The best
stress-fighting diet plan is one that ensures general good
nutrition and health - one that builds a 'bank account' of
nutrients to deal with the damage of stress." Check out the
Pyramid and do your best to help your body help you
Stress Tip #5 -
Getting "Outside The Box"
Okay, now this one may seem a bit strange to some,
particularly when it comes to stress, but for me it works. I
learned it from an excellent book I received as a gift one year
The Artist's Way and it has served me well over the years.
During stressful times it may seem like your entire world is
closing in on you... that you can't see beyond the demands,
pressures, etc. This is when getting "outside the box" can
help. It's called opening your heart, mind, and eyes to natural
beauty - and letting it pour into your life.
For example, notice the unique shapes in a fluffy cloud, a
beautiful shade of green in a spring leaf, the interesting
textures and patterns in the bark of a tree, the soft
reflections in a pool of water... the point is to get outside
of your current situation psychologically and see - and
acknowledge - the beauty that surrounds us all. Noticing and
paying attention to things outside your current situation can
help you approach things inside with greater calm. Try it, and
see if it doesn't help you too.
Stress Tip #6 -
Okay, I know I don't have to say much on this subject. I'm
sure just thinking about a long, relaxing massage can get you
smiling. But what if you can't afford the time (or the
expense)? A soak in the hot tub might work, but still may take
too much time. How about a warm pulsating shower? Works for me!
Hope it will for you, too.
Stress Tip #7 -
Caffeine and Nicotine
Now hang on there... I'm not going to increase your stress
by telling you to quit or avoid the above. We all know how
harmful nicotine is and you don't need me hanging a guilt trip
on you. That isn't going to help you here and now, but here's
some tips that may help you cut back.
I switch from coffee or caffeine laden sodas to tea with
milk and/or herbal teas, for starters. As for the smoking, try
chewing on something instead of reaching automatically for the
smokes (like I chew on my pen or even a toothpick - but be
careful with these :). When a craving comes, take a deep
breath, or better - do some deep breathing exercises first
before caving in.
Stress Tip #8 - Use
Your Support Network
Talking to family, friends, and close associates can be an
effective method for releasing the inner anxieties that may
increase your stress levels. Make sure the people you choose
for your support network have your best interests at heart. You
don't want someone judgmental - often you just need a good
listener. There really is a skill to venting for release...
First and foremost - be polite. Once you've found your vent
partner, be sure to let them know before you begin ... "this is
a vent" and explain you're not asking them to solve, judge, or
critique, what you are about to say - all you need is a
friendly ear to just listen. Knowing when to ask for help may
avoid more serious problems later.
Stress Tip #9 - A
Sense Of Humor
When you lighten up, and smile more, you actually can
release a great deal of tension. A good strong belly laugh over
something funny can really get those endorphins rocking. (Hey,
a warm hug helps too!)
It's more important to have fun than be funny. Look at
things from a different perspective. Laugh with people (never
at them - and never use humor as a weapon). Try watching a
favorite funny movie. Sometimes laughter can be good
Stress Tip #10 -
Change Your Routine
Have you ever heard the expression "a change is as good as a
rest?" Well, surprise! It may also help reduce your stress. Try
it... find a pleasant change in your routine you can make and
see if it doesn't lighten your load.
Be gentle with yourself... kindness to yourself and others
can go such a very long way. And hey - thanks for reading this
article. We appreciate you!
Additional Sources and
Resources for Stress Relief
*1 DHSS Div. Of Public Health -
What Is... Stress???
*2 PDRHealth - Best Bets When You're Stressed Out
NEHC - Managing Stress Resources
Are The Major Causes Of Stress?
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