Monday, 10 February 2014

Anxiety Management - Ways to reduce stress part 1

As I mentioned previously in one way or another we are all stressed.
If we are stressed our bodies release stress hormones like cortisol. These stress hormones give us a boost to perform what we need to do.
But in the long term these hormones can have detrimental effects on us. They can even lead to weight gain and other health problems.

So what are some practical ways to reduce stress? And I'm not talking about turning you into some kind of hippy or some of the overly touchy feely guides you can find on the net. Just practical realistic steps for stress relief.

1. compartmentalise your day.
Live in each moment. When your having breakfast with your family, actually be there in mind and body. Put down the phone, computer and turn off the TV. Don't sit there planning your day or worrying about other matters during the day, live in that moment and try to enjoy it.

Likewise, focus on your work...When your at work. Give yourself definite times in which you think about work. For example, when leaving work, force yourself to leave work at the workplace until the next day. Close the door of your mind. Move on with the next section of your day.

2. Live in each moment, make the most of each moment.
Whatever your doing try your hardest to focus on that thing, and then leave it when you've finished. Each task has its mundane side,but try to see differences, human experience and ways in which you can improve as a person.

3. Worrying about a problem won't solve it.
Perhaps its money worries or what you'll do in a certain situation. Again, use your self control to try to minimise worry time. Talk over any problems or concerns with someone and force yourself to think of less stressful things. This ties in with the next tip.

4. Get enough sleep.
If your tired and feeling stressed, try to get enough sleep. Go to bed as early as you can.if for some reason you've slept poorly,  today might not be the day to make those big life decisions or to make big plans. 40% of Americans lie awake at night because of stress so your not alone. Avoid all electronic stimulation in the bedroom, that means no TV, no lights, and a calm clean cool room.
More sleep = less stress. Less sleep = more stress.
Have you noticed that days that you sleep the least you have the most stress?

5. Its OK to take a break.
All of us, myself included race through our day. Have you ever been driving or shopping and been racing at the speed of light? Sometimes I've gotten into a mood where I have to race. It like a rush of adrenaline. But stop yourself and ask- why am I rushing? Will it make any real difference if I arrive 3 minutes later than if I were rushing? If I take my time will it make any real difference? It takes determination to catch yourself when your in that frame of mind, but try.
If you have chronic stress its even more important for you to really slow down all your activities.
In the middle of your day, take a small 20 minute break just for you. You never know, your productivity might improve for the rest of the day.

6. What do you love to do?
Do you have a hobby or find some activity relaxing or rejuvenating? Do it!
Take some time to enjoy what you like doing. Even if its small things. For instance if you find traffic frustrating and stressful, and yet you love podcasts or music, why not prepare the car or phone the evening before so that you can take advantage of it as a relaxing time?

7. Set limits
This takes time and experience to establish, it may take times of doing too much to realise that you should of stopped earlier.
Whether its at work or any task, set limits to what you can achieve without doing yourself more harm than good. Then stick by those findings.

8. Adjust your diet.
I've never felt calmer and more in control than the time that I've been on a low carb and non sugar diet.
My energy levels don't fluctuate as much and I certainly don't get those awful sugar drops. Instead I feel clear headed and stable.

If you dont feel this way, why not try my handy tips to giving up sugar?

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