Wednesday, 1 August 2012

How to cope with stress

Coping with stress
An appropriate amount of stress is vital to motivate and build resilience in character. However, it should not overwhelm you. The key to successful stress management lies in taking charge: you try to effectively deal with your demands, your thoughts, your emotions and the occasional crises.

When you are in control, you feel you can deal with what life is throwing at you. However, your capacity to be in control is to a large extent determined by your coping resources. The more of these you have in your toolkit, the better you sense of control. Applying some of the following stress management tips will enable you to identify and improve your overall quality of life.

(1) Determine the source of stress. It might be partially caused by you. Procrastination and bad habits may be a significant contributor.. You can use a stress journal to identify the regular stressors. When stressed, we tend to make mountains out of molehills and mentally exaggerate all our problems (even the small ones). Put pen to paper and list out what is stressing you. Aim to get one thing of the list today. Nothing motivates like the sense of getting something done, even if is relatively menial.

(2) Try breathing easy and visualize calm. Use deep breathing instead of shallow chest breathing. Practice at least 10 big deep belly breaths. Practicing mindfulness for many people is a powerful coping resource.

(3) Exercise and consume healthy food. A healthy lifestyle will strengthen the immune system weakened by stress. Cut down on caffeine-laced food and beverages to promote clearer thinking and concentration over time. Manage the alcohol intake. Going for a walk or even better for a run again are powerful coping resources. Key is to have routine.

(4) Devise an affirmation. A simple "I can handle this" or “I am ok” helps to dispel the negativities projected in your mind.

(5) Just say no if you are pushed to the limit. The measure of true success is being able to prioritize and say no if necessary.

(6) Take time off to de-clutter. The pile of mess on your table needs clearing. Sort the tasks according to importance and finish one at a time.

(7) Try aromatherapy and physical relaxation techniques. Yoga and Pilates helps to tune your mind and body while essential oils found in aromatherapy helps to calm your senses. Tapping is a technique which many find helpful. The key is knowing what works for you personally.

(8) Talk to a friend. Sharing your worries with someone allows temporary relief of burden and helps you feel cared for.

(9) Cultivate a hobby. Your hobby should be something you're passionate about- it helps to take your mind off the stress and gives you a sense of renewed awareness.

(10) Boost your vitamin intake. A daily multivitamin and mineral formula completes the recommended intake and helps you to function better physically and mentally.

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