Ways To Manage Stress

Stress

Stress is the “wear and tear” our bodies experience as we adjust to our continually changing environment; it has physical and emotional effects on us and can create positive or negative feelings. As a positive influence, stress can help compel us to action; it can result in a new awareness and an exciting new perspective. As a negative influence, it can result in feelings of exhaustion, distrust, rejection, anger, and depression, which in turn can lead to health problems such as headaches, upset stomach, rashes, insomnia, ulcers, high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. With any life change (positive or negative), we experience stress as we readjust our lives. In so adjusting to different circumstances, stress will help or hinder us depending on how we react to it. The goal is not to eliminate stress, but to better manage it.

Consider the following story: A lecturer, when explaining stress management to an audience, raised a glass of water and asked, “How heavy is this glass of water?” Answers called out ranged from 20g to 500g. The lecturer replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long you try to hold it. If I hold it for a minute, that’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my right arm. If I hold it for a day, you’ll have to call an ambulance. In each case, it’s the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.” He continued, “And that’s the way it is with stress management. If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the burden becomes increasingly heavy, we won’t be able to carry on. As with the glass of water, you have to put it down for a while and rest before holding it again. When we’re refreshed, we can carry on with the burden.”

Below there are many suggestions for coping with stress. Read through them and highlight the ones that might work best for you. Give them a try.  Managing stress effectively makes life much more enjoyable!

Ways to Manage Stress

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  • Pray
  • Set attainable goals for yourself and your family
  • Schedule play time into every day
  • Practice breathing slowly
  • Exercise daily
  • Talk to someone you trust
  • Learn to accept what you cannot change
  • Be realistic about perfection
  • Avoid self medication
  • Get enough sleep to recharge your batteries
  • Do something nice for others
  • Take one thing at a time
  • Agree with somebody
  • Light a candle
  • Manage your time better
  • Take a yoga class
  • Plan ahead
  • If you are ill, don’t try and carry on as if you’re not
  • Develop a hobby
  • Eat sensibly
  • Don’t put off relaxing
  • Don’t be afraid to say no
  • Know when you are tired and do something about it
  • Delegate responsibility
  • Give your spouse a hug
  • Enjoy a piece of chocolate
  • Listen to some relaxing music
  • Simplify meal times
  • Shoot for the stars, not the sun
  • Take a hot bubble bath
  • Get up 15 minutes earlier
  • Keep a journal
  • Reflect on recent accomplishments
  • Clean out your car’s glove box
  • Get a massage
  • Prepare for the morning the night before
  • Avoid clothes that make you feel uncomfortable
  • Backup your important computer files
  • Stretch your limits a little each day
  • Set appointments in advance
  • Write things down
  • Anticipate your needs
  • Do not put off until tomorrow what you can easily do today
  • Practice preventive maintenance
  • Stop a bad habit
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  • Give a spare key to your neighbor
  • Have savings for a rainy day
  • Get your kids to put their dishes in the dishwasher
  • Reduce your caffeine intake
  • Say “no” more often
  • Play a board game
  • Learn something totally new
  • Help someone less fortunate
  • Tickle someone
  • Set priorities
  • Be prepared for rainy days
  • Stand up and stretch
  • Take a different route to work
  • Play a video game with a child
  • Memorize a joke and share it at the dinner table
  • Pet a friendly dog or cat
  • Walk in the rain
  • Plant a tree in your yard
  • Break large tasks into smaller, more manageable parts
  • Try to avoid “hanging out” with negative influences
  • Stop thinking tomorrow will be a better today
  • Look at challenges as new explorations
  • Develop your sense of humor
  • Get in shape (or closer to it anyway)
  • Look at a work of art
  • Know your limitations and let others know them, too
  • Buy yourself a flower
  • Say something nice to someone
  • Pat yourself on the back when you do a job well
  • Don’t be everything to everybody
  • Make smiling a habit
  • Hug an in-law
  • Do something that only younger people do
  • Prepare for tomorrow, live for today
  • Repair broken things instead of putting it off
  • Get to work early
  • Walk on the beach
  • Look up at the stars
  • Put out a bird feeder
  • Remember you always have options
  • Use time wisely
  • Try mapping out your day
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  • Enjoy some sunshine
  • Go to a concert
  • Keep important documents secure
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help
  • Rub your feet in the sand
  • Read a new story at bedtime
  • Believe in yourself and those around you
  • Look at problems as opportunities
  • Clean your desktop
  • Smile and smile again
  • Look for a silver lining
  • Be aware of the decisions you make
  • Stop saying negative things to yourself
  • Visualize yourself winning
  • Dance
  • Make a new friend
  • Read a poem
  • Have a support network you can count on
  • Take time to smell the roses
  • Ask someone to be your “vent-partner”
  • Work at being cheerful and optimistic
  • Put safety first
  • Do everything in moderation
  • Go for a walk
  • Cut some grass
  • Get a haircut that saves you time
  • Sing in the shower
  • Learn to blow off steam constructively
  • Be prepared and have a backup plan
  • Talk less and listen more
  • Freely praise other people
  • Be responsible for your feelings
  • Get more sleep
  • Take a short weekend vacation
  • Learn to meet your own needs
  • Look up an old-time friend
  • Go to your favorite sports event
  • Become a better listener
  • Hold the door for someone
  • Live on less than you earn
  • Have a candlelight dinner
  • Don’t gossip
  • Go on a picnic
  • Have your car washed-inside and out
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2012-01-08T19:44:32+00:00 January 8th, 2012|Articles|