Sunday, January 21, 2007

22 Tips to Handle Stress

Try the below given simple tips to handle stress whether at office, home, or any area of your life:

1. Regular moderate exercise can boost energy and reduce feelings of stress. Walking outdoors is a good aerobic exercise for body and mind. You can try out simple exercises like jogging, walking, swimming, biking, aerobics, etc. Exercise releases mood-enhancing chemicals, like endorphins, the mind-body's natural painkiller and mood calmer. Finding an exercise buddy can be even better.

2. Take a warm water bath.

3. Talking it out with a trusted friend or professional

4. List out the problems and list their possible solutions, then try them out.

5.Breathe deeply - slowly in, slowly out and think of something pleasant. Shallow chest breathing can cause your heart to beat faster and your muscles to tense up, increasing feelings of stress. So breathe deeply, begin by putting your hand on your abdomen just below the navel. Inhale slowly through your nose and watch your hand move out as your belly expands. Hold the breath for a few seconds, then exhale slowly. Repeat several times.

6. Keep a day journal. This will help you note down what activities you are doing everyday, how you are utilizing your time and what things cause you stress or anxiety during the day. Once you know what activities are causing stress you can think of ways to deal with them. If you start a journal keep at it atleast for a few days in order to benefit from it.

7. After you've done your best to deal with a situation, avoid speculating about the outcome. Forget it and go onto the next thing.

8. Dont indulge in self-pity and do not try to gain other's sympathy by telling them your woes. Self-pity results in making you feel weaker.

9. Avoid trying to hurry. Always try to be relaxed and composed while doing things.Hurrying results in worry and anxiety. Try to maintain a schedule so that you do not have to hurry for things.

10. If you find a problem or task as too big, then break it down into smaller, more manageable chumps so that you do not feel overwhelmed.

11. Remember that most things that you fear about may not actually happen. What was the thing that worried you the most last year or two years back? Most likely you will not even remember it. The same things can happen to your current fears.

12. Don't try to be perfect. By trying to be perfect in all things you do, you may be creating unnecessary stress in your life. Instead of that, try to do the best that you can in everything you do and if you make a mistake - accept it, forgive yourself and learn from it. Don't be too hard upon yourself and don't overly criticize yourself for making mistakes, instead learn from mistakes and move on.

"Defeat is not the worst of failures. Not to have tried is the true failure."
George E. Woodberry

13. Avoid feeling panicky. It may be natural to feel a little bit of tension and nerves prior to an important meeting, interview, exam etc. but its no use worrying unnecessarily. Worrying too much may prevent your mind from thinking clearly.

14. Resist comparisons with others. Very often the common cause of stress for people is that they compare their own performances against that of other people and if their performance is a little bit inferior, it destroys their confidence and creates stress for them. Instead of comparing yourself with others, make your own previous performance as a standard against which you can set future goals for yourself to achieve. Keep competing with yourself and not with others. Competition with self can lead to improvement and too much competition with others can lead to stress.

15. Sport psychologists have known for a long time that visualizing success can make an enormous difference to the performance of players. However most people do the opposite - instead of focusing on success they visualize and focus on failure. You can minimize stress and build up confidence by focusing on your strengths and what you know rather than focusing on your weaknesses and what you do not know.

"Do not wait; the time will never be 'just right.' Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along."
Napoleon Hill
1883-1970, Author

16.Try looking at problems as opportunities for improving.

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.
Thomas Edison

17. Get plenty of rest and eat well. You'll be able to handle stress better when it does come up.

18. When a particular problem is causing you lots of stress then take a time-out. Do something you enjoy and do not think about the problem. A few minutes away from the problem can help.

19. Give yourself pep talk to cheer yourself up. Sometimes we need to be our own advisor and remind ourselves to keep our cool, accept things that happen to us - whether good or bad and move forward in life. Whenever you feel negative or stressed out you have to make the extra effort in gaining control of yourself. Speaking to yourself in a friendly manner can help - just like when you give a loving advice to a dear friend.

20. Walking in a garden or looking at green trees can have a soothing effect on us. Spend time looking at trees and plants, watching birds or animals, sitting by the seaside watching the waves, enjoy beautiful natural scenery - all these can take our minds off everyday problems and help in gaining calmness. Try being absorbed in nature for sometime everyday. You can also develop gardening as a hobby. Besides feeling calm, out health can also benefit as we get fresh unpolluted air while we are in natural surroundings.

21. Write down on a piece of paper all things that you can think of which are causing you stress. Divide the paper into two parts by drawing a margin in the middle. Then on the left side write down all the things which you can change by putting in some efforts. On the right side write down things which you cannot change, like the death of someone etc. Change what you can and stop worrying about things you can't change.

22. Stretch: Stretching loosens muscles and facilitates deeper breathing, thus it can be good for overcoming stress. Try this exercise - on a rug or mat, kneel, sit back on your heels, then lean forward and put your forehead on the floor and your arms alongside your legs, palms up. Hold for one to three minutes.

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