Stress Management: 12 Stress Busters for Speedy Stress Reduction

Are You Too Stressed?

Is your stomach all tied up in knots? Do you have trouble concentrating or remembering things? Do you have trouble falling asleep, or do you sleep too much? You can handle a certain amount of stress, but when you get overloaded with stress, it lowers your ability to function. That is when you need stress relief ? and you need it fast. These 12 stress busters will show you how you can reduce stress, and some of them work in an instant.

Stress actually takes the joy out of life. It saps your energy. In its extreme, stress can immobilize you. Stress also aggravates physical illnesses such as high blood pressure, heart disease, ulcers, back pain, and many others.

If you are stressed at home, it also affects your work. If you are stressed at work, it affects your relationships with your family. You aren't much fun to be with when you're all stressed out. Instead, you can be grumpy, irritable, angry, impatient, distracted, jumpy, and impulsive. This in turn makes other people tense and uncomfortable.

Stress is caused by the anxiety that comes from fear, and many of these fears are caused by your unrealistic expectations. To alleviate the stress you need to determine whether your expectations are creating peace of mind or causing anxiety.

For example, if you expect life to be without problems, expect that relatives will get along just because they're related, or expect that your work will always be perfect, you're being unrealistic, and you're creating your own stress. Try having only one expectation - be yourself, do the best you know how, and accept your limitations.

If you are still experiencing stress after you have evaluated and changed your expectations, try these stress busters.

A Dozen Stress Busters:

1. Look for humor in the situation. You can pretend you are making a TV sitcom. You can imagine difficult people as very small, wearing diapers, or clothing from a different era. In your imagination you can make them very skinny or short and fat.

2. Create a safe haven in your mind by thinking of a place in your life where you were happiest. Take a couple of minutes to visualize yourself in that happy place. When you are ready to return to reality you will have calmed down, and you will be able to think more rationally.

3. Choose a cassette tape of music that has a calming effect on you. Keep it with you so you can use it at a moment's notice.

4. Start your day on a positive. Listen to motivational audio tapes every morning. Then, several times a day take a few minutes to read inspirational books, poems, and quotes.

5. Call a friend. Sometimes just getting things off your chest can relieve your anxiety. It is also helpful to join a support group for people with similar problems.

6. Focus on your major goal and do something to move it forward. You will feel a sense of accomplishment, and your stressful situation will occupy a smaller place in your life.

7. Do something that is fun. Having fun is how we recharge our battery. If stress has drained our energy, it is important to schedule activities that are fun for you so that you can recharge.

8. Spend time with nature. Take a walk in the park. Look at the trees swaying in the breeze. Watch the squirrels chase each other from tree to tree. Nature has its own way of putting things into perspective. Just by realizing that there is an innate intelligence in all living things can help you to let go and let nature do its part. If you are a religious person, turning to God can help you be at peace with any situation.

9. Change what you can control in the situation and accept the rest. For example, your stress may involve other people. You may have tried to talk about a stressful situation with the other people involved, but nothing has changed. One thing you can control is how you respond to what others are doing. Study your situation and change one aspect of your own response to a more peaceful response.

10. Susan Jeffers, in her book, "Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway," says that you should ask yourself. "What is the worst thing that can happen, and could you handle it?" Just knowing that you can handle the worst possibility will lower your stress.

11. Create a peaceful corner at home where you can have quiet time. Decorate it with your favorite pictures, stuff that make you feel good, and fresh flowers.

12. Do something physical. Either do some exercise, play a sport, or clean out your closets, weed your garden, rake the leaves, wash the windows, etc. When you do anything physical it reduces stress.

If none of the above works, get help from a professional who can give you expert guidance.

In short, stress is created in your mind by your own fears. A more peaceful mind will lead to a more peaceful perception of your situation, and the result will be lower stress. Just by changing the way you think, you can lower your stress even if nothing else changes.

If you look at every stressful situation and ask yourself, "What can I do that will create peace of mind instead of stress?" you will start replacing the stress in your life with serenity and happiness.

Are you stressed and unhappy at work? The real problem may be different from what you think it is. That is why the author, Harriet Meyerson, founder of The Confidence Center, gives you an Employee Morale Assessment to pinpoint problem areas, a Confidence Quiz to help you become more successful, and an Employee Morale and Confidence Tips newsletter. They are all F.r.e.e on her web at http://www.ConfidenceCenter.com

Copyright Harriet Meyerson. At The Confidence Center we work with companies who want to raise employee morale and confidence ? on a shoestring budget. We offer seminars, telephone seminars, books, eBooks and many more resources.

* Editors, you have permission to reprint this article in your newsletter, or post this article on your web with a live link please.

In The News:

Stress Management  Penn: Office of University Communications
Three ways to improve your self-care routine  Santa Clarita Valley Signal
Self-care for busy people (like you)  Michigan Lawyers Weekly
Stress management tips for anxious attorneys  South Carolina Lawyers Weekly
How the Mental Affects the Physical  Harvard Business Review
Exam De-stress event  Scoop.co.nz

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