Stress is a given. We all collect more than we need of it every day of our life. And if we fail to take steps to reduce it we can easily become overstressed. Our body goes into overdrive. Our heart begins to pound. We have difficulty breathing. We get chest pains. Feel faint. We sweat. Feel nausea. Our limbs shake and we get a little wobbly on our legs.
These five tools will help you to avoid reaching this high level of stress. If you use them regularly you will keep your stress at a low level. A level at which you can have greater success, influence and power for good.
No. 1 Stress management tool: Reading
Reading is a great way to relax. And it is so easy to do. Just six minutes is enough to reduce your level of stress by more than two-thirds according to new research.
Researchers found this is due to the need to concentrate on what you are reading. And when you read you become so absorbed that it eases the tensions in your muscles and in your heart. All you have to do is read silently. And you will automatically begin to relax. Another great thing about it is it doesn’t matter what you read as long as it holds your interest.
No.2 Stress management tool: Mindfulness
We all do routine tasks every day. When you learn to do some of these in a mindful way. And build them into your daily routine it will help you to unwind. To lower the stress level in an easy and sensible way.
Take walking for example. Every time you get up from the computer and walk across the room is an opportunity to be mindful. Just focus on the act of walking. How you lift your legs. Move them. And put them down again. The trick is not to think of anything else. Just to focus your mind on the simple act of walking.
When you do this well you create a little oasis for yourself. One that is free from the conveyor belt of thoughts that crowd your mind every second of the waking day. Breaking free from them for even one whole minute is good for you. And by doing it regularly you will make a habit of it. One of the very best stress beating habits in the world. To learn more about how to be mindful go to the post at /meditation-the-mental-fitness-tool/.
No.3 Stress management tool: Breathing exercises
Breathing exercises that get you to focus your attention on your breath are another great way to reduce stress. You can do them anywhere you like. Just take a minute or so as you sit at your desk. As you drive your car. Or whenever or wherever you feel like it. When you make a habit of doing it in certain places at certain times it becomes a natural part of your daily routine.
I use a very simple one. I just count my in-breath as one and my out-breath as two until I get to a total of ten. When I do this I feel really refreshed. With practise I have managed to do it in a mindful which makes it even more relaxing for me.
No.4 Stress management tool: Listen to music
Listening to music is great for reducing stress. It can be very soothing and relax your mind and your body. I find slow quiet classical music is usually the best for this.
But we all have a different taste for music. You are the only one who can decide what works for you. You might already know this. If not it is worth searching for the music you find most relaxing. And collect as much as you can of it. A selection that will totally relax your muscles and your heart.
No. 5 Stress management tool: Take a break
Breaks in your routine that lead to a change of scene and pace are yet another great way to reduce stress. “A few minutes break can be all you need to de-stress,” says Dr. Cyhlarova.
Any break between tasks like a brief walk in the fresh air. A snack of fruit, nuts or whole grain cereals are good because you absorb their sugars slowly. A cup of tea or coffee. And weekend or longer breaks away are all great ways to manage your stress.
Most of us tend to do just do one thing to deal with our stress. This is never enough we need to use a cluster of tools to manage it well. You will probably use your favourite one every day. And the trick is to build in the others around it so you use four or five of them several times a week.
Sadly when stress gets out of hand research shows that we stop doing things to reduce it. This self-defeating response is hard to understand. For some reason just when we most need to take care of our stress we fail to do so. So keep and eye on yourself. And when you notice that you are missing out on your stress reducing exercises take prompt action to get back on track. It will keep you sharp, alert and at your very best.