Stress is a fact of life but you can learn to manage it better both mentally and physically. In part 2 of our blog series on managing stress, learn ways to manage your stress by harnessing the good and reducing the harmful stress.
Stress itself is not the problem, it’s how we handle it that becomes the challenge. It’s when stress is overwhelming, and we feel out of our depth, that knowing skills to reduce stress become essential for our peace of mind.
So, whether you feel seriously ‘stressed-out’ or find yourself occasionally feeling too pressured for your liking, you can only benefit by trying some of these proven techniques for reducing stress levels and managing the remaining stress in a more effective way.
10. LIVE IN THE PRESENT
Worrying doesn’t take away tomorrow’s or yesterday’s troubles but it does take away today’s peace and stops you enjoying the good.
Wherever you are, be there! The past cannot be undone. Many of the things that we think will happen never do. The present is full of possibility and potential. When we are stressed, our view of the world shrinks, and solutions seem to evade us.
Much of our stress comes from the worry of what we think might happen in the future or overthinking what has happened in the past.
“A good day’s worry is far more exhausting than a good day with an axe.” – Petrea King
When we’ve had a good day with an axe we fall into bed and sleep like a baby. When we’ve spent a day worrying, we twitch all night and sleep is illusive.
11. MOVE YOUR BODY
Moving your body by exercising gently for 40 minutes can reduce stress levels for up to three hours. Find an exercise that is right for you and that you enjoy, and then incorporate it into your week. Four or five times a week is a good goal to aim for to feel the ongoing effects.
12. BREATHE DEEPLY
Before a potentially stressful encounter, like a complex meeting, stop, bring yourself into the present moment and breathe! A few long slow deep breaths, breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth will help you release any anticipatory tension. Breathe in relaxation, breathe out stress.
To stop tension from building up throughout your working day, stop regularly, bring your focus back to the present by connecting with the senses of your body and take half a dozen long slow deep breaths. Leave aside the tensions of the past and focus once more upon the job at hand. Try Petrea King’s Coming to your senses meditation – link below.
13. FIND WAYS TO RELAX
Familiarity with progressive relaxation techniques helps us to recognise when we are becoming stressed. Having the ability to physically unwind is the first step to letting go of mental tension. Regular use of a good relaxation tape will take the stress out of learning the technique!
14. LEARN TO MEDITATE
Learning to meditate can be the next simple step in relaxing the mind so that it becomes quieter. With a quiet and focused mind our intuition, inspiration and imagination become more readily accessible. Meditation need have no religious association though many people feel they become more spiritually alive when they meditate regularly.
The practice of meditation is one of the greatest tools for improving clarity, concentration and memory and for achieving mastery over our lives.
15. FIND YOUR PURPOSE
Find something that lights you up! If we are engaged in activities and relationships that are nurturing and fulfilling to us, we are less likely to find them stressful. When we feel passionate and enthusiastic about something we can speak from a real sense of authentic genuineness. Nothing beats authenticity.
16. NOURISH YOUR BODY
A healthy mind in a healthy body gives us the best chance of accomplishing our purpose. Some people find that taking the time to create a nourishing meal helps bring them into the present moment and calm the mind. Try to incorporate more SLOW foods into your day – seasonal, local, organic and wholesome. Increase your fibre intake by including plenty of fruit, vegetables, legumes and grains. Reduce your intake of red meat to once or twice a week and replace it with seafood or chicken. Also, don’t forget to hydrate with plenty of fresh water!
- Coming to your senses meditation. If your mind is full of chatter, take a few minutes to breathe, relax and enjoy being in the present moment with this 8-minute meditation.
- Petrea King meditation CDs
How Quest for Life can help
If you’re feeling stressed and are finding it difficult to navigate back to a sense of peace, we can make a profound difference in your life. Quest for Life can help through Healing Your Life. Our 5-day residential program provides you with a wealth of practical skills and strategies for managing stress in a confidential and safe environment.
Call the Programs Team on 1300 941 488 or email firstname.lastname@example.org