How to De-Stress Your Life

how to de-stress

How to De-Stress Your Life – 11 Simple Techniques to Reduce Toxic Stress – written by Alan Anderson

Learning to de-stress our lives can be challenging. In fact, around 75% of Americans report experiencing at least one symptom of stress in the last week (American Psychological Association, 2015)

I am a perfect example of a person who ignored all the symptoms of uncontrolled stress until my health collapsed. The upside of hitting this ‘brick wall’ was that a large part of my life has since been dedicated to exploring the best ideas on how to de-stress life. In fact, this has led to a total transformation of every aspect of my life.

My old solution to stress included  coping strategies like using alcohol, sleeping pills, over-eating and working longer hours to avoid the underlying health issues. These coping methods can give a short term feeling of respite from stress, but they do not address or reverse the root cause.

In fact, these coping strategies put your health even further out of balance.

If you are struggling with the impact of stress, it is important to identify your own sources of stress and learn how to use proven stress reduction techniques.

how to de-stress -action

Are You In Control?

Out of controls stress occurs when we live most of our waking life with our fight or flight mode permanently switched ‘on’.  This floods our body with hormones like cortisol, which is designed to keep us extremely alert for short bursts.

The problem with stress occurs when we try and switch into a more relaxed mode. Our mind and body stay ‘hyped-up’ with the stress response chemicals. This stops us from being able to relax, sleep and rejuvenate our mind and body.

The great news is that as well as the stress response, we are equipped with an opposite response called the deep relaxation response. The relaxation response neutralizes the stress response hormones. This allows us to calm our mind and body and easily achieve great sleep where our mind and body cells are rejuvenated.

Learning how to de-stress your life is all about finding ways to induce your own natural deep relaxation response. Set out below are eleven tips and techniques that helped me regain my lost health.

11 Simple Techniques to Reduce Toxic Stress

how to de-stress -time management

How to De-Stress #1 – Manage Time

Learning to manage your time and tasks each day is an important way of managing your stress levels. Managing your time can help you to avoid the stress of procrastination and time wasting.

In fact, the more you use simple planning in your life, the more it can help reduce the stress.

Planning allows you to focus your time on your high priority tasks. Also it can help you to find creative solutions to cutting, delegating or getting assistance for less important tasks. Managing your time can be a powerful first step to feeling as though you are in control of your life.

If you want more information about time management, check out my previous post.

How to De-Stress #2 – Journal Writing

Journal writing is a very powerful tool for reducing stress. It links very closely with the first tip where you use a diary or planner to manage your time and priorities.

I used journal writing initially as a way of downloading all of my busy thoughts just before trying to get to sleep. My mind would be buzzing with all the thoughts of the day and important issues that needed to be remember.

Psychologists say that it can take up to 30 days of repetition to form new habits. So, buy yourself a journal and start writing each day for a month or more. Journal writing is one of the best habits you will ever form.

how to de-stress -budget

How to De-Stress #3 – Financial Plan

One of the most common sources of stress is created by money, or more importantly having enough to pay all your bills. One of the best ways to de-stress when it comes to money is to create a simple financial plan that includes a savings plan.

Having savings is a great way to reduce stress in your life. No matter what financial hurdles are put in your way, savings can help you cope without any adding any unwanted stress. See my article on money management and saving money for more detail.

how to de-stress -deep breathing

How to De-Stress #4 – Deep Breathing

Deep breathing and focusing your mind on your deep breathing can be a great way to find some immediate relief from stress during the day. By shifting our mind onto breathing it allows our mind to calm and to reduce stressful thoughts.  It’s so easy for jumbled thoughts to plague our mind and become the source of much of our stress.

Concentration on deep breathing is a very simple type of mindfulness exercise which is covered in the next segment.

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How to De-Stress #5 – Mindfulness

Have you ever driven somewhere and then arrived at your destination without any recollection of the trip you have just taken? It happens to us all. We spend up to half our time in a state of mindlessness where we allow our thoughts to distract us from what is happening right now.

Mindfulness is a simple process of consciously shifting your mind away from this thought loop. Often our thought stream can become negative and is a source of stress. So, mindfulness is about shifting our mind from active thinking into observing and being totally present with what is happening now.

Simple mindfulness techniques are a powerful way to learn how to reduce mind and body stress and can be done at any time. Check out 3 simple mindfulness exercises you can try right now.

how to de-stress -situational stress

How to De-Stress #6 – Situational Stress

There can be times when a certain situation or person causes us to feel stressed. I have met so many people who allow situational stress to ruin their quality of life.

If you find yourself in a stressful situation, the best thing you can do is to recognize the source of your stress. If you can’t control the situation directly then work on temporarily removing yourself from it.

This can give you time to de-stress yourself using a relaxation technique like deep breathing or mindfulness exercises. If the situational stress remains unresolved you must consider a more permanent solution. Never allow situational stress to impact your life long term.  Share your concerns with others and work out a way to remove yourself from situational stress.

how to de-stress -activity

How to De-Stress #7 – Physical Activity

Physical activity of any type can be a great way of dealing with stress. Even the process of getting up and walking around can create a state change in your mind that allows you to deal with stress.

If you feel stressed, get up and go for a walk. If you have a park nearby you can combine your walk with some deep breathing and simple stretches. Combine this with a mindfulness exercise like ‘name five things’ and you are well on the way to learning how to de-stress your life effectively.

how to de-stress -nature

How to De-Stress #8 – Power of Nature

Don’t under estimate the power of nature to help you to de-stress your life. When we spend time in nature we tend to apply many of the stress reduction techniques already discussed without being conscious of them.

Also, when we walk in nature we tend to focus on where we step which makes us mindful.  We also become mindful when we can listen for birds and other animals, breathe deeply and become active.

So, the power of nature comes from the fact that it can make us switch our mind into the present moment. By observing nature, our mind tends to stay focused on what is happening right now which helps us reduce mind and body stress.

how to de-stress -sleep habits

 How to De-Stress #9 – Sleep Habits

When you are looking at how to de-stress your life, it is important to consider your sleep habits. This is important because quality sleep is probably the most powerful ways our mind and body recovers from the stress we create each day.

If you are not able to sleep well for at least seven hours each night, you may be limiting your ability to recover from the stress of each day. If you want to read more articles about achieving great sleep then check out this post.

how to de-stress -progressive muscle relaxation

How to De-Stress #10 – Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Progressive Muscle Relaxation is a very simple, but powerful way of dealing directly with muscle tension. You can learn how to de-stress your muscles by progressively tensing and then relaxing each set of muscles in your body. This is a proven method that helps you deal directly with tense muscles during the day or to help you relax before bed time. If you would like to try progressive muscle relaxation then check out my posts.

how to de-stress -meditation

How to De-Stress #11 – Meditation

Learning to meditate is the most powerful technique I have found to reduce both mind and body stress. It has helped me to become mindful and focus my mind effortlessly, increases energy levels. Also it helps me to relax before sleep and allows me to induce a state of deep relaxation that allows my mind and body to complete its natural repair and rejuvenation processes.

If you like to learn how to meditate for improved health and well-being you may want to visit www.makemeditattioneasy.com

You can also check out how to meditate for beginners in the resource page of this site.

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