Many of us find it a challenge to balance family, work and home….as well as trying to keep a social life with friends. The busy-ness of the contemporary, urban lifestyle means that many of us feel stress on a regular basis. We could spend a lot of time and dollars analyzing our life and situations to eliminate stress. However, it may be far more useful to learn the skills of dealing with everyday stress to keep the stress levels within a healthy level.
1. Lower your expectations and you will suffer less disappointment. Try seeing everything as already perfect and accept things as they are, then you can strive less and relax more.
2. Learn to say NO. Next time someone asks you to do something, before the word yes slips out, pause, say you can’t give an answer just yet you’ll get back to them. This technique gives you time to think. Now you can choose to say NO, calmly, politely and kindly.
3. Do one thing at a time. SLOW DOWN! If you are racing, so is your heart! Write yourself a list, prioritize your tasks and work through your list methodically. You need to enjoy what you are doing, not just the results of your efforts.
4. Stop trying to fall asleep. So many people go to bed desperate to fall asleep as quickly as possible, and then suffer the frustration of wakefulness. Quit struggling you need to relax before you can sleep! Be thankful that you are warm, safe and cosy, be glad that your body is resting. Breathe deeply, slowly, gently and listen to your heart beating peacefully.
5. Laugh more! Get serious an about humour. Laughter is seriously healing. The special chemicals released when we laugh are natures finest form of natural medicine. When you’ve suffered a stressful day, make sure you suffer some serious humour in the evening. Watch a comedy show or film, one you know will produce copious laughter, to counter the stress you’ve endured.
6. Treat yourself to a nap and don’t feel guilty. When your body is pleading for rest, 40 winks works wonders but only if you don’t feel guilty about this.
7. Get out in the fresh air! Drab office, the whir of computer hard drives the drone of your boss’s demands. Get outside during your lunch break, find a patch of green, some flowers, even wander around a garden centre! Lose yourself in nature and feel your tensions dissipate, for a while at least.
8. Live in the now. The past is gone, you cant change it. The future is mysterious and seductive, but only with you in your dreams. What you need is with you NOW so make the most of it. Be creative and give everything you’ve got to NOW.
9. Visualisation techniques. You may also like to try using your powers of visualisation in the ‘theatre of your mind’ to quickly reduce stress. The photograph above is a soothing scenario to help get you started, but be created, invent your stress-buster.
10. Calming cat nap. Imagine you are a black cat, stretched out and basing in the sun, lying on a lush green lawn listening to birdsong. Feel the warmth of the sun penetrate your totally relaxed body.