Stress affects millions of people every day and many turn to prescription medicines to help reduce stress in their lives. Unfortunately, there are often unwanted consequences of prescription medications. This article explores a few simple techniques you can apply to help relieve your stress without resorting to medication.
Identify the cause of your stress. There are several conditions, or a combination of, which can lead to stress, this could be your job or personal relationships. Stress is a symptom and not a cause in its own right. If you work at identifying the cause of your stress, you stand a better chance of getting permanent relief. If however, you just treat the symptom, the cause will remain and will manifest itself another time. Below are 9 carefully selected practical things you can do to alleviate stress.
1. Take Control
The most identified cause of stress is “not knowing what to do” and feeling powerless and also the feeling that everything is happening around you and there is nothing you can do. Take control and empower yourself. Make the conscious decision that you are going to DO something about your problem instead of just “thinking” about it.2. Be Active
Remember when you were young and you said to your mum “I am bored” and your mother said “go and DO something”? Well that still works even today. Physical activity has been uncovered as a precursor to healthy mental activity. Try this little experiment, even when you do not feel like smiling, just force yourself to smile, while doing that check on your feelings. Do you now feel like smiling? The simple act of Doing brings the Feeling. Go for a walk or other form of exercise, this won’t solve your problem but it surely, lifts some of the emotional intensity.3. Reach out to other people
A problem shared is a problem no more, well that is true in most cases. You will be surprised at how speaking to people about a problem or just asking for ideas in general will relieve stress somewhat. You will start having different perspectives and usually wonder why you had not thought of some of the ideas. Also just relaxing with friends will give your subconscious uninterrupted time to mull on the problem that is worrying you.4. Challenge yourself
Sometimes stress erodes your personal confidence and to get this back you may need to start setting yourself some goals and challenges. This could be learning a new language or start playing a new sport. Setting yourself challenges means you are being proactive and taking charge of your life situations. This will build your confidence up and help you reduce unwanted stress in your life.5. Create time for “You”
The main reason why most stress occurrences are work related is because we spend a huge proportion of our adult life at work. The more time you spend at work means less time spent on doing the things you love and enjoy doing. Most people have the same after work routine and it just goes on and on. To change your life you must set aside time that is just for you, when you get to do anything and everything that you enjoy doing. Setting aside this time and not letting anything else intrude means you are in a situation that you have “created” thus empowering you to make similar changes in other areas of your life.6. Ditch unhealthy habits
Beware of falling into the trap of bad habits. Some people turn to alcohol when they are under pressure and stressed. These are just crutches you will be using to prop you up while ignoring the real causes of your stress. They will only provide temporary relief and you will find yourself back in the same position with a short space of time. Rather rely on friends and the other ways mentioned in this article.7. Cultivate a positive attitude
Make it a habit of writing down all the things you value and are grateful for in your life. This is a store of positive messages you can always go back to when you are feeling stressed. Making a conscious effort to train yourself to be more positive always pays dividends. You will become more resilient when you have a positive attitude to situations in your life.8. Think and work smarter, not harder
Since most of the stress is work related, good time management at work will go a long way in preventing work related stress. The culture of long work hours contributes to work related illnesses and managing your time effectively will mean you do not get stress. On the other hand working smarter is the skill of prioritizing your work so that you concentrate on the tasks that will actually make a difference. Leave the least important tasks for last. Getting you work life balance correct makes it easier to reduce stress in your life.9. Learn to accept things you can’t change
Sometimes we get stressed over situations that are out of our control and changing those difficult situations isn’t always possible. If you are faced with such a situation you need to recognise this fact and accept it. That way you will be able to focus on the things you have control over which you can change. A classic situation is being made redundant, getting stressed and asking “why me” will not get you anywhere. However asking “what do I do now or how do I go about getting a new job” will make sure you do not stress over something you cannot control.