The first step to reduce stress is to consider the origin of the stress. Keeping a stress journal is a good place to connect with feelings and stresses during the day. Set aside some time each day to study the journal and assess what is causing problems. Often, writing problems down, relieves stress and enables a conclusion to be arrived at sooner. Talking to a trusted friend, family member or therapist is another solution to minimizing stress. A stressful situation can often appear bigger than it actually is until shared with another.
Over scheduling is a huge problem for many people. Having too much to do in the day, can lead to a build up of stress. Learn to say, “No”. In an ideal world everyone would be able to help out everyone else when asked but unfortunately this is not the case. Start an appointment diary and check it before starting the day. Don’t forget to allow for down time in the diary too.
An untidy home or work environment can cause stress. Simply setting aside a little time each day to put things away and organise the place will provide a calmer home and work environment.
Daily exercise is a must for reducing stress. Setting aside 30 to 60 minutes each day for exercise can bring down stress levels. If doing the exercise in one block is unrealistic, there are many other ways to combine exercise into a busy day. Consider walking to work, taking the children to play in the park, using the stairs rather than the elevator or parking the car further away than the intended destination and walking the rest of the way. Being more active rather than less active will ensure lower stress levels.
Relying on sugary drinks, cigarettes and junk food can stimulate the body and mind, increase stressful feelings and get in the way of a good night's sleep. Consider munching on healthy snacks such as fruit, vegetables and nuts and drink herbal tea to calm a stressed mind.
A good way to reduce stress is to step away from the problem (if practicable) and take a break. Have some fun with friends or family, take the dog for a walk or spend some time with a new hobby. This can renew energy and give a new perspective on a stressful situation.
Identifying stress, taking better care of body and mind and enjoying life can minimize stress but if problems persist, consult a medical profession.
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