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Stress seems to be an unavoidable part of modern life but that doesn’t mean that you have to let it rule your life. We’ve found some simple ways to beat stress that are simple, easy to achieve and, best of all, actually work!

What is Stress?

Firstly, we need to understand what stress is. It can be defined as a change that causes strain physically, emotionally or psychologically. If the body is subjected to too much stress, physical symptoms start to surface, mildly at first but they can progress to being much more serious if the source of stress is not addressed. Some conditions which can be brought on by stress include:
  • headaches
  • more susceptibility to colds and flus
  • depression
  • hair loss
  • obesity
  • anxiety disorders
  • obsessive-compulsive disorders
  • sexual dysfunctions
  • ulcers
  • heart disease

Stress Management Techniques

Thankfully, there are many stress management techniques available, so it’s just a matter of finding one that fits in with your lifestyle and budget! Here’s a look at some common stress management techniques.
  • Breathing Exercises – these work quickly and can be done anywhere. Deep breathing oxygenates the blood, relaxes muscles and quietens the mind.
  • Meditation – uses some elements of breathing exercises but builds on these so that the mind focuses on “nothingness” and therefore reduces stress.
  • Guided Imagery – where you take yourself through a mental journey to a pleasurable place, leaving stress behind and relaxing the body.
  • Self-hypnosis – enables you to talk directly to your subconscious mind in order to help you give up bad habits, feel less pain and develop better habits.
  • Massage – the mind is closely linked to the sense of touch and touch is essential for the mind’s wellbeing. Massage also improves circulation and releases tension.
  • Music Therapy – listening to music can lower the blood pressure, relax the body and calm the mind.
  • Physical Activity – exercise helps to reduce stress by helping the body to release endorphins, a “feel good” chemical, and lowering cortisol levels (cortisol is related to stress levels).
  • Set Boundaries – learn to say no so that you are not overwhelmed by your commitments.
  • Social Support – a network of friends and family will help you lessen stress by providing support when you are feeling low or stressed.
  • Distract Yourself – sometimes the best way to deal with stress is to think about something else. TV, movies, music, video games and so on can all provide ways to break the cycle of worry.

If you are feeling overwhelmed and increasingly stressed, to the point where the techniques above aren’t of help, there is always professional help available. Professionals will be able to help you to deal with your stress so that you can lead the happy, fun, fulfilling life that you deserve!

   Glossary term: Stress

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