Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Take a Break and Reduce your Stress

Take a Break and Reduce your Stress

I recently read in a paper that over 50% of sick days from work are stress related, it is well documented how damaging stress can be, and with the increasingly hectic lives that we are now living, stress related illnesses are becoming ever more frequent. Stress has been linked to many illnesses including heart disease, strokes, high blood pressure, and suppressed immune system that can make you more susceptible to common illnesses; and so it obvious that we must minimise the stress in our lives, in this article, I will try and show you how to so this!

So How Can I Reduce Stress?

  • The first and the best tip for reducing stress levels is through breathing, whether your at your desk at work or sat in front of the television, you can do this anywhere, just really focus on each breath, breathing deeply and slowly. By concentrating on your breathing, any stressful thoughts that may be in your head are removed as you are no longer focusing on the stressful thoughts, but on the breathing, this should help calm you down. This should be done whenever any stressful moment arises, and will stop you dwelling on these negative thoughts!
  • Exercise is my next piece of advice, not only will exercise keep you thin, it is a great way to release endorphins, exercise will help clear your mind of worries while making you feel good about yourself, exercise is a great method from converting you from a bad mood into a good mood. It is recommended that you use exercise as a compliment to other stress reducing methods, not solely by itself.
  • Visualization has been done for many years, for example those cold days in winter when you imagine the nice warm, sandy beach with the waves crashing on the sand with the surf lapping at your feet. Through visualisation in the minds eye, you imagine yourself in some happy, serene, peaceful relaxing environment e.g. the one above or imagine being sat at the edge of a forest over looking a lake with the sun shining through the trees and illuminating the lake while the birds tweet overhead. You get the idea, through this visualisation, by putting yourself in your minds eye into that scenario; you should be aware of everything around you in the image and really immerse yourself into the scenario. As a result, this has a calming affect on your entire body, and relieves your mind of any anxieties or stress that you previously had. If you practise this regularly, you will really notice the affect, and soon will be able to fall into this state of relaxation in a matter of seconds.
  • Talk to a friend or family about what ever problems you may have. Most people find that when they share a problem and get other people's opinions on it, they cope far better. As the cliché says, a problem shared is a problem halved, and this is quite often true. By sharing your problems, you may feel a huge weight lifted off you shoulders, and may even result in you getting the support you really need.
  • If you’re a lady, treat yourself, go for a pedicure or a manicure, not only will this make you look great, give you an extra confidence boost and make you feel good about yourself, it also has great therapeutic effects.
  • Meditation, like deep breathing will send your body into a state of deep relaxation, and help calm and relax your mind and body, This will help your daily worries and stress drift from the forefront of your brain! There are many different types of meditation techniques, so I recommend you have a search round till you find a method that suits you best.

I recommend that you employ a variety of these methods to really relax and make the most of life, and live to the happiest you can be. Otherwise, before you know it, you may be getting dragged down into depression by stress and suffer needlessly, and even die before your time. Good luck, take a step back, and relax.

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