Seven Simple Ways to Reduce Stress: Part 1
How to Reduce Stress: Part 1
There is no denying that stress is a part of everyone’s daily routine. Check out these tips if you feel like breaking free from the shackles of constant stress.
1. Forgive others from your past and yourself
Forgiveness is simply breaking the emotional bond that is tied to the person or circumstance that has offended you. Forgiveness is letting go in such a way that the anger resulting from that offense no longer holds a person hostage. Forgiveness breaks the toxic patterns of past generations and frees us from our past.
2. Eliminate worry and anxiety
Anxiety is “a diffused, unpleasant, vague sense of apprehension, often accompanied by autonomic symptoms such as headache, perspiration, palpitations, tightness in the chest, mild stomach discomfort, and restlessness, as indicated by an inability to sit or stand still for long.” Worry covers the ruminating or repetitive thoughts that are generally focused on potential failure or some other type of negative result. You may have a problem with worry if you: Consistently worry about future failures, dangers or other types of negative outcomes, ruminate, or repeat in your mind, the same worry or worries, try to stop worrying by anxious avoidance of certain situations, or become paralyzed with worry and are unable to focus on, or implement, constructive solutions to your problems
3. Attitude can either create or reduce stress
When your self-talk is negative, you may perceive things as more stressful. For example, when you tell yourself something is ‘difficult’ or ‘unfair’, it becomes more stressful to deal with than if you tell yourself it’s a ‘challenge’, or even a ‘test’. When you tell yourself you can’t handle something (or some other self-limiting thought), you tend to stop looking for solutions. For example, notice the difference between telling yourself you can’t handle something and asking yourself how you will handle something. Doesn’t the second thought feel more hopeful and produce more creativity? Negative self-talk tends to be a self-fulfilling prophecy! I have another blog about how to train your mind to think positively out of habit, The Power of Self Talk, strengthening this line of communication with yourself can help you reduce stress, improve relationships, and help you maintain a better sense of accomplishment when reaching your goals.
4. Learn to say NO more often
Focus on what matters most. Examine your current obligations and overall priorities before making any new commitments. Weigh the yes-to-stress ratio. Is the new activity you’re considering a short or long-term commitment? Take guilt out of the equation. Don’t agree to a request you would rather decline because of feelings of guilt or obligation. Doing so will likely lead to additional stress and resentment. Sleep on it. Are you tempted by a friend’s invitation to volunteer at your old alma mater or join a weekly golf league? Before you respond, take a day to think about the request and how it fits in with your current commitments.
Question: How do you say no? Here are a few thoughts for you:
Begin by saying the words No, Nope, and Nah. The word “no” has power. Don’t be afraid to use it. Be careful about using wimpy substitute phrases, such as “I’m not sure” or “I don’t think I can.” These can be interpreted to mean that you might say yes later. Be brief. State your reason for refusing the request, but don’t go on about it. Avoid elaborate justifications or explanations. Be honest. Don’t fabricate reasons to get out of an obligation. Be respectful. Complimenting the group’s effort while saying that you can’t commit at this time shows that you respect what they’re trying to accomplish. And finally, Be ready to repeat. Calmly repeat your no, with or without your original rationale, as needed.
As a life coach, I am trained to help you implement these steps and train your mind to surpass feelings of stress or anxiety. It can be hard to remember these steps in the midst of a stressful situation, but I am here to help you. Send me an email if you have any questions or would like to know more about how I can help you manage your stress.