Stress Relief

I thought this might be a useful topic these days.  Goodness knows I’m feeling the stress from the economic situation!  Here are some suggestions, tips, or words of advice that I’ve gathered or put together over the years.  Each person is different and reacts differently to stress and stress relief techniques.  My recommendation is to try things until you discover what works for you, then make a note of it.  If you have suggestions of your own, please feel free to leave them in a comment!

  • Forget yesterday’s mistakes.  It is a new day.  Learn from your mistakes but move on.
  • If something unfortunate happens, decide not to let it color your whole day.  Have a “bad moment” rather than a “bad day!”
  • If you can’t think of positive things about yourself, ask someone that you trust to list some.  Then keep that list and refer to it from time to time, particularly when you feel down or stressed.
  • Make sure you eat breakfast; it is important to give yourself some fuel to get started in the morning.
  • Try breathing exercises.  One way to do this is to “breathe out the negative, breathe in the positive.”  Let go of the negative thoughts as you breathe out, focus on the positive as you breathe in.
  • Cultivate gratitude: thank people who serve you food, fix your car, fix your dinner.  Thank your children.
  • If you and your spouse are having problems – decide you aren’t going to play the blame game.  Work together to fix the situation.
  • Choose the people you surround yourself with wisely – beware of people who are negative all the time, who complain constantly, who criticize others all the time.
  • Look at the stars or the ocean.
  • Clean your desk at the end of the day; large piles and general disorganization can be stress-inducing!
  • Stretch.
  • Be a child for 15 minutes: go buy some bubbles and blow some.  Share the joy and blow bubbles with or for a child.
  • Acknowledge anger rather than stiffling it.  If you can’t express your feelings calmly, then count to 10, 20, 100, or whatever but don’t explode.
  • Sit by candlelight, firelight, or simply in dimmed lights for 15 minutes before bed.  Listen to soft, gentle music or nature sounds if you like.
  • Sometimes it is better to walk away from a situation for a few minutes and catch your breath.  Take some deep breaths, go for a brief walk, splash water on your face, or doodle on a notepad, then face the situation when you are calmer.
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