Top Tips to Reduce Your Stress
Stress reduction means learning how to respond differently to stressful situations and events. The effects of stress can be damaging to not only your professional work, but your personal health. We will never be able to fully remove stressful situations from our life, but we can certainly reduce the impact that stress has by learning how to manage it.
- Relaxation: Relaxing activities counteract both the physical and the emotional aspects of stress. Through relaxation, you can reduce muscle tension and anxiety. Relaxation is also very helpful for pain control.
- PMA – Positive Mental Attitude: Rather than focus on the negatives of a situation, focus on the positive aspects. I often see people too focused on the bad, when there is so much good happening around them.
- Dissect the Stress: Figure out the root of your problem, and try to work out a practical plan for the things that are causing a stress to you. Sometimes the problems seem overwhelming, but with a good approach you can start tackling one thing at a time to help reduce your stress.
- Positive Experiences: Do something that you enjoy! Pleasurable activities lower stress symptoms. Examples of positive experiences can be exercise, movement, journalism, talking and being listened to, music, arts, laughter & humor, solitude, etc.
- Set Realistic Expectations: Stress is often caused by having unrealistic or inappropriate expectations. You can reduce stress by changing your expectations, and setting goals and timelines that are realistic and achievable.
- Assertiveness: Speaking up for yourself can be a stress reducer in a number of ways. Saying ‘no’ can help you avoid doing things that would intensify your symptoms. Also, presenting your position rather than suffering in silence enables you to replace frustration with action.
- Know what you can control: If you cannot directly control a situation or outcome, do not let it effect you. If it is out of your hands, it is an unnecessary stress. Focus on what you can control, and work towards changing that behavior for reduced stress.
- Support: Having people in your life who understand and respect you critical to reducing stress. Just being listened to and feeling connected to others is healing. Beyond that, communication is very beneficial to stress, because you can connect with others for a different and more constructive opinion.
- Medications: If all else fails, you may want to entertain different prescription medications that may be available.