It’s the everyday stress that can really get you down. Everyday stress can become chronic, and dealing with stress in a healthy way is important. Here are some tips of relieving everyday stress.
1. Take an art class – Art therapy has been shown to help with stress relief. Being able to channel the internal emotions into an art medium can be very therapeutic.
2. Prayer, guided meditation and imagery – Experts say that 10 to 20 minutes of prayer or meditation each day can help reduce stress. Guided imagery also may be helpful, and can be included with prayer or meditation. You can find websites with stress-relieving images to click on, and there are other sources for guided imagery online and at your library. You may also choose to see a professional who can guide you through the imagery or meditation.
3. Go easy on yourself – Don’t engage in self-criticism. Repeat your mantra; say your prayers, meditation, or whatever you need to do to silence the “you’re not good enough” voice.
4. Learn to take a time out – When you are stressed, you may be more prone to angry outbursts. Learn to take a moment for a time out before responding to something that angered you.
5. Be unavailable – Sometimes it can be very stressful to feel like you always have to be there for others. At some point, it’s important to turn off your telephone(s) and close your email, and just be there for yourself. You can even choose a regular time to do this and inform your friends and family so they won’t be offended when you don’t answer your phone or email.
6. Breathe deeply – Often a component of meditation, learning to take slow, deep breaths may help relieve stress in and of itself. Deep breathing may help remove toxins and relax muscles. It also is said to calm the mind.
7. Don’t set the stage – Without meaning to, you might be setting the stage for everyday stresses. For example, if you don’t maintain your car, it may break down all of a sudden, making for a very stressful time. The same can be true of not taking care of your nutritional needs or otherwise neglecting your health. Getting sick can really add to stress, especially trying to make up for the time lost after you get better.
8. Keep a healthy perspective – Sometimes, you can get overwhelmed with stress when everything seems vitally important and must be done right now. Try to keep a healthy perspective on things, reminding yourself that a situation, decision, or “moment” may not really matter ten years from now.
Practice one of these each week for eight weeks and see which one helps you the most!