By David Joel Miller.
Feeling stressed out? Try these stress reduction tools.
Life is full of stress. Good stress, bad stress it all adds up. The more gadgets we get the more there is to do. Stress can damage your mental and your physical health. Continuing to pile up stress without discharging it can do you harm. Here are some simple suggestions for stress reduction.
If you have too much unhealthy stress in your life how about trying some of these methods for reducing stress.
Take a brief break to lower stress.
Staying at the grindstone or the computer long after you have worn yourself out does not increase your productivity and it can be detrimental to your health. Take a few brief breaks from the stress in your life. Stop and look out the window, go for a walk, daydream a while.
Brief breaks do not reduce productivity, they enhance it. Just be careful to avoid other time-consuming activities during those breaks. It is not a break if you use the time to tackle another stressful activity.
Breathe deeply to feel less stressed.
Slow deep breaths increase the oxygen in your blood stream. Deep breathing can reduce anxiety and reduce stress. Forgetting to breath is one of the first effects of excessive anxiety. Shallow breathing can set off panic attacks as the body interprets that lack of oxygen to a life-threatening emergency rather than to your inattention to breathing.
Declutter your environment for less stress.
Some few of us like clutter. Everything needs to be visible for them to find things. But for most of us, all that clutter is a constant reminder of things we still need to do. Clean off those unneeded items. Make piles, throw the unneeded things out.
Having a clean well-organized workspace can make working less stressful. Throwing out unneeded items and filing things away can give you a quick boost in your feelings of getting things done.
A clean organized environment can reduce stress for most of us.
Play your tunes to reduce stress.
Sound effects your mood and emotions in ways that words can’t. Music reaches parts of the brain that are oblivious to the spoken word. Having your songs playing in the background can keep you in a more relaxed and de-stressed mood.
Pick “white noise” type tunes if possible, thinks that screen out the rest of the world without distracting you. I have some personal favorites that are meditation and relaxation recordings I keep playing in my office. People who come to see me often comment on how relaxed that music makes them feel.
Put your mind on silent, meditate to banish stress.
Meditation far from being a time waster can be a huge asset to creative thought and concentration. Let your mind empty out and make room for those insights to flow in. One immense source of stress is a mind full of things competing for attention.
The mind consumes a lot of calories and does a huge amount of work each day. We rest our bodies but many of us continue to pile work on our minds even while the body rests.
Learn to meditate as a way to take the stress load off that brain.
Get adequate sleep to manage stress.
People in industrial societies are chronically sleep deprived. Sleep is not a waste of time. Sleep is when the brain does its repair work. Waste products from the heavy lifting are removed from the brain during sleep.
Memories are consolidated and moved around during sleep. Getting a good night’s sleep just might improve your memory and help you retrieve those facts when you need them. When we are over tired, mentally or physically we are more prone to injuries and to make mistakes. A rested mind can conquer stress, a tired mind is no match for even the smallest amount of stress.
Take a stress reduction walk.
Walking is a great way to reduce stress and exercise the body. Make walking a part of your routine and use a walk, even a short one to reduce stress during the work day. You will see benefits from walking in both your physical and your mental health.
Short walks increase attention and alertness. They make you more able to stay on task and reduce the stress of feeling overwhelmed with things to do.
Eat Healthier for less stress.
A healthy body is a key to having a healthy mind. Give your brain good nutrition and see how much more it can do. Running on low-grade brain fuel produces additional wear and tear on the thing you will need for your entire life – your brain.
Practice these stress-busting methods and see if your life does not improve. Do you have any favorite stress-busting techniques that you would be willing to share?
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For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books
Practice using your stress reduction tools every day.