By David Joel Miller.
Ways to quickly defuse stress.
Life is full of stress, some good and some bad. Even the good kind of stress can wear you down. The longer you hold on to stress the more harm it will cause you. Work on releasing your stress as rapidly as possible. Avoid stress when you can. Eliminate unnecessary stress when possible. For the unavoidable stresses in life try practicing some of these rapid stress reduction methods.
For less stress focus on your breathing.
Breathe slowly, breathe deeply. Rapid shallow breathing increases anxiety. Slow, deep breathing relaxes and destresses you. Anytime you feel overwhelmed shift your focus to the way you are breathing. In goes the oxygen, out goes the stress.
Change the music.
Music strongly influences our moods. The music you listen to can reflect your mood; it can also change your mood. When you are feeling stressed, put on some soft, relaxing music. Instrumental music can be especially relaxing. Music connects with our inner feelings in a deeper way than words alone.
Cool down for less stress.
Chill out to reduce your stress. Your body temperature can affect the feeling of stress. When you are feeling under stress, pay extra attention to the way, your body experiences the temperature. When possible turn on a fan, move to a cooler spot or drink something cold. A small desktop fan can blow away the stress along with the heat.
Give yourself a timeout to allow your stress to subside.
Allow time for you to think things over instead of reacting too quickly. Look for ways to disengage from the stress if only for a few minutes. Counting to ten is a start. Longer timeouts are even better. Glancing away when safe, even for a moment, can help to interrupt the cycle of escalating stress. Taking short breaks will not detract from your productivity. Those rest breaks will keep you at top efficiency.
Disengage from artificial environments.
One quick way to reduce stress is to re-engage with the natural world. Get outside for a few minutes. Pay attention to the trees, the flowers and the world around. Artificial environments can add to your stress. Spending some time in nature can reduce that stress. In times of stress, reconnect with nature. If you can’t get outside, try looking out a window. Having a house plant on your desk can be relaxing.
To destress move your body.
Do a little exercise, take a walk. A little bit of physical exercise can be a great help in reducing and managing stress. It does not need to be strenuous exercise. Get up and walk around, take a trip to the copy machine or the water cooler. Something as simple as shifting your body position can take the strain off your muscles and allow you to refocus on the task at hand.
Life becomes less stressful when you can picture the outcome you want.
Visualize having overcome your obstacles. Sitting ruminating about your problems only magnifies the stress. Think about what it will look like, what others will see, when you have overcome this obstacle. If you can picture a positive result, you are on your way to overcoming your stress. When you shift from a problems orientation to a results outlook, the process of getting to your goal is less stressful.
Fuel and rest your body.
Drink some water. Your body and brain do not work well when you are dehydrated. Eat a snack, a good lunch to cope with stress. Low blood sugar will interfere with your body’s ability to run efficiently. Don’t neglect nutrition, hydration or to get an adequate amount of sleep. A worn-out body is less able to cope with stress. Avoid high sugar snacks and heavy meals, both of which can result in a temporary boost of energy followed by a deep crash.
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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