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Do you know that stress is killing you? It impacts both, your body and mind.
Stress affects your complete health and well-being. It hijacks your happiness and torments your life as well.
Stress is like an invisible demon that lurks around you, all the time! You need to get rid of this stress to lead an easy and happy life.
While some stress might be good for you to get things done and progress, excessive stress can cause damage and be devastating to your life.
It can lead to many lifestyle diseases like hypertension, heart disease, and even diabetes – the silent killer!
The only thing that can save you is the art of easing or letting go off stress, and the skill of managing stress to not let it cause harm to you.
You may even term stress management as one of the basic and essential skills required for you to survive in today’s world.
It’s all about “Survival of the fittest”, and learning the ways to relieve stress will definitely help you to be fit enough to survive in today’s world.
For more in-depth information on stress, its causes and effects, you should read an earlier post on Aha!NOW – What Stress Signs Do You Have?
That post tells you about the stress signs, which you should not ignore, whether it be physical, mental, emotional, cognitive, or behavioral.
Once you notice the signs of stress in your life, you should take proactive actions.
Relieve Stress Using The STRESS Reliever Formula
Coping with stress is the pre-requisite skill that every individual should learn. Here is an easy and mnemonic way to learn the steps to reliving stress and managing it for a better life.
My stress reliever formula to remember is STRESS. It stands for:
S – Stop and identify the source
T – Think positive and be realistic
R – Rest and use relaxation techniques
E – Exercise and entertain yourself
S – Sleep well and be in the sunlight
S – Share your worries and use the senses
There are so many tips and ways to relieve stress on the web, but I think this STRESS formula makes it easy to remember the basics of dealing with stress. Don’t you think so? 🙂
Let’s discuss each of these steps of the stress reliever formula.
STEP 1 – Stop and identify the source
a) Stop – The first thing you need to do is take a break. It is important for you to get away from stressful situations or the stress triggers, if possible.
Taking a break would give you some respite, and an opportunity to assess yourself. It also gives you time to reanalyze the stressful situation from different perspectives.
While in a stressful situation, avoid an instant or quick reaction. You may not be always able to avoid stress, but you can change the way you react to it.
b) Identify the source – What is the cause of your stress? Is it just a baseless and unreasonable anxiety or are there any accountable stress triggers?
If you know what is causing you stress, then you can either sort the stressor or yourself, or avoid the particular stressor, if possible and as applicable.
“When you’re dealing with stress, the problem may not be the stressful situation, as much as the effort to avoid that situation and the feelings it arouses.” ~ Ted A. Grossbart
STEP 2 – Think positive and be realistic
a) Think Positive – Under stress, it is possible that you might think of negative situations and outcomes.
You can counter them by making a habit to force yourself to think positive in such situations and gain self-control.
By thinking positive you may also trigger your brain to counter or reduce the production of stress hormones.
Being positive increases the chance of resolving stressful situations easily and quickly.
b) Be Realistic – When under stress, avoid jumping to conclusions or making unrealistic assumptions, and employ temperance.
Temperance is moderation or avoiding excesses.
Even under stress, try to be in control, balance your mind, and avoid getting too dull or wild. Remember, stress is temporary and it shall pass, if you manage it in the right way.
“Sometimes when people are under stress, they hate to think, and it’s the time when they most need to think.” ~ William J. Clinton
STEP 3 – Rest and use relaxation techniques
a) Rest – Stressful situations can be very upsetting, involve emotional and mental disturbances that can even take a toll on your body. This is the time that you should take rest.
The best way is to lie down or take a nap. You can even rest while sitting by practicing Transcendental meditation (TM).
TM is not a spiritual tool used for enlightenment by saints. It is a scientifically proven type of meditation that helps in reducing stress.
b) Use relaxation techniques – There are many relaxation therapies and techniques.
You can practice Yoga Nidra, use auto-suggestions, practice Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR), or use any other relaxation technique.
You can even just practice any kind of meditation along with deep breathing exercises. Or just listen to music, take a walk, play with your pet, or do anything different from the usual to make you stress free.
You’ll feel relaxed and get temporary respite from stress.
“In times of great stress or adversity, it’s always best to keep busy, to plow your anger and your energy into something positive.” ~ Lee Iacocca
STEP 4 – Exercise and entertain yourself
a) Exercise – A frail body may host a freak mind. In other words, to have a sound mind, you need to have a healthy body. For that, you need to exercise and eat healthy.
Stress is often the test of your mental toughness. You need to be physically fit in order to think sensibly and find solutions for your stress causes.
b) Entertain yourself – Being in stress does not mean that you have to burn yourself out or be tensed all the time.
This is the time when you need to find ways to entertain yourself to save yourself from any mental or emotional damage.
Watch a movie, go out for a party, play games, get busy with your hobby, or do anything that the time and situation allows you to do to release the happy hormones in your body.
“Adopting the right attitude can convert a negative stress into a positive one.” ~ Hans Selye
STEP 5 – Sleep well and be in the sunlight
a) Sleep well – Give your body its due full hours of continued sleep, which helps it to heal and revitalize.
Especially in stressful conditions, your mind needs rest and the best way to do that is to sleep.
If you are in a sexual relationship, then sex too can be a stress buster. Sexual activity releases hormones that not only make you feel relaxed but even induces deep sleep.
b) Be in the sunlight – Besides sleep, even sunlight helps you have a healthy body and mind.
Sunlight is a major source of Vitamin D in your body, and its deficiency can make you prone to anxiety and stress.
Especially in the countries of cold climate, lack of sunlight can also cause depression, which is called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). So, make it a point to sit or spend some time in the sunlight.
“Getting stress out of your life takes more than prayer alone. You must take action to make changes and stop doing whatever is causing the stress. You can learn to calm down in the way you handle things.” ~ Joyce Meyer
STEP 6 – Share your worries and use the senses
a) Share your worries – Venting out your feelings is a part of emotional therapy that can heal you in times of stress.
Share your worries with your friends, family members, or your counselor. Prayer too is a way of sharing worries and releasing tension, so your emotions don’t rot and become negative.
You can even use the social activities or the social media network to release stress.
However, do not go overboard and make yourself vulnerable or get confused with the opinions and suggestions that you receive.
b) Use the senses – This is the easiest way to tackle your stress. You can use your senses to divert your attention and put your mind, away from the stressful situation, in creative and useful situations.
You can also use the senses to relax and help in practicing mindfulness. Read this Aha!NOW post on how to use the senses to indulge in favorable and relaxing sensory experiences.
These were the basic ways to relieve stress that you can do on your own and get results.
Stress sometimes can be very overwhelming and it is important to not resort to any bad ways of relieving stress.
Such ways could include alcoholism, getting addicted to caffeine or drugs, binge eating, pornography, and others.
Coping with stress is an art that you can learn to make your life easy and be happy. Here is another Aha!NOW post to help you know more ways to cope with stress.
Stress is a part of our life, and we got to live with it. Remember, stress is also defined by your reactions to the stimuli or situations.
You always have a choice.
If you can nicely deal with the stress, you’ll have a stress-free life, because you’ll not let it impact your life in a negative way.
Equip yourself with the skill of stress management and fearlessly face the stress.
“Being in control of your life and having realistic expectations about your day-to-day challenges are the keys to stress management, which is perhaps the most important ingredient to living a happy, healthy and rewarding life.” ~ Marilu Henner
Over To You –
Which is your favorite or most preferred way to relive stress? What more would you like to add to the STRESS reliever formula? Please share in the comments.
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