Effective Stress Management Strategies
Step 6

Managing stress is important to keeping a healthy mind and body.

There are many effective stress management strategies that can help you cut down your stress and anxiety levels, if not eliminate them all together. One of the main reasons people fall into things like anxiety and panic attacks is because they have allowed stress to accumulate over a long period of time without taking a break from stressors to de-stress, relax and enjoy life. Of course, there are times when we just cannot avoid certain life stressors and when this happens it's more important than ever to slow down and take the time to balance things out. Both your mind and body are connected and when one one experiences an overload it affects the other.

In this Step we help you identify the absolute best stress management strategies that you not only enjoy but can implement daily. Whether you pick one, or a few, you will develop your own plan according to your own needs and wants.

Stress Management Tips

  • Time Management - Keep in mind when planning an effective stress management activity to be realistic. Make sure to pick something that fits easily into your daily schedule. Since a typical everyday routine consists of certain responsiblities, be sure to pick something you'll be able to follow through on almost always. Consider your time management skills and how much you have to fit into your day, and choose something that can easily become a habit that you want to make time for. Good time management can effectively help you reduce stress and limit overload.

  • Progressive Muscle Relaxation & Visualization Exercises - Things like Progressive Muscle Relaxation and Visualization exercises will require your full attention. It's best to incorporate these at a time where you are alone and uninterrupted. Choosing a quiet place is absolutely necessary. Many find before bedtime is ideal. Not only does it provide a routine, comfortable place to practice but it can prepare you for a good night sleep.

  • Isometric Exercises - Isometric Exercises are effective in reducing stress, tension and even anxiety. They can be done anywhere and by anyone regardless of age. They have the ability to reduce blood pressure, lower cholesterol and even dimish chronic pain. These are convenient exercises that can help you keep anxiety at bay during stressful moments.

  • Practice Breathing Exercises for Anxiety - Using breathing exercises for anxiety will help you manage your unwanted physical symptoms of stress and prevent those symptoms from escalating into a worsening of anxiety and even panic. Our breathing patterns commonly change during stressful situations, breathing can become shallow or even lead us to overbreathing such as hyperventilation. We can learn to manage our breathing effectively through regular practice especially during those stressful and anxious times. This stress management strategy is very important and should be overlooked.

  • Controlling Emotions and Attitude - Keep a good attitude while you are practicing your relaxation techniques for stress management. So often we are overwhelmed with negative emotions, but even if you are experiencing anger, guilt, grief, or frustration, etc. remember to keep a positive outlook about what you are doing for a stress management activity and about your future. Just because you are suffering right now doesn't mean you will always be suffering. Give yourself permission to feel whatever it is you are feeling, but at the same time practice putting ALL your focus on the stress management strategy that you have chosen for yourself. Give yourself permission to just do your best and accept that this is enough. How To Control My Emotions is a helpful page that will give more insight if you need it. Be sure to check it out.

  • Laughter Is Medicine - Remember that Laughter is the Best Medicine! Even when you don't do things perfectly! Keep humor nearby! It's okay to laugh at yourself sometimes. You are human, so be good to yourself and others!

  • Slow Down and Prioritize - Slow Down During Stress - Take your time every chance you get. You cannot rush through your stress management activities or techniques. The idea is manage stress not create more! When we get stressed out and have alot to do, we often rush around and allow ourselves to fall prey to our own negative inner-self-talk. Remember to Prioritize Your Life. It is crucial that you make time for your stress management each day, but if you find your day cannot allow the time needed to do that thing you wanted to do, there is always something else you can do instead at the end of your day. Things are not written in stone and you are allowed to change plans as needed.

  • Talk Therapy - Talk to someone if and when you feel stuck! Talk therapy is an effective stress management strategy. Sometimes, when we are under great amounts of stress and anxiety, we can feel emotionally paralyzed. This is a great time to talk it out with someone. Talk therapy can be done with a Professional Therapist, a Life Coach, or even a friend. Sometimes, all we need is someone to listen so we can work things out verbally. Not everyone finds inner thinking easy or effective when working out a problem. Sometimes, we need to talk it through out loud! Check out our Interactive Chat Directory for ways to interact with others on our pages!

  • AVOID ALCOHOL and DRUGS - STAY AWAY FROM ALCOHOL and/or recreational drugs! These things create a false effect of stress relief. They may help you to feel immediate relief but later leave you more anxious and stressed out after the affects wear off. You deserve better than this! If your anxiety and/or panic is that bad where you need an immediate rescue then PLEASE go visit your doctor to discuss your options for medication.

  • Common Stress Management Strategies

    Consider your lifestyle, the time you have to work with each day and what relaxes you and brings you joy. Here are some common stress management activities that people include in their daily lives that bring them some positive stress relief.

  • Aquariums Reduce Stress. A hobby that is common in many homes and it's no wonder why. It's relaxing to watch fish swim and the underwater environment of water and other plant life. It is hypnotic to watch and can bring us to a place or real relaxation.

  • Many use Art Therapy to management their stress. Art gets you out of your heads and into your projects. It brings you into the present moment which is a great stress management practice. Are you an artist? Do you use art as a stress management activity? Feel free to share Your Anxiety Story with us!

  • Gardening Reduces Stress. Many people love to garden. It's such a popular hobby all over the world that brings real reward and emotional enjoyment. Many benefit from being outside, in the fresh air with the sounds and smells that nature brings. Whether it's a vegetable garden, or flowers, herbs or maybe a water garden - there is just so much you can do to bring relaxation into your own world. Even if you are living in a small space and don't have yard, indoor plants and things like hydroponic gardening are some options to consider. The Art of Bonsai is also known to be a stress reliever.

  • Music and Stress Relief. Music is one of the all time favorite ways people like to manage stress. It's a great way to involve your emotions. Music, whether your play an instrument or want to learn, or just love listening to music for pleasure, it's great for inspiration and can also help us work through certain emotions or just make us feel like dancing. As we already know, Exerise Reduces Stress, so maybe some music and dancing is in order? Music is a great way to get out of your negative head space.

  • Some people prefer physical touch, like massage. Massage relieves the muscles of tension and helps to burn away negative stress hormones. When your muscles relax, it helps the mind relax. So taking time for muscle relaxation, even isometric exercises can make a big difference in your stress levels. If you can't spend a day at the spa, there is Personal Home Spa Equipment that can make your time alone at home that much sweeter.

  • Do you love to read books? Write poetry? Blog? All of these are common activities people use to manage stress. Reading Reduces Stress by bringing us into what the author is saying. We get to leave behind our own thoughts for a little while and allow our minds to get a visual of something else. Writing is also effective as it brings us into a creative place, it also helps us to get our thoughts out of our minds and into writing where we can see them for what they are.

  • Many find Stress Relief At The Beach. The sights, the sounds, the smells, the feel of the sand between your toes and finger tips bring many a sense of wellness and tranquility. Consider beachcombing, looking for sea glass, shells, sunbathing, and just being in the present moment for just a little while. On beautiful evenings, sunsets at the beach bring such a peaceful feeling!

  • Are you into Wood Woodworking? Scrapbooking? What is your craft? How do you manage your stess? If you don't see your favorite listed here, tell us Your Anxiety Story!

  • Have you picked a stress management activity?

    Ok, with so many ideas given here, have you chosen something you can implement daily? If not, now is the time to pick something and set aside time each day to start doing it. If your focus is not that good, start with baby steps. Starting with small amounts of time at first is acceptable.

    Step 6 Actions:

    • 1. Plan a time for your stress management activity! If you find it hard to fit this in your schedule, be sure to pull out your calendar and literally plan for this event. Write it down and follow up with it the same way you would an appointment. Make yourself a priority! This is more important than you know.

    • 2. Take time each day to practice relaxation breathing. Be mindful of tension, habits of holding your breathe or overbreathing throughout the day. These are great moments to practice.

    • 3. Plan a daily event you can do that will help you face your challenged situation. Remember, you get to pick how little or how much work you want to put into this. You are in full control over yourself and your comings and goings. Do something even if it's small and then slowly increase your activities as you see fit. Just be sure you are challenging yourself and when you are done, you quickly affirm yourself and your efforts!

    • 4. Work on changing your diet to include foods that will support your body during this time. Also, consider natural supplements if you think you might need some help.

    • 5. Continue incorporating exercise into your daily routine. Spend at least 20 minutes each day on your preferred type of exercise, such as aerobic, strength, or toning exercises. **Consult with your physician prior to doing this, especially if you currently suffer with a physical problem or are currently taking medication for a pre-existing condition.**

    • 6. Spend approx. 10-20 minutes each day on your choice of isometric or progressive muscle relaxation exercises.

    • 7. Write in a journal each day, preferably before bedtime, but this can also be done any time of day and more than once if you choose. Don't pressure yourself, just write whatever comes to mind. Leave some blank writing space at the bottom of the page.

    • 8. Read over your journaling. Do you notice thoughts that are particularly negative or sound hopeless? If so, take this time to rewrite those thoughts in a more positive, optimistic, truthful way at the bottom of your journal page. Do this Positive Thought Replacement Homework at least once a day. If your thoughts are racing around and going through a particularly hard time, it helps to do this homework as many times possible throughout the day. As silly as this feels, it is very important that you DO NOT skip this exercise. Repetition is IMPORTANT and will help you get into the habit of becoming more away of your negative inner dialogue.

    • 9. If you are struggling with obsessive thinking, take the time each day to practice visualization exercises and Positive Thought Replacement Exercises

    • 10. When you have found a stress management activity that have made a daily routine of it, move onto Step 7 - How To Talk To Yourself. Do not move forward until you are ready!

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