14 Easy Ways to Relax your Mind and Reduce Stress

We hear many references nowadays to “stress”. It sounds like a problem. Or do you need it? In what manner you to deal with it?

Stress is the body’s way of adapting to demands made upon it. It is not merely the result of things which cause worry, strain or anxiety. Any adjustment involves a stress reaction, whether it is changing jobs, getting married, playing sport, driving in heavy traffic, or any of scores of other things which impact our lives.

Reduce Stress

Adaptation is necessary all the time, in varying degrees. Without some stress, people feel dissatisfied. However, “untrussing” is important with life now at times hectic and complicated. Jobs begin and end, friendships and relationships come and go. Whole lifestyles alter when people divorce, retire or change jobs.

Each person responds to stress-filled situations in different ways. One may be stressed by something another might enjoy. It is your own reaction, how you see the stress-causing situation, which enables you to react in an adaptive way.

The acute response prepares us for action: muscles tense, the pulse quickens, breathing becomes quick and deep, blood pressure rises and adrenalin is released into the bloodstream. Our bodies prepare us for “flight” or “fight”.

It is not always socially acceptable to flee or fight. But if we do not provide some form of release for stress as it occurs, it becomes “big stress” or “distress”. The body finds it harder to adjust as the stress increases; physical signs of distress appear. That is bad.

The stress has gone too far, it must be stopped and reversed here. More could cause mental trouble. The effects of stress can creep up on you without you really being aware of it.

You may notice that you have a skin rash, an allergy, pain in the shoulders, difficulty in sleeping. This is when we usually try to do something about stress, instead of taking preventive action earlier.

You need your own ways of coping with stress. A way which suits one person will not necessarily work for another, even in the same family.

#1. Establish a routine which works for and suits you. Work out what causes your stress. Think hard about situations and things which stress you. List those you always dread, and especially those which occupy your mind before, and after, they happen, such as having a deadline to meet or disciplining children.

#2. Check the list for any common themes, like confusing things, romance problems, boring situations. You now have a general picture of the type of things which can cause you stress.

#3. Remind yourself that life has many stressful situations built into it. Accept that basically many things are out of your control. You cannot avoid stress. But remember, it is not the event itself but rather how we see the situation which causes distressful emotions. Learn to deal with them so that they do not upset you.

#4. Sleep is regarded as the most important way of reducing stress. After a few days without good, sound sleep, we tend to lose co-ordination, drop or knock things, experience aches in the lower back or legs and see spots before the eyes. Go and get seven to eight hours of nap a nightly.

#5. Have a good cry, if you feel impelled to. Do not feel ashamed to cry. It will provide a release for stress and help you to fall asleep.

#6. Exercise can help you feel better in the mind as well as in the body. Swim, cycle, walk, jog. Use exercise as a quick method to stop stress. Try relaxation techniques, such as meditation, yoga, massage, tai chi, gardening, relaxing bath, music, reading, to prevent stress from getting out of hand. But note: more cigarettes and more alcohol will not send the stress away – either may aggravate it.

#7. Leave a situation which causes you undue stress.

#8. Imagine a positive outcome or situation. Having a bad experience in the past does not necessarily mean that it can happen again.

#9. Express your true feelings honestly whenever possible, but kindly. Treat people with the respect you would expect for yourself (including children).

#10. Believe that the worst can happen and be prepared that it may.

#11. Live in the present. Concentrate on what you want to do now and in the future.

#12. Take up some interest or hobby. Let that relax you. Enjoy it.

#13. If your life is too hectic, cut out a few activities.

#14. If you try to get on top of stress by using the methods mentioned above, yet still feel unable to cope, seek help from your doctor or community health center.