15 Stress Management Tips and Techniques

ELIMINATE STRESS & PANIC ATTACKS By Luisa Martinez (Page 5)

(1) Don't just sit there - Move! - According to many psychologists, motion creates emotion. You might notice that when you are idle, it's easier to become depressed. Your heart rate slows down, less oxygen travels to your brain, and you are slumped somewhere in a chair blocking air from reaching your lungs.

Get some exercise... Exercise can be a great stress buster. People with anxiety disorders might worry that aerobic exercise could bring on a panic attack. Don't worry you won't panic! - When you exercise, your heart rate goes up, you begin to sweat, and your breathing becomes heavier. This is normal and is what happens when you physically exert yourself.

(2) Laugh a little
No doubt you will have heard that laughter is good for you. It relieves all tension and loosens the muscles. More importantly, laughter releases a chemical in the brain that rids the body of pains and reduces levels of mental stress.

"Laughter is the best medicine", a perfect healer and a great cardio exercise - some researches are now saying that laughing 100 ha-ha's a day gives the body the same cardiac workout as 10 minutes of aerobic exercise.. So bring some laughter into your life, go to a comedy club, rent some funny movies, watch more funny stuff on TV.

(3) Make stress your friend
Acknowledge that stress is good and make stress your friend! Based on the body's natural 'fight or flight' response, that burst of energy will enhance your performance at the right moment. I've yet to see a top sportsman totally relaxed before a big event. Use stress wisely to push yourself that little bit harder when it counts most.

(4) Stress is contagious
Negative people breed stress. All they do is moan and complain all of the time and are constantly putting other people down. Don't get caught up in their negative behavior. Recognize that these people have their own problems and stresses to deal with and limit your contact with them.

(5) Copy good stress managers
When people around you are losing their heads, who are the ones who remain calm? What is it that they are doing differently? What is their attitude? What language do they use? Are they trained and experienced? Learn from the best stress managers and copy what they do.

(6) Deep breathing technique
You can trick your body into relaxing by using this deep breathing technique. Breathe in slowly for a count of 7 then breathe out for a count of 11. Repeat the 7-11 breathing until your heart rate slows down and things start to feel more normal.

(7) Stop stressful thoughts
It's possible to get tangled up in a 'stress knot' all by yourself by having thoughts such as, "If this happens, then that might happen and then we're all up the creek!" Most of these things never happen, so why waste energy worrying needlessly?

Give stress thought-trains the red light and stop them in their tracks. Okay so it might go wrong - how likely is that, and what can you do to prevent it?

(8) Know your stress hot spots and trigger points
Presentations, interviews, meetings, giving difficult feedback, tight deadlines... Make your own list of stress trigger points or hot spots. Be specific. Is it presentations to a certain audience that get you worked up? Does one project create more stress than another? Did you drink too much coffee?

Knowing what causes your stress is powerful information, it allows you to take action to make it less stressful. Do you need to learn some new skills? Do you need extra resources? Do you need to switch to decaffeinated coffee?

(9) Eat, drink, sleep and be merry!
Lack of sleep, poor diet and no exercise will wreak havoc on your mind and body. Kind of obvious, but worth mentioning as it's often ignored as a stress management technique.

Avoid using artificial means to deal with your stress. Turning to alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, and drugs can make the problem worse. A better solution is to practice the relaxation techniques we've given you. Then, once you're fully relaxed and de-stressed, you can have that glass of wine if you want.

(10) It's OK to say 'no' occasionally - Often, many of us feel we have to say 'yes' to everyone, every time we are asked for help we feel that we must respond in a positive fashion. But, remember, you cannot be all things to all people. Your well being and happiness is of most importance to you, and you must first meet your own needs before you can give others what they need.

(11) Always make time for yourself
It's your number one priority, always allow time to do the things that are important to you, and you may find more pleasure in helping others, especially when you don't feel that you must always put other peoples needs before your own.

(12) I have used it many times myself... Yell!
That's right, scream at the top of your lungs - as loud as you can. While this may not be feasible in your home, it works great when you're in your car with the windows rolled up. Let out a guttural yelp from deep down inside. It's liberating!

(13) Sing a happy song
Music can be extremely beneficial in helping you to relax and de-stress. Think how much better you can feel when you belt out 'Copacabana' at the top of your lungs! Who cares if you can't carry a tune? You're doing this for you!

(14) Become a Pet Owner
Experts say that pet owners have longer lives and fewer stress symptoms than non-pet owners. Playing with your cat or dog provides good vibrations - for you and your pet! It's a form of social interaction with no pressure to meet anyone's expectations!

(15) Tapping Therapy (Emotional Acupuncture)
I've left the best until last. 'Tapping therapy' is a relatively new form of therapy, it is also known as EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) and is perhaps the most exciting breakthrough in treating all emotional problems.

It's an emotional version of acupuncture, except there are no needles. Where conventional therapy can take several months and even years to treat psychological disorders, tapping therapy has in many instances cured long standing psychological problems in a matter of minutes. Watch this video

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