Anxiety Interrupted II-Strategies to Reduce Daily Stress

Anxiety Interrupted II-Strategies to Reduce Daily Stress


Stress is manageable and learning strategies to reduce or eliminate stress, at home, or at the workplace is a choice you make.  Many people need coaching or help implementing a plan. Try adding one new strategy a week.


Focus on Breathing with Intention:-Breathing correctly helps oxygenate your blood and centers your body. The result is calm and clear thinking.  Only requiring a few minutes of time, minimal effort and training, (with dozens of options) makes breathing exercises a great choice in stress reduction.  Try inhaling counting to 3 and exhaling counting to five, making certain your diaphragm is moving in with inhale and back out with exhale.  Practice for 3-5 minutes Breathe easy, relax in minutes…

Listen to Music
Stressful situations can be overcome by taking a break and listening to relaxing music. Playing calm music has a positive effect on the brain and body. It can lower blood pressure and reduces cortisol, a hormone linked to stress. If music doesn’t relax you, ocean or nature sounds can result in similar relaxing effects.  Find sounds that relax you!

Call a Friend
Calling a friend to talk it out or to check in on their life is always a good escape from a stressful situation.  Friends and family can help put things in perspective: even the voice of a trusted person can have a calming effect.  By supporting a friend in being a listener, you can get out of your head and feel the benefit of helping another.

Talk Yourself through Stress
If calling someone is not an option, talking to yourself is a better option than freaking out.  Talking out-loud to yourself about the reason you are stressed, or what you need to do to complete a task actually works. Remind yourself it will be okay and that most stressful situations are not life or death.  Talking to yourself is not crazy, it is effective.

Pay Attention to your Diet-We Are What We Eat
Easy said, but hard to do….Stress levels and a proper diet are closely related. At our most stressful times we forget to eat well.  We try to cut time and get quick “pick me ups”, loading up on coffee or sugar. When you are aware stressful times are coming, plan ahead. Add fruits, fish and other brain foods into your shopping list. Try to avoid fast food or processed food.  (Read Blog on Stress and Weight Gain). Your choices about food are more important than we realize.

Laugh--A Lot!
You can laugh or you can cry…both release endorphins that improve mood and decrease stress hormones. Laughing tricks our nervous system into making us happy. Watch a favorite sit-com, movie clip, or You-Tube video.  Think of things that make you laugh and keep them accessible.  Call a friend or speak with a colleague who always makes you laugh.  Laughter is the best medicine in health and in stressful times.

Learn About Mindfulness
Mindfulness has been gaining momentum in the health fields over the last decade.  It requires being present, aware of yourself,  emotions and actions at the same time.  Practicing mindfulness daily is calming and helps to reduce your overall stress level. Sign up for yoga: the best mindfulness instructors can often be found in a yoga class.

Tea for a Change
Caffeine increases blood pressure and creates adrenal overdrive. So while coffee or caffeine helps keep you going, it also stresses you out. Tea has half the caffeine of coffee and contains healthy antioxidants. Give it 30 days before you rule out tea as a healthier alternative.

Exercise (Even for A Minute)
Let go of traditional views of exercise and embrace that a short walk around the block and/or office, and morning stretches can offer immediate relief. Blood movement releases endorphins and can almost instantaneously improve your mood.  Hating the gym is no excuse when push-ups, jumping jacks or planking in your office can do the trick. 

Prioritize Sleep
Lack of sleep is a key cause of stress. Stress can also result in losing sleep. Once the sleep cycle is out of whack, it‘s a difficult pattern to break.  Medical attention is often required to return to the needed seven to eight hours of sleep necessary for good health. Simple changes like shutting down the internet or TV at a specific time and effective time management can help. Make sleep a priority, your health depends on it.  

Focus on one new strategy a week.
Stress less and live longer!


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