• Susan

10 Stress-Relief Tips

Updated: May 1, 2020

BREATHE: Breathing more deeply into your abdomen, and extending your exhalations, will create a relaxation response within the body, which slows the heart-rate and calms the mind.

EXERCISE: Physical movement – even a simple walk around the block – releases pent-up energy created by stress. Vigorous exercise also produces endorphins, which reduce stress hormones and enhance feelings of wellbeing.

TAKE BREAKS: Trying to cram too much into your day can build a cumulative amount of stress, which actually makes you less productive. Taking time away from work gives the mind a rest and allows for more clarity when you return to the task at hand.

DON’T PROCRASTINATE: While breaks are important, putting things off actually creates more stress, and limits the amount of time you have to get the job done – which in itself can leave you feeling more anxious.

SLEEP: Getting enough rest is crucial to reducing stress. Lack of sleep can leave your body and mind chronically fatigued and struggling to keep up.

DO SOMETHING YOU LOVE: Pleasurable experiences – particularly those that are creative and meaningful – are an essential part of a full and enjoyable life. Hobbies, activities and experiences that bring you joy will go a long way in reducing feelings of stress in your day- to-day life.

COMMUNICATE: Whether it's one special person in your life, a group of friends, a counsellor, therapist or a family member – it's important to have someone to talk to about your feelings and experiences. Honest, respectful communication is an essential aspect of wellbeing.

MEDITATE: You don't have to sit cross-legged for hours or chant a mantra (although you might choose to if that appeals to you). Meditation is simply inner reflection and awareness. Taking the time (even a few moments out of a busy day) to be still and listen to your inner voice is an important part of understanding yourself and knowing what you need.

SET BOUNDARIES: When you're already feeling overwhelmed it's important not to take on more than you can handle. It can be necessary (and beneficial) to delegate or decline requests – to say no when you need to, rather than saying yes and feeling resentful.

CULTIVATE HUMOUR: Laughter is one of the best ways to reduce stress and increase well being – including the ability to laugh at ourselves. Lightening our take on things can go a long way toward reducing overall levels of stress.

For more information on the importance of dealing with stress you can check out the links below:

Stress Information Overview (CAMH)

Health Risks of Chronic Stress (Mayo Clinic)

Understanding Chronic Stress (APA)

#stress #tips #wellbeing

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