• Susan

10 Stress-Relief Tips

Updated: Aug 1

* Please Note: The following tips are generalized for overall stress management, and not necessarily tailored to those struggling with depression, trauma, or chronic anxiety. For these situations a more in-depth, individualized approach may be necessary.

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

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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. Explore various ways to curb procrastination and improve time management.

5. REST & 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. Cultivate consistent sleep habits and find ways to schedule adequate time for rest and relaxation.

6. 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.

7. CONNECT & 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.

8. 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.

9. 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.

10. CULTIVATE HUMOUR: Laughter is one of the best ways to reduce stress and increase well being – including the ability to laugh at ourselves. Enjoying some periodic comic relief, and 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 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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