Make your own free website on Tripod.com

Stress Reducers:

Before stress undermines your sanity, and your health, embrace these simple ways to come to your own rescue.

Worry about one thing at a time. Make a list and then prioritize if there is something urgent and stash the list somewhere for a while so that you can regroup. Women worry more than men do. In a study of 166 married couples who kept stress diaries for six weeks, Ronald Kessler, Ph.D., a psychologist and professor of health-care policy at Harvard University, found that women feel stress more frequently than men because women tend to worry in a more global way. Whereas a man might fret about something actual and specific -- such as the fact that he's just been passed over for a promotion -- a woman will tend to worry abstractly about her job, her weight, plus the well-being of every member of her extended family. Keep your anxiety focused on real, immediate issues, and tune out imagined ones or those over which you have zero control, and you'll automatically reduce stress overload.
Allow yourself to not think (this is my favorite) for a while each day.  Finding a way to do that is very hard for some but if you will practice listening to yourself for a moment, you will discover the quietness of your own peace.  This will help you get through a stressful day. Plus sometimes the most creative insights have come from the silence of not thinking. Some call it meditating...but  I prefer to keep it simple since the word meditation itself is somewhat complicated in definition for some. Exactly what it is is a matter of the approach. It can be chanting. it can be closing your eyes. It can be focusing on an object, image, place, etc. It can be doing yoga, sitting a certain way. What ever your approach, the important thing is to not think about things that stress you out.
Focus on your senses a few minutes a day. For a few minutes a day, practice being mindful -- focusing only on what's going on in the present -- whether it's during your workout or taking a break from your work. Take a relaxing 20-minute walk and don't think about your job worries or anything else. Pay attention only to your senses -- what you see, hear, feel, smell. If you can do that every day, it makes a huge difference to your emotional and physical well-being.
Draw about, talk about, or write about what's worrying you. Drawing, writing or talking about the things that prey on you -- on paper, in a diary, with friends, in a support group or even a home computer file -- helps you feel less alone and helpless.
Call a friend, weekly.  A supportive friend can help lift moderate depression from 39% to 65%, without anti-depressant medication and counseling, also reducing stress, which helps your immune system, which in turn can affect your resistance to disease and cancer.
No matter how stressed or busy you are, exercise. Exercise is probably the most effective stress reliever there is. Researchers have found that after spending 30 minutes on a treadmill, their subjects scored 25 percent lower on tests that measure anxiety and showed favorable changes in brain activity.
Take time to be touched. Experts haven't figured out why having your body pressed and prodded works wonders, but they know that it does. Studies suggest massage can speed up weight gain in premature babies, improve lung function in asthmatics and boost immunity in men with HIV, says researcher/psychologist Tiffany Field, Ph.D., of the University of Miami's Touch Research Institute. If you can't indulge in regular full-body massages, treat yourself to the occasional pedicure, manicure or facial -- all nurturing, hands-on treats that offer some of the benefits of massage.

Practice self soothing things like...1.) Take a long slow bath with bubbles (or a shower), candles, and music.  2.) Use a loofa or body brush. 3.) Take a walk and breath in fresh air (as fresh as you can get it...I would think that walking around trees can help with that). 4.) Put cream on your feet and hands...do the feet thing again...or even better...talk someone into doing it for you.

Speak a stress-free language. People who handle stress well tend to employ what stress experts call an "optimistic explanatory style." They don't beat themselves up when things don't work out in their favor. So instead of using statements that catastrophize an incident, like "I'm a complete failure," they might say to themselves, "I need to work on my backhand." Or they'll transfer blame to an external source. Rather than saying, "I really blew that presentation," say, "That was a tough group to engage."
Replace the word "expect" with "hope." The greatest amount of toxic, chronic stress comes from unmet expectations. Expectations can only be used for those things over which you have the greatest personal control. You can expect to quench your thirst with a drink of water. You cannot expect to get the job you just interviewed for. You can hope to get it. Think "hope" instead of "expect" and you'll greatly reduce stress.
Don't be so serious. There's nothing like anxiety to annihilate your sense of humor. It would follow, then, that it's impossible to feel stressed when you're hunched over in a fit of giggles. Studies have shown, in fact, that laughter not only relieves tension, but actually improves immune function. Swap jokes with your friends, get a silly screen saver, rent a funny movie when you get home. Stop taking things so seriously!
Fire those voices of negativity. We all have an "internal government," made up of various voices which either egg us on or drive us mad. Some say these people can be our inner parents...Some of these people -- the important ones -- were elected to that post and others were not but somehow got on the board anyway -- like cranky neighbors, micromanaging bosses. Visualizing a boardroom and actually firing those people who do nothing more than create stress in your life. Choosing to ignore their input is very cleansing and empowering, because it means you no longer allow those people to push your buttons.
Once a day, get away. When you're having a hell of a day -- good or bad -- checking out for 10-15 minutes is revitalizing. Find a place alone (and definitely ditch the cell phone and stay away from the computer) -- the attic, the bathroom, a quiet cafe, a big oak tree -- and wipe the slate clean for a few minutes. Do whatever it is that relaxes you: Meditate, read a novel, sing or sip tea. Take some time -- even a few minutes -- to establish an inner sense of peace. It is not how much time you allot, but being consistent and doing something every day.
Name at least one good thing that happened today. It's a scenario played out every evening all over the country: Come home from work and start venting to your spouse or roommate about your day. Instead of creating a negative atmosphere the minute you walk in the door, try starting off the evening with your family or friends by exchanging what good has happened that day. Every day something good happens, even if it's just that you were stuck in traffic and someone let you pass him/her.
Turn negative things into good things. People often do this when a severe tragedy happens, however it can also be done on an as needed basis for smaller things...like when your boss has to cut your hours for a while. This is an opportunity to do some other project that has been waiting for time off from work to finish....or it is time now to do things for yourself for a change...or it is the opportunity to get a new perspective on other possibilities for a job, spruce up your resume, go back to school.
As a ritual, literally take the stress in, then release it. No matter how good, bad, up, down, evil or uncomfortable life is at times, the bottom line is that we must embrace it. It's so important to think in terms of being resilient, elastic, of being able to bounce back.
Tai chi exercise known as "embracing the tiger," where you take your arms, spread them wide, put your hands together and then draw them -- and everything around you -- toward your navel, the center of your being. The tiger represents all that is life. It is gorgeous, warm, colorful, powerful, dangerous, life-giving and potentially life-threatening. It's everything. Doing this allows you to say "I take it all, the bad with the good." Then you reverse your hands and push them out. By doing this you're saying, "Look, I've accepted and integrated all that has happened to me and I no longer allow it to cause me stress." And when you can control stress, it can no longer control you.
Get a pet of your choice.  Pets can sooth you with their unconditional love.  I have heard that this also lowers blood pressure. Plus you can check 2 on this list by walking a dog for exercise....and you can believe they will remind you daily.
This one is going to sound kind of silly but...hurray for silly if it works. If you put the backs of your knees in the sun it is supposed to raise your mood.  There has been studies about the cells back there that are supposed to be sensitive to light and stimulate the anti-depressant chemicals in the brain....Hey, I've tried it and it works.
Emotional Freedom Technique (Ask me about it)