There are hundreds of ways to accomplish stress reduction. Why am I focusing on only 5? Because it doesn’t help to give you 100! That stresses me out just thinking about it.
Here are my favorite five stress reducers:
- Watch your physical and mental intake. What are you putting into your body? Caffeine, tobacco, alcohol, fried foods, heavy foods, ephedrine and other agitating supplements. There is also the mental: TMA – Too Much Activity or too much of anything, too much sleep, too much TV, too much stimulation, too much noise, too much activity, too many demands, too much clutter and too much stuff! The internet is chock full of too much: info, news, stories, drama, advice, judgment, entertainment, etc.
- Watch your output. Are you trying to do too much or too little? Sleeping, bogged down with decision-making, too many choices, trying to do everything? Instead of multi-tasking, begin a new habit of doing one thing at a time. Studies of highly productive people are now showing that multi-tasking is highly overrated. People who really get a lot done say they do this by staying focused on one thing at a time.
- Use your energy wisely. Exercise increases energy. Why is it that using energy in a productive way like this, creates more energy? I don’t know but I like it! Don’t you love the feeling you get when you have worked out and you have that ‘good tired’ feeling? The energy of “I worked hard, now I deserve a rest!” Research shows that exercise is great for mood, health, and improving our coping with stress. We know this, and yet, we often don’t do it. So, I will borrow a line from one of my favorite ads: “Just Do It!’
- Seek support. Get together with people who lift you up. Spend time with people who make you laugh. You don’t have to “talk it all out.” In fact, this may be less than helpful. Research shows that “venting” is not all it’s cracked up to be. Instead, just connect with that friend or family member that you can just hang out with. Find some activity that is nurturing and go do it. Laugh, play, explore, exercise, learn, anything that gets you moving and connecting with life.
- Enjoy nature. Appreciate the outdoors. Contemplate the beauty and wonder of life. Study a leaf, or an ant, or watch the wind or water. Be still and have gratitude for the simplicity and amazing intricacies of life.
Terri Mudge, LPC is a licensed professional counselor who provides individual therapy and life coaching in Mobile, Alabama. If you are feeling tossed around by the storms of life, call Terri today for a FREE Phone Consultation, at 251-343-2597.