Today is National Stress Awareness Day and there’s no doubt we’re all feeling the pressure of lockdown and Covid fatigue at the moment. As a qualified mindset and Neuro-Linguistic Programming practitioner I frequently help my clients develop stress resilience techniques. Here, I’m sharing my tried-and-tested techniques for preventing stress from ruling your life. I hope they help!
We all experience stress at one time or another. It can be triggered by different things and affect us in different ways, but it is a universal affliction which has many varying symptoms. It’s so widespread that there’s even a national day to recognise it, established by the International Stress Management Association (ISMA).
What is stress?
Stress is an unhealthy biological state caused by an individual lacking the capacity to cope with pressures they are under. Being under stress causes the body to release three hormones: adrenaline, norepinephrine and cortisol.
While these hormones are all vital for coping with the initial response to pressured situations, long-term stress can lead to persistent elevated hormone levels, which in turn can cause health problems. Elevated levels of stress hormones can cause anxiety, decrease immunity, increased blood pressure and blood sugars, insomnia and more. You’ll also find it much harder to focus, be productive and enjoy your life if stress takes control.
It’s vital to ensure your stress levels don’t become overwhelming and unmanageable, as this is where long-term problems and struggles can occur. Let’s take a look at Tara’s stress resilience techniques.
Tara’s top six stress-busting tips:
- Start your day the right way.
Implement a morning routine to set yourself up for stress-free success. If you can identify the things which are playing on your mind, you can set some positive affirmations to counteract the feeling that you tell yourself each morning. This will help you to start each day on a positive note, providing you with a rock-solid mindset that will help you make better, more informed decisions throughout your day, equipping you to deal with any stressful situations that come your way with a clear, positive outlook.
- Recognise your stress triggers.
Is there something or someone that particularly increases your pressure levels? Where possible it’s helpful to avoid these situations. Of course, sometimes life means that we just have to face them head on. In these situations it’s very important to ensure you have the skillset and tools to manage your stress levels.
Breathing properly (slow, deep breaths) is a really good way of calming yourself down. When we’re stressed our breathing becomes short and shallow, which in turn puts physical pressure on our bodies which increases adrenaline levels. The simple act of breathing deeply sends a message to your brain to relax and calm down, helping you to stay calm in stressful situations.
- Journal throughout your day.
Journalling is a great exercise to help you get your thoughts out of your head and on to paper. Sometimes the simple act of getting them in a different format can help you see how to move forwards and recognise that the stress trigger isn’t as bad as you first thought.
- Play a calming song.
This is one that always works. Music offers such a powerful way to help you change your state. Slow, calming, classical music can reduce your pulse rate, lower your blood pressure and decrease the levels of stress hormone your body produces. Combine that with slow, deep breathing and you’ll soon feel much more relaxed.
- Distract yourself.
If you find that you are being plagued by repetitive stressful thoughts, take a step back and distract yourself until you feel calm enough to deal with them. Activities such as colouring or cooking demand a level of concentration which removes focus from the stress trigger and symptoms. There’s been a boom in people enjoying these kinds of hobbies, especially as the expectation to be ‘always on’ in our culture has increased.
- Give yourself 2 minutes.
Sometimes we need to recognise the trigger and deal with it, before we can move on. But that feeling can be all too consuming sometimes, so it can be beneficial to allow yourself just 2 minutes to experience those feelings before you choose to snap yourself out of it.
Stress can be debilitating and overwhelming, but if you can recognise your feelings and triggers, and put simple practices into place to cope and reduce the stressful feelings, you can learn to manage it.
Remember, a little bit of stress can be good, too much is definitely not, being aware of yourself and embracing some self-kindness will go a long way.
Found these stress resilience techniques helpful? Why not subscribe to my podcast, Tara Talks! I focus on mindset and marketing to help you start or scales a business and get set for success.