Seven Strategies for Stress
- Diaphragmatic Breathing –
This will instantly get you out of the fight or flight survival mode that is triggered when we are stressed or anxious.
Put one hand on your tummy and the other on your chest and make sure your belly rises with the in breath, not your chest.
Try breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth.
7/11 breathing – breathe in for a count of 7 and out for a count of 11.
If this is too difficult you can try 3/6 – breathe in for a count of 3 and out for a count of 6.
Try this for a few minutes just noticing the breath.
This is the simplest and most useful stress and anxiety-relieving tool you can have.
2. Progressive Relaxation –
This is great to do lying or sitting down.
Tense a muscle group in your body for 5 seconds then release that tension.
Start with your face, wrinkle up your forehead, squint eyes, open and close your mouth.
Clench your fists and tighten your biceps and forearms.
Straighten your legs, clenching the muscles and point toes.
Work through all the major muscle groups one at a time from the top of your head down to your toes, allowing 30 seconds of relaxation after each tighten. Notice the contrast in feeling.
Remember to breathe.
3. Visualisation –
Don’t worry how clearly you can visualise, just picture or imagine.
Find a quiet spot on a chair or in bed. Imagine breathing in relaxation and breathing out stress.
Imagine a doorway ahead leading to a wonderful place of relaxation and go through the door. It could be a favourite holiday spot or somewhere from your imagination. Notice colours, sounds, smells and temperature making the experience as real as possible.
Then imagine a goal you want to achieve and visualize yourself succeeding in that goal. Play it like a movie in your mind making it as real as possible. Play the movie from start to finish 3 times making it more vivid, bigger and brighter each time
4. Be Active –
Exercise will reduce some of the emotional intensity that you’re feeling, clearing your thoughts and letting you to deal with your problems more calmly.
Exercise reduces the natural chemicals that build up during stress and releases endorphins into the bloodstream creating a sense of wellbeing.
Just 20 – 30 minutes exercise a day, preferably outdoors with grass and trees will make an incredible difference to wellbeing. In fact studies have shown that the denser the tree population the greater the stress reducing effect!
5. Work smarter, not harder
This can mean in your workplace or at home.
Working smarter means prioritizing your work, concentrating on the tasks that will make a real difference. Leave the least important tasks to last. Accept that your in-tray will always be full. Don’t expect it to be empty at the end of the day. Make a list of things to do at the beginning of the day and tick them off as you accomplish them. Your brain feels the reward as you work through the list.
Set goals and manage your time wisely!
6. Eat well – The 2nd Brain
Your gut is known as The Second Brain
Trust your gut feeling. There is a primal connection between our gut and our brain. A network of 100 million neurons are in our gut, it is wise to look after our stomach with healthy diet, probiotics and relaxation. 95% of the body’s serotonin is found in the bowels. People suffering with IBS for instance are said to have a ‘mental illness’ of the 2nd brain
7. Mindfulness and hypnotherapy
Mindfulness can help us deal with life’s challenges more calmly and effectively, becoming more aware of how and where we are at the present moment. Even 5 minutes a day over 3 weeks shows significant reductions in stress and an increase in life satisfaction.
You can book into our regular group Mindfulness+ session to help learn the techniques.
Hypnotherapy is a great way to reprogramme the subconscious mind to feel less stress in our day to day lives, feeling more content, confident and in control.
Get in touch now to arrange a free consultation and find out how hypnotherapy can help you at Warren York Hypnotherapy & Stress Solutions.
02890 28 1234