Posted on Jul 30th, 2006

These ten points are very common and effective tools for managing stress and anxiety, however, it is a good idea to seek the opinion of a health practitioner as sometimes these issues can be indicators of deeper physiological or psychological problems.

  1. Breathe - Whenever you feel yourself getting anxious, focus on your breathing. Start by taking a big, deep breath and as you exhale, let out a great big sigh. This alone can release a truckload of stress. Then, simply focus on your breathing, feeling the oxygen flood your body as you inhale and leave your body as you exhale. Slow your breathing right down and you will feel your body and mind relax.
  2. Time Management - learn to structure your time and work. Make ‘To Do Lists’, Goal Sheets and use other time management tools to provide a structure within which you can accomplish so much more. Look up ‘Time Management’ in a search engine for lots of helpful ideas!
  3. Get It Fixed - If there is something worrying you about your health or another part of your life, get it checked out by professionals. Go to your health practitioner for health problems, or your accountant for business issues rather than gnawing on it for months on end. All too often the drama we’ve created in our minds is no big deal, or if it is of concern, it can be easily dealt with the help of a specialist.
  4. Let It Go! - There’s a wonderful prayer called ‘The Serenity Prayer’. ‘God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, and the Wisdom to know the difference.’ (Author is Anonymous). Recognise that there are some things in life’s journey that are out of your control. Instead of focusing on those things, teach yourself to let it go and instead, look at what you can change in your life.
  5. Hand It Over - If you’ve done everything you can about a particular situation, you have two options left to you: Worry about it or Hand It Over to God. Worrying about the situation is only pouring negativity onto it. Allowing God (whatever your concept of God is) to take charge of it provides the greatest possible opportunity for a positive outcome.
  6. Remove the Stressors - sometimes we can hold on to relationships, jobs and other situations that we’ve long outgrown. Doing this will eventually create great stress. Look over your life and see if there are any areas where you may have outgrown your situation. Consider what you will lose by letting go of the old situation. Consider what you will gain.
  7. Balance - It can be very easy to lose sight of a healthy life balance when you are struggling and striving in your daily life. Every now and then, stop and take stock of your life. Do you set aside enough time and space to be on your own in peace? Are you spending enough time with your loved ones? Do you get out into nature once in a while to breath in the clean air and restore your energy? Do you get a regular massage or Reiki session? No matter how hard you work, there will always be more work. Make sure you include some ‘real life’ in your schedule.
  8. Easy Does It, But Do It - Procrastination is a huge generator of stress! So make sure you are moving through your list of things you need to do. If you have difficulty with procrastination, then this method may help. Choose something that needs to get done, break the goal into smaller steps then focus on and complete one step without worrying about anything else. Once that step is completed, start and complete the next step. Before you know it, you will have completed your task and be ready to move on to the next.
  9. Ask For Help - It’s a difficult thing, asking for help, but it can also be very worthwhile. If you have aspects of your life, your work, your health that you’re not coping with or don’t know how to deal with, look around for sources of help. You may need to outsource some of your workload so that you can concentrate on what you do best, you may benefit from a Life Coach or Time Management consultant or dietician. There are many wonderful experts out there who understand and can help you to deal with life in a simpler, more manageable way.
  10. Basic Needs. Sleep and Diet! It is so important to make sure you are getting enough sleep and a healthy diet! Eight hours of sleep a day and a balanced diet, will allow your body and mind the rest, recouperation and nourishment it needs to function well and cope with life!
  11. So, there you have it! Of course, these ten tips are not all that can be done for stress management, however they are very common factors to consider when dealing with stress. The most important thing to remember is that your life is important and valuable. Far more important than any job, business or relationship that you may be focused on.

    Daniella Breen, B.Sc.(Psych) has been working in the stress management industry for 9 years. Her on-line training school has many courses to train you in meditation and other empowerment techniques.

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