Need some stress management techniques that work? Try these
ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR STRESS AND ANXIETY
The old stress management advice was to try to manage stress and anxiety by focusing on something else such as thinking of happy thoughts, or turning your attention to something distracting. Now, the suggested advice is to acknowledge your feelings. Understand what you are having a panic or stress attack and that it will pass.
Stress disorder as become common in our hectic modern lives. Research suggests that 1 in 8 Americans between the ages of 18 to 54 have suffered some kind of anxiety, panic or stress disorder. That is an incredible 19 million Americans who have been in a similar situation to yourself. So recognize and acknowledge your stress, understand it does happen ot other people, and that you will feel better. Think of it as weather: you may face rainy days, but sooner, or maybe later, those rainy days will pass and the sun will come out again.
TRACK TO TACKLE THE STRESSFUL SITUATION AS SOON AS POSSIBLE
Where possible, try to get out of the stressful situation you find yourself in. For example, if you are in a traffic jam and feeling anxious, see if there is a nearby gas station you could pull into to take a few moments out. Or perhaps a coffee shop. If you are in a busy shopping mall and all the clatter and chatter is getting too much, go take a walk outside, or sit down in a corner and take a few deep breaths. Do not worry about what onlookers are thinking, close your eyes if that helps you.
BE MINDFUL OF THE MOMENT
Concentrate on the now. Focus on the details around you. For example, you could extend your feet up and down very slowly: take deep breaths and concentrate on what your feet are doing, how each muscle is slowly stretching and how your toes are extending. Feel how rooted this is making you to the earth. Another example, is to take a personal item, such as a bracelet and study it, touch it and concentrate hard on each detail and you turn it around slowly in your hand.
PRACTISE DEEP BREATHING AND STRESS REDUCTION EXERCISES
Sit down with your back straight. Breathe slowly and deeply: feel your diaphragm and abdominal muscles work. Place one hand on your chest and another on your stomach: try to make the lower hand move more than the upper one.
CONSIDER A MINDFULNESS BASED STRESS REDUCTION (MBSR) PROGRAM
Mindfulness based stress reduction is a blend of yoga and mindfulness meditation. It has had proven results in volunteers: reducing the need for medication and improving feelings of self-esteem and wellbeing for the majority of participants. Mindfulness-based stress reduction programs are now offered in over 200 medical centers around the world. There is another form of MBSR called Mindfulness based cognitive therapy which helps tackle depression with cognitive therapy-type exercises to help users recognize and work to remove their negative thought patterns.
If there isn't a program near you, you could consider a Mindfulness Meditation and Stress Reduction DVD
CONSIDER WHAT LIFESTYLE CHANGES YOU CAN MAKE
If you are living a stressful lifestyle, think about what changes you can make to reduce some of the day-to-day activities which are triggering your anxiety. If you have job stress, see if there is a way to take regular breaks during the day or delegate some of the work. Talk to your boss about managing your workload and prioritizing your tasks. Find time in your life to relax either with a hobby, sport or leisure activity, or by simply spending more time with family and friends.
YOU CAN BECOME CALMER AND RELIEVE YOUR STRESS AND ANXIETY
Remember that being stressed out does not mean there is something wrong with you or that you are a lesser person. It's natural and understandable to become stressed and anxious in certain situations such as before a big presentation, an exam, a key deadline, an urgent problem or an important meeting. The short-term stress and pressure that comes with these situations might even help you work faster and with more focus as your body's adrenaline kicks in. Also remember that you can control your stress if you acknowledge the problem and activity seek and try out stress management activities and techniques that work for you.