Stress Reduction Strategies That Keep You Calm
Are you busy and feeling stressed?
Watch this video and I’ll give you five easy tips to keep you calm.
This is Ivana.
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Today we’re going to talk about stress and how you can reduce your stress levels.
All of us face stress from day to day. And what we need to do is find some easy ways of managing it.
Now I’m gonna assume that you’re already doing those basic things like trying to get enough sleep and exercising. I don’t need to go over that again, I’m sure.
So this is going to be very specific things that can get you calm and relaxed quickly.
Make sure that you stick around to the end of this video because I’m going to give you the one tip that’s absolutely a must if you want to reduce your stress levels over time.
A lot of people forget when you get stressed, you tend to breathe higher in your chest and you’re sort of panting. So everything comes up into your chest and you’re breathing faster than you normally would, and all of a sudden everything in your body is responding to that breathing. That’s not really ideal for a calm and relaxed state.
As you become aware that you’re becoming stressed, I want you to focus on your breath and you want to take your breath down.
Ideally we’re focusing on belly breathing for stress reduction. Very low in the stomach. I mean, it’s not actually happening here. We know it’s in your lungs, but you want to bring it down and you want to slow it down.
So you’re gonna take your time and count so you can breathe on the inhale and exhale. You don’t have to do it with your hands up like I’m doing. You can just do this at your desk.
If you find yourself anxious, then you can just sit there, breathe in and out. You can even do this during a very stressful conference call. You can do it quietly, you don’t have to hear your breath, but just think about breathing very slowly.
Reduce the speed that you’re breathing and then you’re likely calm yourself down and feel a lot better.
A mindfulness practice can be really useful and all it’s about is just being aware of your body, of your breathing rate of your heart rate, everything that’s going on in your body at that particular time. Maybe your shoulders are really tight, your neck is feeling like all crunched up. It’s just being aware of those things. So if you’re mindful and you can do this throughout the day, you can kind of check in on yourself.
You can set an alarm like every hour on the hour just to check in.
That’s a mindfulness practice on its own.
You just check in, and say “Oh, okay, I feel a little anxious.”
Or “Oh, my neck is starting to get really tense” because it’s been kind of a rough day.
You just want to adapt to what you’ve been doing there. And you can try to relax just by being aware of it.
You can actually calm yourself down and you can, if you realize that you’re breathing really quickly or that your shoulders are really, really tense, then you just take a moment to bring those down, take your breaths down and bring yourself to a more positive place.
This sounds very silly just to smile when you don’t feel like it. When you’re stressed and anxious and when someone’s feeling down, they’re smiling a lot less.
And that’s just a reality. And if someone’s depressed, for instance, they’ve measured that that person will be smiling less often. So that seems completely obvious.
But the thing is you can actually affect how you feel by your physical actions.
If you force yourself to smile, you can feel better. There was a study where they forced people to smile by putting a pencil between their teeth. So they were kind of forcing themselves into a smile position.
These people felt better afterwards even though there wasn’t anything else that was different in terms of how they felt before or anything else they told them. It was just simply the action of putting your mouth into that physician, that kind of joker smile, that little fake smile.
You basically can fake it until you make it. If you do force yourself to smile, you will start to feel better.
In this study, they actually found that the heart rate started to lower and that’s an indication that the person was becoming more relaxed. So force yourself to smile even if you don’t feel like it. That can really help you stay calm and experience stress reduction.
Gratitude is just appreciating all the positive things that you have in your life and we probably don’t practice that enough, even if it’s just simple things like you have food to eat or a roof over your head. You have family, you have friends, you can get out of bed in the morning without too much pain. Any of those things can be something that you can practice as gratitude and just say, I’m grateful for that today.
Gratitude has been shown, to produce stress reduction, reduce levels of depression, and increase healthy behaviours.
When people feel more grateful, they’re more likely to eat better, they’re more likely to exercise, they’re less likely to smoke.
Gratitude has a lot of evidence based benefits that we can appreciate.
Gratitude can reduce your anxiety, can reduce your stress levels and make you feel calm.
And that’s really, really key. So it’s a great habit to get into if you do it on a daily basis. Maybe first thing in the morning or last thing at night, just go through, maybe choose three things that you’re really grateful for that day. And that ongoing practice of gratitude will help keep you calm and improve your sense of wellbeing.
And now the last tip, the one that you’ve been waiting for, the one that’s so important:
Let Go Of The Guilt
We all have guilt sometimes about things, but it’s okay to say no when you don’t have time to do something.
It’s okay to take care of yourself to get a bit more sleep to say, I just can’t do that right now.
I need to take care of myself.
If you feel guilty all the time, it’s only gonna make you feel worse. You’re going to feel anxious and you’re not have a hard time. You need to reduce your stress levels by letting go of that guilt. It’s not necessary.
Comment below please if you’ve felt unnecessarily guilty about something.
I mean, if you’re a parent, I’m sure you can relate. You’ve probably felt guilty about something that’s really not a big deal, but sometimes feelings of guilt can overwhelm us and increase our stress levels.
That’s the one thing that I want you to really remember in terms of stress reduction strategies.