Stress - Tips
Tips for coping with stress
Would you like some tips and advice how to deal with stress?
This forum is a great place to:
- explore several tips.
- respond to tips / share your experience.
- share the tips that work for you.
What's your tip how to deal with stress?
Tip 1 - Learn to say no
Do you tend to always say yes to requests from others, because you want to please, while actually you do not want to? Then it is good to learn to say no and make space for something you do want to do.
So, learn to say "no". Saying no doesn't have to be hard. You can always ask for time to think about it when you feel overwhelmed by a request from a colleague/ friend/ family member/ acquaintance/ ...
You do not have to make up excuses when you say no. Many people tend to cover their 'no' with excuses, little lies, or falsehoods. Keep it open and simple. If you don't feel like it or don't have time for it, you can simply say that.
The "broken recordplayer method" is very convenient when you have said no, but the other one is insisting. The only thing you have to do in this case, is to repeat your 'no' and the motivation for it. Like a recordplayer that is broken and keeps repeating the same part. This way you do not get seduced to discussions or making excuses.
Set your limit when somebody crosses them. You are the only one that can feel where your limit is.
When you don't allow yourself to say 'no', this can give you a lot of stress and tension.
Tip 2 - Restrict your (digital) communication
Restrict your (digital) communication and the time that you spend on it. So don't check your phone, e-mail, facebook, whats app or other social media every hour (or every fifteen minutes).
If you spend too much time on this, it can cause you stress and tension.
Choose a certain time during the day to spend on social media / (digital) communication and make sure to keep the rest the day for other things.
Tip 3 - Don't watch the news too often
Don't watch the news too often.
The news reports are in general a selection of bad news. It often doesn't make you feel better, it makes you feel stressed.
So restrict the time you spend on social media like television, radio, internet, magazines or newspapers. Only read or watch what is essential for you or what makes you feel good.
Tip 4 - Create "don't disturb me" time
Create "don't disturb me" time
These are moments that you have time for relaxation in your daily affairs.
When you keep getting distracted by questions or short conversations, there is less time for other things. After the interruption, it always takes a while before you are back on track.
This can create tension and stress.
Tip 5 - Tidy up and 'destuff' yourself
Tidy up and 'destuff' yourself
Do you want to feel less stress and more space in your life? Tidy up your house and 'destuff'. Throw away what you don't use or give them away (to friends or the second hand store)
The same for your workingspace. Empty your desk as much as possible. An empty, clean and tidy desk creates an open space that stimulates effective working.
The more space you feel in your house and your working place, the more space you feel in your head and the more relaxed you are.
Tip 6 - Practice mindfulness
Look with a mild, gentle and friendly attention to your stress.
Accept that stress is there, without identifying with it. You are not the stress, you have the stress.
By approaching yourself and your stress in a gentle manner, you can relax deeper and then your stress can become soft too.
Tip 7 - Make sure you sleep well
Make sure you sleep well and sufficiently. Sleep is very important for your body and your spirit to rest and recover. When you sleep well and you sleep enough, it will contribute to feeling well rested and capable during the day.
If it is hard for you to fall asleep, then you can do relaxation exercises.
Tip 8 - Keep an energy diary
Keep track of your weekly activities. Which ones give you energy? And which ones cost energy?
When you have a clear picture of that, you can look at how you can create a positive balance (= more energy givers then energy takers)
Tip 9 - Create a balance between effort and relaxation
Create a balance for yourself between effort and relaxation.
The more effort you make and the more stress and tension you feel, the more relaxation you need.
So don't go every time to the max, but be sure to take some rest in time. Split your tasks up in manageable pieces and relax in between.
This way you don't cross your own limits so easily and you don't burn yourself up.
Tip 10 - Set realistic, achievable goals
Set realistic, achievable goals
That way you take care that you don't ask too much of yourself. And divide your main goals in smaller goals. This way it stays managable.
Tip 11 - Try self approval
Try self approval
When years of self criticism did not help you out, try self approval and see what happens.
Tip 12 - What's the worst that could happen?
Ask yourself "what's the worst that could happen in this situation?" And "how bad would it be when it would happen?"
This will help you see that the scenario's, thoughts in your head that create stress are often not as realistic as they seem. Your feelings are real, but they do not fit with the actual situation.
The reality is often more pleasant then the expectations your project into the future.
Tip 13 - Think of solutions
Think of solutions. The things that create stress are often not going away by themselves.
Think about how you can improve the situation (in you relationship, your family, work, health), so that it creates less stress.
What can you do to decrease your stressful feelings? See if you can reorganize your life. Try to talk about problems direct. See if you can hand out tasks. Be sure to ask for support in time.
Sometimes it is needed to make certain choices or agreements, cancel certain commitments and hand over some tasks to somebody else.
Tip 14 - Do sports
Do sports. Sports is in almost every situation a solution, so also with stress. You can sport out all your frustration and go about your day with fresh energy again.
Tip 16 - Find a counsellor
Are your experiencing stress and could you use some support?
A therapist or counsellor can help you.
Tip 17 - Visualize what you want
Visualize what you want.
Visualize how you want to be in certain situations, how you want to think, how you want to feel and how you want to act.
Think of a certain current situation where you often feel anxious. And visualize how you would want to feel. Imagine it vividly and try to really feel and experience it.
You are then practicing, in your mind and with your emotions, and you are preparing your body for this situation. You are creating new possibilities.
When the situation presents itself again in the future you have created a new framework, with which you feel differently, you think differently and you act differently.
Tip 18 - Learn to plan differently
Learn to plan differently
Plan top-down in stead of bottom up. When you try to stuff everything you need to do in the available time, you don't always succeed and you feel disappointed or stressed.
Start with the available time and make a realistic estimation of the things you can do in that time. So take the available time as the starting point and not the amount of things to do. You can look at the idea of "time is money" like this: learn to budget you time.
Tip 19 - Don't escape to alcohol or drugs
Do not escape the stress by using alcohol or drugs. It may seem like a way out and it may seem like it makes you more relaxed. But narcotic drugs can in fact even increase the stress.
Moreover, you might create an extra (addiction) problem by using alcohol and/or drugs.
Also escaping from stress by emotional eating is not a solution.
Tip 20 - Investigate the secondary gain of being stressful
Investigate the secondary gain of being stressful. Even when you want to let go of stress, it can be that you do not succeed, because (unconsciously) you benefit from having it.
- It can be, for example, that because of the stress, you do not have to do certain things that you actually do not want to do.
- Or because of the stress you receive extra attention from your parents, lovers or therapists. And that you actually like that.
As soon as you know what the positive effects of the stress is (the secondary gain), you can start to look for an alternative way to get the same advantage, without having to hold on to the stress.
The next questions can help you discover the advantage of your stress:
- What (nice things) can I do because of the stress, what I otherwise could not do?
- What (nice things) do I receive because of the stress, that I would otherwise not receive?
- What could go wrong when I do not have stress anymore?
Tip 21 - Listen to what the stress wants to tell you
We all have different parts in us (sub personalities). Those different parts do not always agree with each other. For example on one side you want this, but on the other side you want something else.
Like this there are parts in you that are stressful and tensed. Also these parts have good intentions and often want to protect you.
In the past, this part was maybe very useful, but right now it is probably more like a burden.
Listen to what the stress wants to tell you and reconnect with it. Accept in a loving way that this part is there and allow it to be there. When this part feels heard and acknowledged, then there is space for change.
Tip 22 - Take care of yourself
Take care of yourself
-When you have stress, it helps to make a list of the things that create it.
-Talk about it with someone you trust
-Write down what your worries are.
-Keep taking care of yourself with healthy food, sports and enough relaxation.
Try if you like relaxation exercises or mindfulness.
Tip 23 - More relaxation
With relaxation you interrupt the stress reaction of the body. Your body gets time to recover. Relaxation means that you create time in your daily life in which you are not busy with the everything you have to do. This way, you create a balance between duties and the things you like to do.
Everybody has his or her own way to relax. For example:
- Listen to music, read a book or spend time on your hobby
- Take a walk in nature
- Do sports
- Take a hot bath or shower
- Have a massage
- Have sex
- Take extensive time to eat
Methods that can help you relax:
- Relaxation exercises
You will learn to feel the difference between a tensed body and a relaxed body. Relaxation exercises are often based on yoga, mindfulness and meditation.
Tip 24 - Watch a comedy
Watch a comedy
Laughter is THE way to get rid of stress. So watch a good television series or a movie.
Without a doubt you will feel much better afterwards.
Tip 25 - Take a nap
Take a nap
Do you feel stressed out? Go for a nap. When you wake up, you can face life with fresh energy again.
Tip 26 - Relax in the day spa
What I do when I feel stress, is go to the day spa once a week. Relax body and mind and you can face everything again. I can really recommend this!
Tip 27 - Avoid unhealthy habits
When you feel stressed it is easy to rely on unhealthy habits to make you feel better (temporarily) . Such habits may include over-eating, smoking, drinking or taking drugs. In the long-term, these habits will only create new problems and as they don't directly tackle the cause of your stress.
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