In the bustle of daily living stress is sometimes unavoidable, but you can practice ways of reducing stress, work to eliminate it, and find calm within the day. Stress is tiring and makes simple tasks seem overwhelming. It is important to identify the things that are causing stress, write them down. Identify where the stress is coming from, whether it is physical or emotional; is it something you've tolerated but could actually avoid; or whether is it some situation in need of constructive management. Determine if the stress is caused by an illness, work, school, specific tasks, certain environments or relationships. Once identified, you can better prepare yourself by creating a plan and avoiding the over indulgence in things that cause it.
Slow down and consider the drains on your time and energy. Find out what is triggering the anxiety and work around it. Spend less of your day on things that drain your focus and aren't particularly helpful in obtaining positive goals. And if there are stressors in your environment that cannot be escaped, like a difficult work situation, take mini breaks away, even 5 minutes, breathe and center yourself. You will feel calmer and will be more productive. Abandon an old routine of responding one way, try responding a different way, perhaps with humor. Humor relieves stress and finding the irony in situations gives you another perspective and way of approach. It will place you in a much better mood and allow you the tools to manage situations.
While spending less time in stressful situations, spend more time preparing yourself for the tasks at hand. When work or projects are due, spend more time preparing your materials so you aren't stressed out by deadlines. Start early when making a presentation or turning in a report. Work a little each day on your work, do the proper research and organize your materials. You can also make a plan of action for leaving home for work or other events on time. Be punctual, actually 5 - 10 minutes early when possible. This will alleviate stress in traffic and allow you time to gain your focus. This pertains also to other distractions in the day which take your time and create unnecessary noise in your environment.
If you feel like you're running on empty, do something good for yourself, like participating in a daily exercise routine, get your heart pumping. Stress produces the hormones cortisol and adrenaline which cause your heart to beat faster and your muscles to tense. Exercise produces chemicals and hormones also which counteract those bad-feeling chemicals and replace them with good-feeling chemicals called endorphins. Endorphins are produced by your glands when you exercise and give you a sense of calm and overall well-being. They allow you to release the tension you're experiencing and gives you an outlet that is helpful in overcoming obstacles. High impact exercise, in particular, gives you an endorphin rush which produces bursts of energy and exhilaration. It's a good thing! You'll feel rejuvenated and have an outlet of productivity, and even self-expression which is very rewarding.
And finally, take time each day to simply relax and give yourself a little nurturing. Do some of the things you enjoy during that time. Carve out some time, whether early in the day before anyone is awake, or later in the day after everyone has gone to bed. It is important to reconnect with that audience of one, you. Read or listen to material that is inspirational and that brings you a sense of purpose and fulfillment. Build some resources you can utilize during the day and take the time to reflect, refocus and renew. Find ways to effectively deal with things in your environment you cannot control, and create another perspective surrounding them.
Getting a Good Night's Sleep:
Getting the proper rest is very important. Many people aren't receiving the amount of rest or the quality of rest they need to function at their best. Most adults sleep less than 7 hours per night, while healthy adults need between 7 1/2 to 9 hours of sleep per night to feel energized and remain well. To make sure our bodies are capable of taking on the tasks in each day, fighting off illness this winter, and remaining strong it is important to get the proper rest. To make sure you are receiving the proper rest, develop a plan. Make it a priority.
Develop routines in the evening that allow you to relax and wind down from the day. Our days are filled with activity and evenings are filled with more things which require our time and energy. Plan your days so that at a certain point in the evening you can begin to slow down. Guard this time with you and your family. Let the answer machine respond to calls, and turn off the tv, radio, internet at a certain point. Reconnect with loved ones, complete any unfinished tasks together and prepare for quiet time in the evening. The quality of your night's rest could be dependent upon these things.
Eat dinner early in the evening so that the last meal will have time to fully digest. Watch portion sizes and avoid sweets and junk foods that might upset the digestive process. Also watch beverage consumption later in the evening so your rest is not interrupted by restroom visits at night. Some might choose to do stretching during this time or a light work out, allowing the body to cool down during the latter part of their evening. While this is very relaxing for some, others might enjoy reading a good book or reconnecting with someone.
Invest in a good pillow that will support the head and neck during sleep and keep the body in good alignment. Keep a small cup of water on the night stand so you won't have to disturb your rest by getting up and moving around in the middle of the night. If necessary, use ear plugs to alleviate sounds or distractions.
Create a consistent evening and bedtime routine. After all is done for the day, go to bed at the same time so your body will learn to anticipate sleep. Add some things that could allow you to rest like a warm bath, reading or listening to relaxing music. Incidentally, many experts who have studied relieving stress have suggested that either classical or jazz music is best for stimulation and relaxing. Yogurt Fusion Inc. recommends the album, Beyond by Swoo Jazz featuring the artist Leland. It's a really unique cool jazz project. "Woo Yourself with Swoo Jazz - Relax, Rejuvenate and Revitalize." For downloads, use iTunes and for CD's use Amazon.
Gain a confident and positive outlook before going to bed. Sometimes the distractions are our own thoughts. A good night's sleep is achieved when the mind is free of worry and when the body is relaxed. Have a good night's rest. In the morning, carve out some time to stretch, have a warm cup of your favorite beverage and relish the early morning of silence and peace.
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