Copyright 2005 Trevor Dumbleton
One question that is not asked enough by people under stress is how to relieve stress. Unfortunately, people who are under stress tend to simply take it as a matter of course and simply accept its existence as though it was some sort of natural occurrence, or even a boon! Thus, people who are feeling the effects of stress do not actually take the time to notice that they are under stress and need relief. And when people are under stress, the first part of tackling the problem of how to relieve stress is actually realizing that there is stress that needs to be relieved.
Are you having trouble concentrating? Are you struggling with a project that doesn't seem to be going anywhere? Are you dealing with people who simply will not listen to sense? Are you frustrated with the way things are going? Congratulations, you have stress. Okay, this is not really something to be congratulated on, but it is important to understand this fact. After all, the beginning of the "How to relieve stress" problem begins with recognizing the warning signs. Then, once the warning signs are seen, healing can begin.
The first thing to do when you want to know how to relieve stress is to learn how to walk away. That's right, get up, go someplace else, and just cool off. It is often vital to hit that reset button and take a few deep breaths away from the action. The work will still be there when you get back, but being there beyond your breaking point will not get it done. An overabundance of things to do will not be helped by a clouded mind, so give your mind a break. Then, once your head is clear again, you can head back and bang out the projects with the greatest of ease. Or at least more ease than when you were sitting in front of a pile of work and wondering how you would get through it all.
Okay, so you need a break, you have walked away, but you are still so stressed that you are ready to pop. Unfortunately, the previous lesson on how to relieve stress has not worked and you need something more powerful. Well, you need to pull out a better method. This means that you need to simply concentrate on nothing.
When stress is way too much for a simple period of walking away, you need to practice an exercise in meditation. This means sitting down, closing your eyes, and thinking about absolutely nothing. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to think about nothing, so you should think about your breathing. Take a deep breath in and feel the air moving through your nostrils, down your windpipe, and into your lungs. Then push that breath out and feel it moving all the way up from your diaphragm, up into your lungs through your windpipe and out of your nostrils. Feel every motion of the air and notice how it feels as it exits. Imagine your tension flowing out with the air, evaporating into the endless space of the atmosphere, diluting into a complete dilution of oxygen. Think about nothing but breathing and notice every moment of the experience. Then, after about 3 or 4 breaths -- or as many as it takes -- open your eyes. You should feel as refreshed as though you just took a quick, refreshing nap. If you don't repeat the exercise until your mind is clear and you are able to concentrate on your work again.
These activities are very effective for a short period of time, but you will also need a method for relieving stress in the long run. After all, it is taxing to notice that you are under stress and it takes a great deal of will to make that leap and push away all those feelings. Thus, you need a way to relieve stress in the long term.
In the long term, the best method to choose, when you want to know how to relieve stress, is to do what you always say you are going to do: eat right, exercise, and get enough sleep at night. Yes, we all say that we will do it, but none of us every actually follow through. But, if you eat right, you will feel better during the day, if you exercise, you will feel better during the day and sleep better at night, and if you sleep enough, you will actually clear away all that fogginess that can lead to stress. So do your body and your mind a favor by taking care of those little things that you keep telling yourself you will do tomorrow. After all, today was yesterday's tomorrow.
When you want to know how to relieve stress, you should begin with a few simple methods as you slowly build up your will power to tackle the larger work of exercising, eating right, and getting the sleep you need. By doing all of these things, your mind will be cleared up, you will feel better during the day, you will sleep better at night, and you will not have to worry about stress nearly as much. After all, once you are relieving stress routinely, you won't have to worry about how to relieve stress.
About the Author
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