Stress comes in all shapes and forms often without us realizing until it’s too late. Being aware and actively practicing stress management is essential to our health and well-being.
Stress can be positive or negative; it’s a question of how we perceive and address stress management. Some try to ignore it and accept that stress is a part of life, which they have to suffer. Others view stress as a problem that can be managed and treated by practicing calming and relaxation techniques.
Although most have everything they need in life, and we generally live in a safe environment, people still allow stress to drive them down. The effects can
The question remains; how to be aware and manage stress? My method is to slow down and make a concise effort to practice mindfulness, focus on my reality now, and not to worry about the past or the future. Overthinking and worrying never helps and rarely leads to a positive outcome.
The basics for effective stress management are obvious; Adequate sleep, rest, frequent exercise, spending plenty of time in nature and fresh air, eating healthily, and spending quality time with family and friends. While these practices are necessary, they are often not enough to tame the stress tiger!
What can you do when you feel under immense pressure, with deadlines looming, the kids playing up, relationships breaking, or not enough money coming in, especially during this economic meltdown we have seen.
There are several actions you can take and should try to apply as part of your daily routine to manage and reduce stress effectively.
Managing stress negatively by doing nothing and allowing it to intensify, will make you slip further. Acknowledging your stress levels and committing to stress management as part of your daily life- and wellness plan will support stress-reduction, a balanced mind, and a healthier heart.
Seek Meaning in Life.
Seeking and achieving meaning in life is far more fulfilling than chasing money or trying to force happiness. Happiness comes when we are doing good things for ourselves and others. Doing something you love and contributing positively to society will empower a meaningful life and a calm mind.
Stay out of the News.
This is often easier said than done. Watching the news (which is almost always negative) increases our anxiety level. Staying out of the story yourself can be tricky sometimes, especially if you are a blogger and are frequently publishing.
On the one hand, you want to be recognized for your blog to gain more followers; on the other; you can end up with some jealous folks trash talking. So, this one is a bit of a balancing act.
Take Breaks and Walks.
Taking frequent breaks throughout your day will give your brain the necessary time to recharge and refocus, which allows you to be more productive with far less stress. Combining breaks with movement, mainly walking, will double if not triple the stress reduction and result in increased energy levels and boosted creativity.
Spend Time in Nature.
Nature is the most beautiful thing available to all of us, and it’s usually for free! Why do so many folks then spend hardly any time in nature? The most common reason, to be frank, is pure laziness! Sorry for being direct.
Of course, the problem can also be time, money, or distance, which are inhibitors. However, nature is often much closer than you think, and you can find time to go there detox and free your mind. All I ask is to make more of an effort to go out into nature frequently. The reward for body and mind and substanti
Being aware of what’s going on around us all the time, or at least most of the time, is another excellent way to manage or reduce stress. Staying in the now as some call it, is way better than drifting into the past wishing things would have turned out differently or worrying too much about the future.
The best way to manage mindfulness and stress is to make a plan, write it down in detail, and execute the plan. Plans always have room for adjustment and compromise. To be aware, rather than drifting through your day is the better way to go.
Steam & Sauna Therapy.
Sauna is one of the oldest relaxation therapies that’s been practiced for hundreds of years, both for health and relaxation therapy.
nah,” is the only Finnish word in the English dictionary; it means “bath” and “bathhouse.” Sauna has been a way of life in Finland, where it was invented, for over 2000 years. One of the first written descriptions of the Finnish Sauna was in 1112. The earliest Sauna was dug into an embankment in the ground.
Finding a sauna or steam room isn’t always easy, and it can be time-consuming, I know. But, it can be done; it’s worth gold. Pretty every YMCA in the USA has both, and the Y’s are usually quite affordable. Join a Y or another health club that has a steam or sauna room and go and get the heat on at least twice a week! The Y’s are also community centers with tons of fun social activities happening every day.
Leading to my next step.
Spend Time with Friends and Family.
We are social creatures, and we desire social interaction. Spending all your time at work, stressing, or then alone at home, doesn’t much support a healthy and balanced mindset. Make the extra effort to meet up with friends as often as you can spend quality time with your family, even if it’s via video call, due to distances.
In my case, due to the pandemic, I haven’t been able to travel back to the USA to see my amazing kids since February, but we video call every day.
Do you laugh enough, every day? I’m guessing not. Smiling is often seen as having too much fun, and how can we possibly laugh a lot if we have to be so serious all the time, seriously stressed that is!
Make jokes, laugh at yourself, watch funny videos, tell funny stories, and laugh as much as you can. Smiling makes you happy in the NOW, the moment, and that’s what counts. Laughing will significantly reduce stress, as it makes you forget your anxieties.
I love to meditate, but if I’m honest, I haven’t been practicing enough meditation myself during the last few crazy months. I vowed to myself to get back into my routine and meditate for 10 to 15 minutes twice a day from now on.
Meditation is just a brilliant way to slow life down and calm the mind, which greatly reduces stress levels.
Most of us don’t even think about this much. Am I grateful for what I have, or am I always complaining? That’s the question you need to ask yourself. Sure, you may not have a lot or anything like you “want,” but complaining and being upset about your situation is only going to stress you out more and make things worse.
Being grateful for what you have now is a vital element to happiness, success, and stress management.
Pay attention to your stress barometer, keep an eye on it as you do on the oil and gas when you are driving your car. Overheating, or running out of fuel can become a costly problem and be hard to fix. Keeping your stress levels in check is a far better way to manage stress and to stay positive and focused. Life’s challenges are handled more easily this way.
Thanks for reading, and please send me your thoughts and comments, and do let me know how you manage your stress successfully.
Writer, Former Olympic Athlete & Certified Health Coach
“It is my mission to help people regain control of their health by building a healthy, strong heart, body, and mind, supporting a longer life.”