We all experience stress in our busy, fast-paced world. Therefore it’s important to find ways of coping with and managing our stress response.
This post will not go into all the technical details of what stress is (there’s already an abundance of articles available on that); Rather we will dive primarily into practical action steps we can take to manage and reduce stress in our lives.
I have personally dealt with extreme stress, traumas, anxiety, anger, and depression for the greater part of my life.
I didn’t do much about finding solutions until 2009 when I began searching for answers in personal development.
Once I started on that journey, a whole new world of possibility opened up.
I began listening to audio courses and audiobooks. I read many books in areas I wanted to learn and grow as a person.
It’s been 8 years that I’ve been studying and applying the things I’ve learned and it has truly changed my life for the better.
There are also many other things I have personally done to alleviate/reduce stress, anxiety, and anger in my life.
The following checklist show some options that are available for relieving/reducing stress/anxiety.
ACTIVITIES TO REDUCE STRESS
Here is a list of stress reduction activities that have helped me reduce anger, stress, and anxiety in my life over the years.
Actually doing these activities has helped me overcome debilitating suicidal depression and rage.
I’d highly recommend installing any of these activities as habits in your life.
You will be amazed at how much better your life can become.
Due to the body/mind connection, I’ve learned that if your body is tense and rigid, your mind will be as well.
[Disclaimer: The following checklist is not intended to treat, cure, prevent, or diagnose any illness or disease. Always check with a qualified, licensed medical practitioner before taking any actions regarding your health. As with everything in life, any/all actions you take are at your sole discretion and you assume full responsibility for the results you get.]
STRESS RELIEF CHECKLIST:
- Educate yourself with regular learning
- Listen to Audiobooks regularly
- Personal daily bible reading
- Attend Seminars + Retreats
- Learn + practice EFT (tapping meridians)
- Attend anger management classes
- Buy + Read Book: “Lose Your Temper” by Alistair Moes
- Regular physical activity (walk in nature, cycling, physical work, hiking, swimming, work out, etc.)
- Ingest micronutrient supplements daily to improve brain function
- See a qualified, certified Biokinesiologist regularly (Touch for Health Practitioner)
- Listen to a guided meditation daily
- Practice daily gratitude
- Sit in silence and focus on your breathing 10 mins/day (meditation creates space)
- Healthier, daily food choices
- STOP (or at least reduce) eating “fast food” (extremely high sodium content causes stress to the body and mind)
- Use raw, unrefined grey sea salt (full of micro-minerals) instead of bleached, white table salt
- Supplement: Vitamin D3 especially during darker, winter months.
- Supplement: Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA) to promote relaxation. (Stress depletes GABA)
- Passionflower herb supplement (Helps body produce GABA)
- Ingest a green drink every morning (green vegetables + fruit blended smoothie)
- Homeopathy (Hylands Calms, Bach flower remedies, etc.)
- Invest in healthy, supportive relationships
- Establish boundaries (or keep a “respectful distance” from non-supportive relationships)
- Vacation every year where possible (Travel to a different location away from home.)
- Go somewhere new every month/quarter (local activities/lakes/scenic locations/fun places/culture/etc)
- Reduce expenses where possible
- Reduce spending where possible (make it harder to spend money, especially if you’re an emotional spender… AKA “Retail Therapy”)
- Reduce debt and/or fully pay off debts regularly when possible (even if it’s just a portion every month)
- Increase daily/weekly/monthly/yearly income where possible
- Do “The Work.” Fill out a worksheet every day (“The Work of Byron Katie.” Available for free here.)
- Guided visualization audio’s (Imagineering is a creative process that impresses images on your subconscious.)
- Practice hobbies that nurture your creativity
- Purchase + use a rife machine (Spooky2 software is free. Spooky2 XM generator is low cost and can be used in conjunction w/software.)
- Affirmations (writing them down, then repeating out loud in front of a mirror)
- Subliminal affirmations audio’s with binaural beats to enhance subconscious reprogramming
- Cognitive belief therapy
- Help someone who needs support
Due to the body/mind connection, I have learned that if your body is tense and rigid, your mind will be as well.
As you learn to relax the body, (a daily meditation practice will help this process) the mind will relax and in time you will see new possibilities open up that you couldn’t see before.
The simplest and most powerful habit to manage/reduce stress and expand capacity to handle stress is by meditating daily.
Stress, anxiety, and overwhelm are all results of too much activity without giving the mind down time.
Meditation can be likened to a gift for the mind.
When people are constantly busy and their attention is externally focused, it does not give their mind a break.
Tasks and activities such as driving, watching TV, browsing social networks, working, reading, listening to music, etc are all external focused.
When we give our mind a much need break from external focus and begin to focus internally by meditating, we see how busy our minds are with constant thoughts, ideas, worries, and concerns.
As we make meditating a daily ritual, we get better at calming the body and our mind begins calming down as well.
INSTALLING MEDITATION AS A HABIT
The key to installing meditation as a habit is to pick a time, a duration, and then stick with it daily for at least 30 days or more.
You will likely see benefits in your life after as little as 4-7 days.
If you miss a day, you will likely feel a little off.
As you stick with the practice daily you will feel calmer, more relaxed, and able to handle stress better.
You will also likely have more insights and realizations about your life, how you live, and how you can better it.
These realizations can be like gold, especially if a person has been on autopilot most of their life like I was.
Installing the habit of meditating daily can also help uninstall beliefs/unconscious programs that no longer serve.
As I meditate quietly daily, I ‘observe’ my thoughts. I do my best not to judge/reject them.
It’s not always easy to not allow myself to get caught up in my thoughts, but I do my best to observe them without judgment.
It can take time and practice to learn to be the observer of your thoughts.
It can be all too easy to become victim to our thoughts.
Our brains have so much information inside them that random thoughts can dominate our mind.
Learn to catch yourself when a thought process is like a runaway freight train and know that it is possible to train yourself to become more of an observer of your thoughts.
The key is to observe thoughts without judgment. This may be hard at first if this is a new concept for you, but with time you can get better at observing your thoughts without judgment.
IS IT TRUE?
When we believe a stressful thought is true, this can create greater stress and inner conflict.
Learning to train oneself to question stressful thoughts as to whether they are true or not can help you begin to find inner peace and happiness.
A powerful tool (that is a form of meditation) is “The Work of Byron Katie.”
Doing “The Work” can help you experience greater freedom from stressful thoughts and beliefs that may be holding you back from a more satisfying and fulfilling life.
In order to reap the benefits though, one must consistently do “The Work.”
This means taking inventory of stressful thoughts and beliefs that are running around in our mind and giving them a voice on paper.
When we “give voice” to our stressful thoughts on paper or thru ‘The Work of Byron Katie app’, we are truly beginning to listen to our inner voice.
If we reject or suppress this inner voice/child, the voice will only get louder and louder as it judges experiences, people, and events.
“The Work” is a way of acknowledging this inner voice and hearing it from a place of empathy and compassion.
This inner voice can be likened to a scared little child that only wants to be heard and doing “The Work” allows it to be heard and over time it will quiet down as “The Work” is done consistently.
What helps you reduce stress in your life? Please share a comment below and share this post with a friend if you found value.