Techniques for Health and Success

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Techniques for Health and Success

Understand Stress and Tips for Managing Stress
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Understanding Stress

What is Stress
Stress is a state of physical, mental or emotional strain that occurs in response to real or perceived events which occur in our everyday lives. It is the way our bodies respond and adjust to a continually changing environment. Stress can be positive or negative. In a positive sense, stress can force us into action; it can induce feelings of excitement and new levels of awareness. In negative sense, it can bring on a range of adverse effects such as anger, depression and extreme anxiety. This can in turn lead to physical problems such as headaches, skin rashes, ulcers, high blood pressure and in extreme case heart disease and stroke.

What Causes Stress
Stressors are the causes of stress; they are events in our lives that threaten or challenge us and can be external or occur in our minds. Stressors come normally in one of three forms: daily hassles, major life events, and catastrophes, and can occur within many domains of life such as family, work and school. Examples of such stressors include upcoming project deadlines, getting married or the death of a loved one.

The Effects of Stress
Stressors induce what is commonly called a stress response in us, that is psychological, physiological, and/or behavioral reactions to stressors. Stressors cause a release of chemicals in our brain producing a feeling of tension or threat, affecting the way we think and feel both emotionally and physically. Examples of stress responses are anxiety, depression, concentration difficulties and muscle tension.

How to Manage Stress
Whether we like it or not stressors are a part of our everyday lives. We will be constantly challenged and or threatened in some way shape or form. Fortunately there are ways we can reduce or even prevent a stress response when a stressor occurs. Firstly, our personal experience with stressors can reduce the stress response simply because we know what is likely to happen. Secondly, having belief in ourselves and maintaining a positive attitude can change our perception of stressors. Finally, we can use various coping skills, such as relaxation techniques, to help view stressors as less threatening and hence reduce the stress response.

101 Stress Management Tips Platinum Author

Whether we like it or not stressors are a part of our everyday lives. We will be constantly challenged and or threatened in some way shape or form. Fortunately there are ways we can reduce or even prevent a stress response when a stressor occurs. Listed below are our new 101 stress management tips effective for managing, reducing and coping with stress. These tips have been featured on and have earned the author platinum status.

  1. Maintain a positive attitude in life as much as possible. It is best to see the glass as half full rather than half empty. Do not look at a problem as a hindrance but rather as a challenge and opportunity to grow.
  2. Say No to those that promote stress in your life. This may mean not over committing yourself or not doing things you don’t want to do just because a friend asked you.
  3. Breath correctly using abdominal breathing techniques, not shallow breathing. Expand your abdomen as you breathe in through your nose, hold, and then breathe out through your mouth, and hold.
  4. Stop worrying! In most cases the things you worry about have a very low likelihood of occurring and usually don’t eventuate. At worst, accept your concern as a possibility and let it go.
  5. Meditate regularly. Meditation has a positive effect physically, emotionally and psychologically and can produce a state of relaxation that benefits the heart, the brain, the lungs and blood.
  6. Employ progressive relaxation, systematically tensing and relaxing various groups of muscles in an orderly sequence. You will not only feel more relaxed but you will learn to recognise the onset of muscle tension due to stress.
  7. Stretch regularly. Stretching loosens up stiff tense muscles and increases the flow of blood and nutrients to the cells of your body. It reduces mental and physical stress, tension, anxiety and promotes good sleep.
  8. If you believe in God, then pray to God. Don’t just ask for help, talk about what happened during your day. Knowing you are not alone and that you can talk to a being that is all powerful and merciful is a great form of stress relief.
  9. Delegating work allows you to manage your ever increasing workload concentrating on the most important tasks at hand. Delegation increases the responsibility and enjoyment of those under you as they take on new tasks.
  10. Regular physical exercise such as going to the gym, for a run or playing a competitive sport, can become an outlet that allows you focus on an enjoyable activity while literally forgetting about the stressful events that occurred during your day.
  11. Try Tai Chi. It is not just a series of physical movements which is beneficial to the body, but is also made up of meditative and deep breathing exercises which provides a calming effect and better sense of well being.
  12. Develop a balanced life style that focuses on all aspects of your life, including you work/studies, your family and relationships, your social life, your interests, your spiritual needs and most importantly you.
  13. Manage your time carefully. List all the main tasks you need to achieve at the start of each day. Eliminate any activities that are considered wasteful and non productive. Become more efficient in the regular tasks you attend to each day.
  14. Maintain a healthy nutritious diet. Eat more fresh fruit, whole grains, vegetables, lean meat and fish, and less fat, salt, sugar and alcohol. This will enhance your immune system and keep your energy levels high.
  15. Control your finances. Financial worries can add to your stress levels. In essence you must spend less and save more. Set a budget and record everything you spend. If you need help seek expert financial advice.
  16. Do not take work home, unless absolutely necessary. Try to maintain a clear boundary between work and home. This gives you the opportunity to recover from the stresses of work encountered during the day, and feel more rejuvenated the following day.
  17. The state of your energy body and chakras are directly related to you physical, emotional and mental state. Maintaining a healthy energy body will not only help deal with stress and many other challenges that life may bring.
  18. Increase your energy levels with Yoga. Yoga is specifically designed not only to help you become strong physically but also energize your body by focusing on the ‘prana’ entering your energy centers while holding specific physical positions.
  19. Smile especially when you are feeling angry or stressed. Research has shown that smiling can actually help you feel happier, lower your heart rate and produce a calmer breathing pattern.
  20. Try Pilates, a non-aerobic form of exercise which improves flexibility, strength and balance requiring concentration and focus. It offers the same benefits if not more than just stretching and physical exercise alone.
  21. Learn Chi Kung, a health exercise which regulates the flow of Chi through the acupuncture meridians. Based on Traditional Chinese Medicine theory, Chi Kung is excellent for quieting your mind and regulating your breathing.
  22. Learn a martial art. Physically this will improve your co-ordination, flexibility, strength and general endurance. It will not only teach you concentration and focus, but more importantly you will learn how to defend yourself.
  23. Get a massage. A massage can relieve muscle tension and stiffness, and improve the range of motion of your joints. Studies show a massage can reduce the heart rate, lower blood pressure and increases blood circulation, promoting relaxation.
  24. Accept responsibility for where you are in your life. By adopting this attitude you no longer become a victim who has handed power over to some one else but rather an empowered individual who can solve all problems.
  25. Visualize calm, especially during times of stress or intense emotions. Combined with deep breathing, this can help produce a state of calmness emotionally and psychologically.
  26. Write down exactly what is bothering you. In a lot of cases, the solution to a problem that may be causing you stress can be arrived at very easily by identifying and writing the problem on paper.
  27. Know your limits so you can prevent life from becoming too stressful. Don’t try to fit too much in, over commit yourself or attempt to over achieve to the point of breaking down.
  28. Get sufficient rest. A major key to performing at your best and dealing with stress is being well rested both mentally and physically. Make sure you go to bed early at minimum one night per week.
  29. Being low in energy can make you tired and contribute to stress. To get more energy introduce high energy foods into your diet such as bananas, pineapple, strawberries, spinach and cabbage, red meats and even high-energy smoothies.
  30. Increase your iron intake. If you are low in iron, you can become mildly depressed which can definitely inhibit your ability to deal with stress. Try eating foods high in iron including lentils, spinach, tofu and lean beef, as well as iron supplements.
  31. Drink ample water. On average you should be drinking eight glasses of water per day, otherwise you run the risk of becoming dehydrated which can result in feeling lethargic and low in energy, and hence more susceptible to stress.
  32. Surround yourself with positive and supportive people and influences. Minimize contact with people who are generally negative or stressed. Do not listen to people who are pessimistic or overly critical of you.
  33. Adopt the following as your personal philosophy: "Have the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage and resolve to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."
  34. Laugh away your Stress. Laughter is a good tool for managing the challenges in your life that would otherwise make you feel overwhelmed and stressed. It reduces muscular tension caused by stress and contributes to the production of endorphins, natural pain killers for your body.
  35. Go for a walk. This is not only a good stress management remedy but also a great form of exercise that anyone can do. This is particularly beneficial during stressful times at work or after having had a heated debate. Make walking a regular activity in your day, either in the morning, during lunch, or in the evening.
  36. Repeat a mantra, a meaningful word or phrase, through out the day and or night. Studies have shown that mantras can help you better cope with stress. Your mantra can be spiritual in nature, such as “Amen” or “Om”, or not totally unrelated to any tradition such as “Calm”.
  37. A rewarding personal life can help you better deal with stress especially at work. This may mean spending ample quality time with your loved ones or regularly catching up with friends.
  38. Drink herbal tea. Different herbs are known for target and support specific parts of the body including the nervous, circulatory and cardiovascular systems. It is the ideal drink for dealing with stress and other ailments including colds, flu and fatigue.
  39. Listen to music (that you like). Music has an incredible ability to change your mood and relieve stress. It can not only be used to sooth, but also to “rev” your energy levels when needed.
  40. Learn from the lesson. Sometime stress can be caused because of a mistake you have made or some other adverse circumstance that has occurred. Rather than brooding over it, look at the lessons that can be learnt from the experience.
  41. Take regular time off or vacations. It is important to regularly take time away from the stresses in your life. Regular vacations or breaks give you that opportunity to recharge your batteries, reconnect with yourself and prevent burn out.
  42. Try to keep your chin up. Especially when you feel things are at their worst, try to keep your chin up and chest out. During times of crisis, things always appear extremely hopeless. This time will pass. Things will be better tomorrow.
  43. Take up gardening. Gardening not only allows you to connect to Mother Nature, but also serves as a great form of physical activity. Research has also shown that being in a garden or even just viewing can relieve stress.
  44. Take a walk along the beach. Natural surroundings are known to trigger relaxation responses deep in the brain. The beach in particular with its fresh air and rhythmic rolling in of waves can have a calming effect on you.
  45. Talk to friends and family. Sometimes is helps to talk to friends and family when you are feeling stressed. While they are not professional counsellors, talking to them give you a chance to express your feelings and vent.
  46. Seek professional help. If stress is just too overwhelming you may want to seek outside help from a counsellor, health professional or life coach. A professional therapist can help you rationalise and provide strategies on coping with stress.
  47. Take a course. A course in stress management will teach you how to recognise the symptoms of stress and how to effectively deal with it. If poor time management is your problem a course in this area is also extremely useful.
  48. Develop a hobby. Getting immersed in a hobby or interesting activity is a great form of stress relief. It allows you to forget the outside world for a while especially those things that are contributing towards your stress.
  49. Read a book. Reading can be a great escape from stress because it forces you to focus on something other than your own troubles. Also research has shown that people who read have a better ability to understand how other people think and feel, and become better equipped in dealing with problems.
  50. See a feel good movie. Like reading, a good movie also gives you the opportunity to focus on something other than your own worries. It is important to wisely pick a movie that is positive and makes you feel good, not one that is depressing.
  51. Try positive visualization or guided imagery. Think about a time or place when you were relaxed and content. By recreating the situation in your mind, recalling the sights, smells and sounds, your emotions will change which will have a positive effect on you physically.
  52. Sex can be a great stress reliever. It not only takes your mind off your worries, for a period of time, it promotes deep breathing, physical activity and provides a great sense of touch.
  53. Reduce your reliance on alcohol and tobacco. While such alcohol and tobacco may make you feel good temporarily, they are actually having a detrimental affect on your body which may contribute or add to the stress you are feeling.
  54. Live in peace. Don’t look for arguments just for the sake of it or go out of your way to see the bad side of people. You will inevitably cause yourself angst and stress. Rather look at the positive side of people and what they have to offer as human beings.
  55. Wear comfortable clothes. Uncomfortable clothes, clothes that might be too tight, make you feel too hot or too cold, or make your feet hurt can make you feel more physically tense and contribute to the stress you feel.
  56. Eliminate reliance on drugs for managing and dealing with stress. Drugs can have a negatively chemical impact on your body which ultimately creates further stress. Rather look at various strategies to reduce and manage your stress.
  57. To minimize stress and anxiety at work, school or home, divide large overwhelming tasks into smaller achievable tasks. See each small task as progressive steps towards your end goal.
  58. Don’t bottle up your feelings. Express your feelings to in a positive manner to those who may be causing you to feel stress. In many cases such people do not know the negative impact they may be having on you.
  59. Write a journal that explores the thoughts and feelings that you had during the day. Journaling is known for counteracting the negative impact of stress. It not only helps clarify your thoughts but also assists in releasing emotions that were created.
  60. Understand your stress triggers. So what triggers your stress? What do you worry about? Once you know the source of your stress is, you can find ways to either reduce their likelihood and more effective strategies for managing the stress.
  61. Do not be a perfectionist all of the time. This only adds to the pressure you place on yourself which can translate into stress. Sometimes it is better to compromise and not do something as well as you would naturally like to.
  62. Copy good stress managers. Identify those that seem to remain composed during times of pressure. Look at how they positively respond to tough situations and how well they handle themselves. Model yourself on such people.
  63. Become more tolerant of others’ faults. Do not allow the wrong doings of others to affect you. There is no point wasting your good energy dwelling on such matters. Accept that no one is perfect including you.
  64. Help others especially those less fortunate than yourself. Providing such service not only benefits others, but also gives you an opportunity to focus on matters other than your own. You may also learn that you are actually better off than a lot of other people.
  65. Read self help and self improvement books. These books are usually written by world renowned trainers and professionals and contain informative insights into many facets of life related to stress and pressure management.
  66. Be prepared. If you are stressed about an upcoming event that relies on you performing well, the key is to be well organised and prepared. Create a plan that will ensure your preparation is thorough and stick to that plan.
  67. Watch a professional game of football, cricket, tennis, or some other sport you love. Supporting your favourite team in an exciting atmosphere along side thousands of other spectators is a good way to take your mind off the stressful events that may have occurred during the past week.
  68. Be proactive rather than reactive. Whether it be at work or at home, if you proactively manage and attend to your tasks, and not procrastinate, you will inevitably eliminate that feeling of being behind the eight ball or out of control.
  69. Expand your circle of influence. Stress can be brought on due to events and influences that are outside your control. By actively working on those areas that you can control directly you will slowly increase your circle of influence.
  70. Visit self help and self improvement web sites. Like books they contain a lot of useful material related to stress and pressure management. Unlike books, they also can contain multimedia content that you can watch or listen to.
  71. Change your situation. If your job is just causing you too much stress and can not be dealt with, or if there are issues in your relationship that can not be addressed it might be time to move on. Do not be afraid to consider this option.
  72. Participate in a team sport. It is not only a good form of physical exercise, but also requires that you communicate and work together with your team mates. It also serves as a good social gathering opportunity which can take your focus away from various stressful happenings in your life.
  73. Unnecessary stress can be brought about because of lack of self confidence and self worth. The next time you are faced with a challenge, ignore any negative thought and opinions you may have. Replace “No I Can’t” with “Yes I Can”.
  74. Enjoy life. Consider every day that you live to be a blessing, not a curse. We are here on this earth to experience both the good and bad, and everything in between. Enjoy it. Learn and grow from it.
  75. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Focus on the big picture and deal with the main issues. Do not waste your time and energy fussing and stressing over minor concerns. They are usually trivial and end up becoming non-issues in the long run.
  76. Develop a relaxed approach towards your work, your relationships, your leisure, your life. Work with a sense of joy, appreciate your relationships and enjoy your leisure time.
  77. Set achievable goals. Goals focus your thoughts and actions on areas that have a defined purpose and meaning. Realistic goals help you to use your time both efficiently and effectively, and provide a clear direction that can reduce your stress.
  78. Use a stress ball. By simply squeezing over and over, you tense the muscles in your arms. After releasing, your muscles will become quite relaxed, and the stress will slowly go away. Because stress balls are small you can take one with you wherever you go.
  79. Get a pet. Whether it is a dog, cat or a hamster, your pet gives you an opportunity to show and share love and affection. Studies have shown that pets help reduce blood pressure and stress. Pets promote a healthier lifestyle and can even provide better social support than humans.
  80. Spoil yourself. It is very easy to forget about yourself while you are attending to others’ needs. Take a break. Go to a fancy restaurant, buy some nice clothes or take a spa. Do not overlook the importance of doing something for you once in a while.
  81. Build your inner strength. If you can gently push your boundaries when the opportunity arises, slowly you will become mentally and emotionally stronger and therefore better equipped with dealing with stress.
  82. Discover your life purpose. Your stress could be a sign that your current way of life is not aligned with your purpose. Develop a strong connection with your soul so that you can learn and understand what your purpose in life is, why you are here.
  83. Reflect on your day. Review the interactions you had with people during the day. If you were not happy with the way you behaved or responded to someone, relive the moment in your mind and imagine responding or behaving in a more appropriate way.
  84. Sing. Singing can be a beautiful and liberating form of stress relief. Express yourself loudly or quietly, in public or just in the shower. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a musical bone in your body. You don’t need to be on key, just enjoy yourself.
  85. Play games. Regardless of how busy you are, playing card games like Go Fish, or board games such as trivial Pursuit, can actually relieve stress. Games that involve large groups like are Uno, Twister or “Pictionary” are particularly good as it encourages interaction with others.
  86. Express yourself artistically. Any form of artistic self expression such as painting, drawing or modelling can be a great form of stress relief helping you process emotions built up over time and heal painful memories.
  87. Maintain a spiritual practice. A personal spiritual practice that nurtures your soul, such as meditation, prayer or regular visits to your place of worship, is a great approach towards enhancing your emotional health and managing stress.
  88. Develop a tough skin. Learn to accept criticism and try to not take it personally. Particularly in a competitive or work environment, do not look at criticism as negative but rather as constructive feedback that can possibly help you to improve yourself or your ability to perform.
  89. Speak in a positive low stress language. Remove negative and/or vulgar language from your vocabulary. There are many opportunities and topics to speak positively about during the day such as the weather, the news or even thoughts about life.
  90. Live in the present. Don’t dwell on the past. Rather learn from the mistakes you have made and the pain that you have experienced in the past and move on.
  91. Make decisions quickly. Accept the risk, stress and conflict that come with making decisions. It is ok to change your mind but don't make a habit out of reversing decisions. Try to make decisions that produce change. Any decision is better than none.
  92. Distract yourself. When unpleasant thoughts enter your mind, thoughts that can cause stress, think of somebody or something else that cheers you up or relaxes you.
  93. Don’t over analyse events. Stress can come about if you continue to examine and relive a situation or event. By doing this you run the risk of losing yourself in the detail and perspective of what actually happened.
  94. Take a hot bath. Heat increases circulation of blood to the tissues, including the muscles, which can help you relax.
  95. Remove or modify irrational beliefs. Your beliefs greatly influence your perception on life. Beliefs such as “I am no good” or “No one cares about me” can significantly contribute to your stress.
  96. Look for the opportunity in crisis. Consider the benefits and rewards that you will reap when addressing a problem or challenge. This positive approach will change your perception of the situation and reduce your stress.
  97. Make changes slowly. Self imposed changes can bring about stress. Do not underestimate the significance of change. Therefore if you make changes, have patience, pace yourself and change the easy things first.
  98. Have quiet time on your own. You can take some time out at home or at work, anywhere where you can get away from others and have time to yourself. Use any relaxation technique you like or just thinking about the matter stress you.
  99. Develop your negotiation skills. This will not only help you to resolve stressful situations and conflicts, but also help you become more confident and assertive. Such skills will assist in creating better personal and professional relationships.
  100. Join a social group. Regular involvement and interaction within a social group can be a helpful way of coping with stress. It gives you the opportunity to talk about your problems and assist in putting things into perspective.
  101. Is it worth it? Have you been drawn into something that simply is not worth the stress? Ask why you are doing this. If it is not worth the stress, then move on.