Reduce Stress Part: Part One, outlined five strategies for reducting stress: embrace change; be open to learning; get back in control; focus on the important; and, find joy in your work. Here are five more strategies to help you reduce your stress today.
Accept The Givens: In life and in work there are certain givens - things we cannot change but learn to accept. Those that accept them inspire others and push forward without rancour and animosity. I look to individuals who have accepted their physical limitations but didn’t allow them to limit them (Terry Fox, and Rick Hansen, come to mind). At times we are placed in situations where we are unable to influence change either because the organization isn’t ready for change or an individual doesn’t feel any tension to change. Here the alternatives may be limited. We can either remove ourselves from those situations or adjust our expectations about them, or on balance, we can choose to accept what we cannot change without limiting our personal growth. I like the title and lyrics of “Bloom Where You're Planted" (Carey Landry version). It reminds me to bloom and grow wherever I am even when there are limits within and around me. Accepting the givens when your alternatives are shut down, reduces stress.
Take Time To Exercise: When we are stressed we experience physical and mental energy drain. Physical exercise has proven to be effective in reducing mental stress as well as lowering physical symptoms caused by stress. There is scientific evidence to show that exercise is effective at reducing fatigue, improving alertness, enhancing overall cognitive functioning, and is particularly helpful when stress has reduced our energy level to concentrate. A ten minute walk three times a day or five minutes of active exercise can begin to encourage the endorphins that reduce stress. Routinely exercising reduces stress.
Break Away Mentally: In a previous post I outlined several quick ways to take a mental break. Breaking away from a stressful situation, even if it is for three minutes, refreshes the mind and body. Here is a reminder of the Three Minute Break Away exercise: Minute One - turn down what you have been working on and wind down; Minute Two - in a restful state empty the mind of distractions; Minute Three - rev up the mind and body with a few simple head and body shakes and stretches. Taking a three minute mental break reduces stress.
Find Your Quiet Spot: Dr. Joseph Mercola points out that we need to find a way to unplug from the demands of work, school, family and everything else if we want to remain healthy and productive. Locating a "quiet spot" is key to his recommendation. This does not mean isolating ourselves on an island in the South Pacific (although sometimes I think that would be nice). There may be a spot in your home or back yard, a near-by park or chapel, an exercise room, a reading room, or on your deck or balcony. We can usually find a quiet spot in every situation . The trick is to be alone and unplug whatever is turned on including the IPod, TV, computer, radio and any other noise maker. Finding your quiet spot is a peaceful way to reduce stress.
Connect With Your Spirit: Getting in touch with our inner spirit through meditation has lasting effects on improving our well-being. There are hundreds of scientific studies that show the impact of meditation as a antidote to stress and stress-related illnesses. As much as 20 minutes a day or as little as 5 minutes a day has a lasting affect on our well-being. The beauty of connecting to our inner self through meditation is that we receive the benefits of reduced high blood pressure, lower cholesterol, risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease without the high cost of drugs. (A note of caution – meditation does not take the place of medical attention and medication but is a preventive measure as well as a supplement to prescribed medication).
Up-dated from the archives of Fontanie Learning Solutions.