Everyone knows that if there is too much stress in your life you’ll suffer. You’ll become anxious, agitated and edgy. You’ll probably start to show physical symptoms such as indigestion, rashes, headaches, and asthma. You may have difficulty in getting to sleep at night. You may become irritable and have difficulty in concentrating or remembering things. You’re likely to end up taking tranquilizers…
How to Control the Stress in your Life and Improve your Resistance to Stress
1. Don’t hide your emotions – let your feelings show. You can improve your capacity to cope with stress – and reduce your vulnerability by
- learning to laugh. Laughter is a positive, natural phenomenon which helps you to stay healthy. Laughter will improve your health by lowering your blood pressure, “tuning up” your heart and improving your respiration. Try to smile as often as you can. And try to put as much laughter into your life as you can. Try to spend as much time as you can with cheerful, happy people; watch comedy shows or movies.
- don’t be afraid to cry. Tears don’t just provide an important stress relief valve – they also help your body get rid of harmful chemical wastes. Let yourself go next time you feel upset.
- kiss and cuddle the people you love. Try not to hide your feelings for the people who are close to you. Don’t be shy about kissing and cuddling. Make sure you get a kiss and a cuddle at least once a day.
- let your anger out. Don’t suppress your anger. Let it out if you can feel it building up inside you. Get up and beat a pillow. Play a hard game of tennis- paint the face of someone who has annoyed you on the ball and knock the fluff off it!
2. Build up your self-confidence. A lack of self-confidence can make you more vulnerable to stress and pressure. So build up your confidence in yourself. Write down all your best points about yourself. You’ll be surprised at how many virtues you have. Pick out words from the following list – and choose the ones that apply to you: careful, kind, generous, honest, ambitious, hard-working, fair, creative, thoughtful, attentive, unselfish, conscientious, tolerant, friendly, considerate, soft-heart, good-humoured, charitable, witty, wise, clever. Pick out your good physical features too, and write those down. Imagine you’re describing yourself to someone who doesn’t know you – and concentrate only on your good points.
3. Put some purpose in your life. Make a list of all the ambitions you had when you were younger. Now take a look at your list and decide which of your aims are still possible. You’ll be surprised to see how many exciting things there are left in life that you want and still can do.
4. Learn to stand up for yourself. If you allow yourself to be pushed around too much, you’ll suffer from an overload of stress. You don’t have to be aggressive or rude to stick up for yourself. Simply try to be aware of your own needs, expectations and wishes. Be more prepared to stand your ground. Learn to say ‘no’ when you really don’t want to do something.
5. Sort out your priorities. If you fail to differentiate between the big problems and the small problems in your life, then you’ll suffer enormously – the sheer number of problems will damage your health and stop you from thinking of solutions. Try to decide what is important to you. Try to get your problems in perspective. Make a list of your worries. Then try to sort out which are worth keeping on your list – and which can be crossed off. When you’re faced with a really tricky problem, write down all the possible solutions – until you find the right answer.
6. Conquer boredom. Many people don’t realize that boredom can be a major cause of stress. Add vigour to your life by taking up a hobby or pastime that you find rewarding and exciting. Don’t be afraid of taking risks – or looking foolish occasionally.
7. Try to take a break occasionally. If things are getting you down, try to take a break – grab a few days and go somewhere to unwind. If you’ve got small children, try to park them with friends – and promise to return the favour in a couple of weekends’ time. You don’t have to go somewhere distant or expensive. A weekend at a seaside shack can offer you more relaxation than weekend in New York.
Learn to Relax your Mind by Daydreaming!
If you are going to deal with stress and cope without tranquilizers or sleeping tablets effectively and permanently then you must learn to relax you mind.
Over the years I have discovered that the technique most people can learn most easily and most speedily is something which I call ‘daydreaming’.
Most of us daydream when we are kids. But our teachers and our parents teach us that it is a wasteful, undesirable habit that we must lose.
In fact, daydreaming can save your life. It can help you relax your mind thoroughly and achieve a beneficial level of tranquillity even when there is chaos and pandemonium around you.
To daydream effectively, you have to allow your imagination to dominate your thinking and to take over your body completely. It really isn’t a difficult trick to master and once you’ve learned how to do it, you’ll be able to use the technique wherever you happen to be and whatever you happen to be doing.
You must, however, be prepared to spend a little time practicing. The more time you spend practicing, the more effective the technique will be. After all you wouldn’t expect to become proficient at golf or ballroom dancing in one, ten minute session, would you?
If it’s daylight, then I suggest that you draw the curtains. You need to create a special sort of atmosphere and you’ll probably find it easier to relax in the semi-darkness. The position you choose depends on you. Some people prefer to sit up straight when they are relaxing. Some favour sitting cross-legged on the ground. Others like to lie down on a bed or sofa. Whatever you choose try to make sure that you won’t be disturbed. Switch off your cellphone and ask those in the house not to disturb you for fifteen minutes or so.
Get yourself into the right sort of mood for mental relaxation by taking large, deep breaths. If you notice any unwanted distractions popping into your mind, write them down on a piece of paper. The problems and difficulties of the real world can wait.
Then, as you relax, try to conjure up a restful and peaceful scene from your past – a daydream into which you can wander and where you can find peace and tranquillity.
Once you have mastered the art of daydreaming you’ll be able to use this technique wherever you are – and whatever the pressure which surround you.
And, of course, you don’t have to stick to the one daydream. You can build up a library of your own daydreams. Some can be taken from real memories. Some can be taken from movies or books. Others can be entirely imaginary. It doesn’t matter where you get your daydreams from as long as you can believe in them. If you think you’ll have difficulty in creating daydreams for yourself, collect holiday snaps or pictures from holiday brochures. Try to really feel as though you are there in the picture.
Note: Daydreaming is so effective that you should NOT do it while driving or operating machinery.