Contact us: Got a photo? Text 'SLPICS' to 80360. Got a story? Call the newsdesk: 020 8744 4260
Ten tips to beat stress
10 Tips to Beat Stress 1. Breathe Did you know that you can feel brighter and happier just by breathing deeply?
Have you noticed how when you are in a close and airless room how sleepy you become and how difficult it is to think straight? This is because you are not getting enough oxygen. When we become stressed, we tend to breathe shallow and fast reducing our oxygen intake which can leave us with a feeling of panic and anxiety.
When we breathe deeply we bring more oxygen into the brain. Oxygen is essential for the brain to function and the more oxygen you can get into the brain the better it functions, and the better you feel. So if you are feeling stressed or a little depressed try the breathing exercise below.
Breathe in to your belly for the count of 5 through your nose - hold for 10, breathe out through your mouth to the count of 20; repeat at least 5 times.
If very stressed repeat every hour.
This exercise balances the serotonin, the chemical that regulates happiness in your brain!
2. Control stress through your eyes!
Focus on a spot in front of you looking up slightly - this is called fovial vision. Then while staying focused, hold your hands on either side of your face and see if you can still see them – peripheral vision simultaneous with fovial vision. In NLP we call this expanded awareness. It’s like being in the flow, everything seems effortless and easy.
In fovial vision we are in fight or flight mode - our sympathetic nervous system is called into action - it uses energy, your blood pressure increases, your heart beats faster and digestion slows down, adrenaline is released into the blood stream. All of which is great if you need to flee from a sabre toothed tiger but toxic if you are stressed at your desk or in a traffic jam!
Expanded awareness is when we are in our parasympathetic mode. This is when we breathe deep into our diaphragms, we relax and function healthily. We are in the flow, and away from any feeling of stress.
Try this little exercise and find out how it removes you from your anxieties 3. Finger Healing In today's hectic day and age, stress is always a huge factor.
I'd like to share with you a pattern that's been proven to calm the inner mind.
Here's how you do it.
Sit comfortably cross legged on the floor or if that isn't possible, sit in a chair.
Lift your arms up in front of you and cross them in front of your chest. Bend your elbows so your right arm comes across your chest and your right fingers touch your left arm.
At the same time, bend your left arm so it crosses across your chest and your left fingers touch your right arm.
Begin breathing deeply in the following manner while counting silently to yourself.
Breath in (and count) 1 - 2 - 3 Hold your breath 1 - 2 Release your breath 1 - 2 - 3 Hold your breath out 1 – 2 Hold this position for 3 minutes Thanks to Dr Harlan Kilstein for this procedure.
4. Manage your time Much of the stress we feel is because we overload our lives.
We often take on commitments without any idea if we can actually achieve these things without running ourselves ragged.
Or we cram everything we have to do into such a short space of time that if any small thing goes wrong or doesn’t happen, it throws the whole day out.
• Plan ahead to deal with unexpected circumstances or emergencies.
• Give yourself a little space to breathe and to deal with the unexpected.
The result will be that you are much calmer and able to enjoy what you are doing instead of worrying if you are going to be late for your next deadline.
Taking more time will also save you time because you will no longer have to go back to do things you’ve forgotten or put things right because you were in too much of a hurry in the first place.
5. Change your Perception How do you perceive your life?
Do you expect everything to go wrong or to be difficult?
This belief is an enormous factor in our stress levels.
The good news is that you can change this belief and your levels of stress around it.
• Your subconscious cannot differentiate between what is real and what is perceived. • It will believe you when you tell it that life is difficult and that you cannot cope, and it will also believe you when you tell it that you can manage the challenges with ease.
So what do you choose to tell your mind?
Cast your mind back to a time when you were able to take on all challenge. Remember how it felt.
Would you sit or stand straighter?
Would your shoulders be relaxed and your chest opened?
• Begin by sitting or standing in the way you would when things are good.
• Remember how easy everything is when you feel this way. • Visualise how you can be when you are at your best.
• Then discover how what seemed to be so difficult has now become much more possible.
By changing our physiology and accessing our strength and confidence - we put ourselves in control of our levels of stress.
6. Keep hydrated Our bodies are nearly 70% water. Water is important for circulation and cleanses wastes and toxins from the body. If you are not drinking enough, these toxins will accumulate and cause headaches and stress.
It is thought that 75% of us are chronically dehydrated. So it’s no wonder that we experience so much stress.
If you’re feeling stressed drink plenty of clean filtered water. and cut out nicotine, alcohol, caffeine and chocolate as a means to calm you down, as they are stimulants and will actually make you more stressed!
Eat plenty of healthy snacks instead, like fresh or dried fruit and nuts, and keep topping up your water.
7. Acceptance When you face something unexpected it is very easy to react negatively by arguing endlessly or by fuming silently! It is much better to take a deep breath in, stay calm and accept that there are some things in life you just cannot change.
8. Visualisation A lot of the stress we experience is because we feel that we have no control over what happens in our lives.
Visualisation helps to create the outcomes you want and helps to put you back in control.
Visualise what you would like to happen • Begin by closing your eyes and taking a deep breath.
• If you would like a relaxing holiday, imagine yourself surrounded by a beautiful environment. If you are a competitor, imagine competing in your chosen sport. Always visualise what it is you want in all its glory.
• The key is to use all of your five senses. To be able to see it, smell it, hear it, taste and touch it.
• Bring the image into focus and stay there for at least 5 minutes.
• Ensure that you visualise the outcome that you desire from the experience, from swimming in a cool blue ocean to winning a gold medal.
9. Anchoring Anchoring is an effective tool to get you into a positive frame of mind.
What resources might be useful to you when you are going into a stressed state?
Confidence? A feeling of power? Happiness? Mirth?
Choose the resources you wish to evoke. Choosing high intensity emotions works much better.
• You can create a trigger by pressing firmly on a part of your body – preferably one that’s easy to get to.
• Every time you find yourself feeling a desired state - e.g. power or confidence - create a unique trigger/anchor to associate to that emotion.
• Wait till the state is powerful then press your trigger point. I use one of the knuckles on my left hand.
• Pressing the trigger point at the height of the desired state anchors the desired emotion • Use this procedure to anchor each desired state separately.
• You can stack the desired states on the same anchor point.
• The more you do this, the stronger the anchor will become. Then whenever you find yourself needing to feel powerful or confident, simply fire off the anchor.
10. The Triad All the procedures/ABC - the 3 forces which drive all our behaviour and emotions - our Attention/focus, our Body (see above - what we drink, eat, how we stand +) and our Communication - how we talk to ourselves and each other. By changing any one of these we change how we feel in a second.