Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The 7 Tips I Find Useful in Overcoming Stress

The effects of stress often creep up on us. We don’t realize its full impact until we are left feeling burned out and completely apathetic.

When I get to this point, it is hard for me to motivate myself to do much of anything. Of course, I know I need to take action to clear the cobwebs and get going again.

Here are a few of the things that help me overcome stress:

1. Get a Little Time Alone to Rest

Solitude is refreshing for me. It helps me clear my head and rest. When I’m alone, I can relax enough to get the rest I need to recuperate. I’m not talking about days of being alone. Often a few hours out in the woods or at home by myself is enough. I like to spend the time reading, meditating or just thinking. I usually come back feeling quite refreshed.

2. Practice Gratitude

Count your blessings! Actively practicing gratitude is something I feel is very important and it is usually a major pick-me-up. It helps me to drag my thinking out of those dark places and back into the light where good things happen. It is weird how powerful just 5 minutes of listing out the things I have to be thankful for is for improving my mood. Give it a try!

3. Find Something to Make You Laugh

Laughter is certainly great medicine. The benefits of laughing are numerous. It relieves stress, reduces blood pressure and boosts your immune system. I like going to a humorous movie, comedy show or just joking around with my wife. A good belly laugh can have a tremendously positive effect on your outlook in life. What makes you laugh? Go do it now!

4. Volunteer to Help Someone in Need

Volunteering gets our minds off ourselves and focused outward. Also, it always gives me an emotional boost when I know I’ve done something nice for someone else. Plus, I often walk away realizing I don’t have it so bad. We can even become a virtual volunteer right at our computers. How convenient is that?

5. Go to Lunch With a Friend

I love to go to lunch with people. It is fun catching up with an old friend while sharing a meal at a favorite place. Pick someone that is relaxing and friendly. You know who makes you feel calm and who stresses you out. A lunch out can really help me to relax and start feeling myself again. Also, a friend is a great sounding board. Tell them how you feel!

6. Treat Yourself to a Vacation

I love getting away to exotic locations. There is something very rejuvenating about taking a vacation to somewhere like Cozumel. The warm sun, the sand, the sea and the chance to completely unwind. Life just moves slower on an island. This really helps me to slow down and de-stress. What’s the rush? There is none on vacation!

7. Exercise Your Troubles Away

Finally, I find exercise to be extremely useful in helping me to dump stress and feel better. Working up a good sweat does wonders for me in terms of improving my mood and helping me to relieve tension. It clears my mind and produces a lot of positive emotion. I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t exercise regularly. The stress would eat me alive!

Don’t Ignore The Signals Your Body Is Giving You

Our bodies and minds are extremely good at warning us when we are pushing things too far. Don’t ignore these signals. Be sure to take a little time to recharge your batteries. I’ve already lined up a vacation next month and I hope to get a little quiet time over the next few days.

What do you do to relieve stress and re-energize yourself? Leave me a comment and let me know!

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