If you have any questions about what you read here, please speak with your doctor or health care professional.
Strategies and Techniques to Reduce Stress
The concept of communication and letting your feelings out has been so excessively promoted and parodied that it has nearly lost its value as good psychological advice. Nevertheless, feelings of anger or frustration that are not expressed in an acceptable way may lead to hostility, a sense of helplessness, and depression.
The primary goal is to explain and assert ones need to a trusted individual in as positive a way as possible. Direct communication may not even be necessary....Writing in a journal, writing a poem, or composing a letter that is never mailed may be sufficient.
Expressing one's feelings solves only half of the communication puzzle. Learning to listen, empathize and respond to others with understanding is just as important for maintaining the strong relationships necessary for emotional fulfillment and reduced stress.
Keep Perspective and look for the positive:
Reversing negative ideas and learning to focus on the positive outcomes helps reduce tension and achieve goals. The following steps may be useful
- first identify the worst possible outcomes
- rate the likelihood of these bad outcomes happening
- envision a favourable result
- develop a specific plan to achieve the positive outcome
- try to recall previous situations that initially seemed negative but ended well
Do a Compassion Exercise:
"What would a caring friend or a gentle spiritual guide say to you in this situation?" What is a kinder way to think about you in this situation? Try gently stroking your arm or give yourself a butterfly hug when feeling a lot of stress as a gesture of kindness towards yourself. Remember, you're human too.
Use Humour and Laugh:
Research has shown that humour is a very effective mechanism for coping with acute stress. Keeping a sense of humour during difficult situations is a common recommendation from stress management experts. Laughter not only releases the tension of pent up feelings and helps keep perspective, but it appears to have actual physical effects that reduce stress hormone levels. It is not uncommon for people to recall laughing intensely even during tragic events, such as a death of a loved one, and to remember this laughter as helping them to endure the emotional pain.
Hypnosis may also benefit some people with severe stress. In one study of patients with irritable bowel, stress reduction by hypnosis correlated with improvement in many bowel symptoms. It can also help deal with fearful situations one must face.