How to Reduce Stress in Your Life

Posted on July 1, 2011

Are you feeling a bit wrung out? Running from one thing to the next? Seems like there’s no time to think? Maybe you’re even exhibiting stress symptoms… poor concentration, aches and pains, a short fuse, relying too much on your favorite “crutch” (alcohol, food, cigarettes, etc.)

How much longer are you going to keep us this pace? Something’s got to give—don’t let stress rob you of your sanity! I have three ideas for stress relief: simplify, slow it down, and step up.

Simplify

Finish this sentence: In order to live, I need _________. Is it really a need? If it were to be taken away, could you keep living? I know—personal computers and cells phones are pretty darned important in our society. But would you die without them? Learn to separate the wants from the needs and focus more heavily on the needs. Yes, you’ll be going against the flow, but see if your stress levels don’t go down!

Slow it Down

It’s so easy to live life in either the past or the future. But all you really have control over is this present moment. And it just passed by. Why not put your energies into what you can truly change? Grab hold of now! Be more fully present, no matter what you are doing. Really notice everything around you. Take in sights, sounds and smells.

Build some quiet into your day…give the electronics a rest! Start teaching yourself how to unwind.  Stress relief doesn’t have to be complicated. One of the simpler relaxation techniques is deep breathing. Try it for 10 minutes a day. You’ll find your mind and body slowing down almost immediately.

Step Up

You must make time for unwinding; otherwise stress will sap your energy, not to mention make you grouchy. This “slowing down” won’t happen on its own; you must be intentional and consistent in reducing stress. You may have to be protective of your stress reduction time. Hey–it’s OK to live a life with more simplicity and peace! Be bold and go against the culture. I dare you.

Written By:  Susan Daniels, MA

Susan Daniels is a Mental Health Counseling Resident at Groff & Associates Counseling in Indianapolis, Indiana. A Nationally Certified Counselor, she finds joy in providing a safe environment to help people discover—and live out—their true identities. Her specialties include spiritual issues, career issues, conflict resolution, and recovery from childhood trauma.

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NzE6Imh0dHA6Ly9ncm9mZmFuZGFzc29jaWF0ZXMuY29tL3dwLWNvbnRlbnQvd29vX3VwbG9hZHMvMy1ncm9mZl9oZWFkZXIucG5nIjt9PC9saT48L3VsPg==