Basic Stress Management

Let me tell you a personal story and share my best advice with you. I was 18-years old and about to set out on my first trip to the US. I was going to travel alone and the last few days before flying out were really hectic.

Stress was building up while I was running round town seeing to the final preparations. I had applied for a visa at the US embassy but hadn't received it yet, would I get it in time or not?

The day before flying out I experienced something that was totally new to me. As I was rushing from shop to shop looking for presents to some friends I was going to visit in New York, I noticed how my brain was speeding like a jet plane. My body felt as if it were bathing in restless sensations and the face was burning with heat, not to mention the alarming heart beat.

What Is Stress?

Time pressure and worrying about problems are common causes of stress. What it is that triggers stress varies from person to person and we react to it individually as well. Here are some common effects of stress:

- Irritation

- Blushing

- Insomnia

- Sweating

- Tiredness

- Headaches

- Restlessness

- Stiff shoulders

- Stomach aches

- Poor concentration

- Increased heart beat

- Feeling overwhelmed

Guided Meditation

Deep relaxation effectively dissolves physical and mental tension. It forms a vital part of effective stress management and is a natural source of health. Relaxation also assists in lowering the blood pressure.

Practice in your free time and before going to bed at night. Guided meditation works for me. Develop meditation skills and improve your quality of life at the same time! No previous experience needed, practice makes perfect...

Regular Breaks

Working sitting down for hours on end makes us ineffective. It causes physical stiffness and mental fatigue. Take regular breaks - stand up and stretch, drink a glass of water and get some fresh air. Short breaks effectively revitalize both the body and mind. Make sure there's good air circulation where you work.

Regular Meals

Eat breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks with a few hours in between. Focus on eating regularly which brings about balance. Opt for healthy foods, an apple makes a better snack than a chocolate bar. Overeating causes tiredness and fatness, so eat moderate servings. With regular meals you won't starve your body and mind, however by skipping meals you loose physical and mental energy which triggers stress.

Regular Exercise

This is especially important if you work sitting down. Letting the heart and lungs exercise is the best preventive medicine around. Go to the gym, get on your bicycle or go for a brisk walk. Swimming is gentle on the knees and back, for those of you with physical aches and pains.

Exercise improves endurance and burns fat, opt for at least 2-3 sessions a week. Physical exercise has positive effects on the body and mind. Moreover, a physically fit person is better prepared to cope with stress.

Regular Sleep

Sound sleep is necessary for physical and mental health. There are no hard rules, so see what works best for you. However, don't sleep too much or too little. 6-8 Hours a night is considered adequate but having said that, as little as 4 hours work for some while others sleep 10-hours plus.

Try to go to bed at around the same time every night, this way you establish a regular sleeping pattern. If you feel tired during the day, take a 20-40 minute nap.

Physical exercise and relaxation also have positive effects on sleep.

Best of luck!

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