Stress Relief Made Simple

Streamlined Stress Relief

Regular stress relief exercises can help you feel better throughout the day. PeskyMonkey/ Getty Images

Stress management is one of the most common concerns of people today because of the toll that stress takes. If you are concerned about your stress levels, you are not alone. Whether you face minor hassles or chronic daily stress, having an overall stress relief plan is important for several reasons. Chronic stress can:

  • Lower Immunity: Prolonged stress can make you more susceptible to cold and flu bugs by affecting your immune system.

Three Steps To A Complete Stress Management Plan

When thinking of stress relief, people are often overwhelmed by the prospect of having to eliminate stress from their lives. Relax — you don’t have to cut out all stress, and it wouldn’t be a good idea even if you could! A certain amount of stress is healthy and important to stay vital and alive. The goal of healthy stress relief is to keep stress levels at a manageable level — not excessive.

The following three steps can help you to create a simple and effective stress relief plan:

  • Quick Stress Relief: For those times when you’re running late and everything seems to be going wrong at once, it’s a good idea to have a few quick stress relief techniques at your disposal. Breathing exercises, for example, can provide fast and effective stress relief at any time, anywhere. Step one of this plan involves identifying at least one technique that you can use to quickly calm your body and mind when stressed.  It is important to have at least one quick technique that you know will work for you, and practice it regularly.  Read this for more ways to calm down quickly.
  • Ongoing Stress Relief Practices: It’s good to have at least one regular stress relief practice that you do on a regular basis. An effective stress relief habit like meditation, for example, not only relieves the stress while you’re doing it but helps you stay less reactive to stress that you encounter throughout the day. Step two of your stress management plan involves identifying and maintaining at least one resilience-building habit that you have in your life that can not only reduce the stress you feel in the moment but build your resilience toward future stress. This article can provide you with the most effective stress relievers.
  • Keep Stress Levels Manageable: While you wouldn’t want to eliminate all stress, it’s a good idea to cut out unnecessary stressors, as they can drain you of the energy you need to enjoy your life. One way to do this is to get good at saying no to people’s demands on your time.  Another is to set boundaries; you can also eliminate tolerations in your life.  Here is a more thorough list of ways to cut down the stress you experience, even if you can't fully eliminate it all.

As you build and refine your stress relief system, you may want to add more than one stress relief practice, like a morning walk and a weekly hobby.

Similarly, when eliminating stressors, you may decide to make changes at work to eliminate job stress, or changes at home to cut down on parenting stress. However, starting with small, manageable steps is the key to long-term success with stress relief and other lifestyle changes. Good luck!