Is any of these scenes familiar to you?
- This morning the kids woke up late again. You’ll be 20 minutes late for the meeting. You’re supposed to lead by the time before you get them to school and fight rush hour traffic.
- You were fortunate to get your customer service job when you were first employed. But now you’re wondering whether it’s worth it. The phones are constantly ringing and you just hear complaints. You called in sick last week just to have a break…
- For your speech, it’s almost time. Top management is here, and you are depending on your boss to make him look good. You’ve been up the PowerPoint all night. You wonder if you anticipated all the questions they could ask…
Stress is an ongoing feature of our lives, but at work, it really seems to ramp up. More than two-thirds of American workers report stress in the workplace as an issue.
It suggests that in “fight or flight” mode, we’re just spending too much time. And through weakened immune systems, high blood pressure, and heart disease, it takes a toll on our bodies. Such factors are shortening our days and reducing the quality of what exists.
There are lots of strategies to manage stress, but we don’t need a strategy when stress blinds us with no time to prepare. We need fast, practical steps that we can take now that work quickly and that can be done anywhere. Do one of these when pressure explodes, it’s the next surprise attack: breath slowly, imagine internally, calm steadily.
1. Deep breathing to Reduce Stress
It could be the most effective way to stay calm. Everyone breaths, but many of us are breathing the wrong way— shallow, fast, and high in the chest. This type of breathing is restrictive, it increases our anxiety, and it fuels the negative stress reactions of our body.
Slow, deep breathing will trigger a response to relaxation, calm the body, and focus the mind. It increases the amount of oxygen in our blood and increases our potential for performance.
Are you the right way to breathe? Do this to find out: place your heart on one side and your stomach on the other just below your rib cage. Now you’re breathing. Which moves the hand? If it’s your chest’s side, your movement is too deficient.
The trick is to move your abdomen’s hand. Inhale deeply while counting to five slowly. Try expanding your abdomen instead of your chest. Consider lying on your back if you have problems making it happen. You’ll be able to automatically switch to a deep breathing pattern with a little practice and patience.
Once you’ve mastered the practice of deep breathing, you can do it at any time— in the midst of rush hour traffic, just before treating the next irate customer, even in the center of your big show.
2. Visualize Mental Image for Peace
There are two forms or methods for visualization. The first involves the construction of a mental image of a relaxing place for you. It may be a recalled spot that causes calm, joyful or imagined emotions. In contrast to pressure, the simple idea is to give the mind something to concentrate on.
Once you’ve seen your restful scene, you should try to imagine it as fully as possible for about 10 minutes. Description of your senses. What are you going to see? How is it smelling? Hear you anything? What are you talking about it? What are you going to taste? Then let yourself go back to the real world around you slowly. Some practices will take for effective visualization.
A different form of visualization is practiced by professional musicians and Olympic athletes: a mental rehearsal of what will happen. Rather than visualizing a relaxing scene, rehearse mentally the situation that causes your stress. Visualize the session and rehearse what’s going on. Imagine completing tasks successfully that will give you trouble. Visualize a calm and controlled feeling. This kind of psychological preparation will potentially help you achieve certain emotions when the scenario becomes a reality.
3. Relax Progressively to Reduce Stress
Breathing deeply and mentally visualizing both involves persuading your mind to relax and to Reduce Stress. The other way around is incremental muscle relaxing, with your body confirming to your subconscious that everything is perfect.
Progressive relaxation works throughout your body, one group at a time, by tensing and relaxing muscles. Try this: start at your feet and work your way up to your head, contract, and loosen each group of muscles one by one. Take note of each muscle, tense it, hold the tension for five counts, and then relax it slowly. As your body’s muscles relax, your mind becomes calmer and focused.
The more you practice, the more tension and relaxation your muscles become. The goal is to reach the stage that, on order, you can calm your body without going through the whole process. If you can do that, then there is no chance of stress.
If you are not ready to pay a visit to a psychiatrist for a checkup to reduce Stress, check your depression level on the Depression test calculator. Although it is not a recommended practice in every case.
Be aware of the situations that cause you to experience negative stress. It may give you extra time to breathe deeply, visualize mentally, and relax gradually if you can see them coming sooner. These fast and easily reduce stress techniques will not only help you in the moment of stress, but regular use of them can help to reduce the long-term effects of stress on your life and health.