You can’t avoid stress altogether but there are ways to cope with it better. Stress is part of life Stress, if properly managed, is actually good for you. It helps you use your initiative and move on. You need a certain amount of stress but not too much. Learn to calm yourself down before it reaches the danger point. There is plenty you can do to manage stress and calm yourself before things get out of control. The important thing is to pay attention to your behavior and spot the warnings. A major problem with stress is that if you don`t take care, it can creep up to you unawares. If work is becoming more important to you than your relationship or family, then it`s time to take stock.
1. Drop your shoulders
Try to relax your shoulders whenever you can. If your queueing or waiting for the kettle to boil, consciously relax your shoulders and let go of any stress that may accumulate in your neck and shoulders and can also register as wrinkles on the face.
2. Exercise your hands
Worry beads are one of the oldest forms of keeping stress under control. Design your own by threading any kind of beads on a string. All you do is hold the beads and work your fingers through them, slowly and regularly. This repetitive movement can be extremely calming. Alternatively, hold a pair of Chinese `Shou Xing` balls. These shiny silver balls stimulate the nerve endings, exercise the hands and release stress. Simply holding a piece of velvet, or a polished crystal can be just as effective.
3. Keep a miniature garden
Gardens are usually wonderful and stress-free environment – but it isn`t always possible to stroll around one when you need a break. So why not take a tip from the Japanese and create a miniature garden, keeping it close to hand so you gaze at it and enjoy a sense of nature whenever you feel like it? Japanese bonsai trees are one way to create your own mini-garden, but you can improvise, making use of shells, sand, earth, and stones as well as small plants.
4. Practise deep breathing
A good, instant de-stressor is to stop and breath in, through your nose, for a count of seven and the out through your nose for a count of 11. Do this several times until you feel calmer.
5. Lie in a flotation tank
A session in a flotation pool is a complete escape from the pressure of everyday life. Suspended in a weightless, dark, silent environment you can drift into a dreamy, meditative state. The benefits can last long after the session is over. Small flotation tanks have now largely been replaced by pools in small rooms, which are not so claustrophobic.
6. keep a fish tank
Stop watching TV and watch fish swimming in a tank instead. It`s easier on the eyes and more conducive to restful, meditative states. Of course, the water must be kept clean and the plants healthy, so if the thought of having to be responsible for maintenance is too stressful for you, buy a video or screensaver of fish swimming and watch it on your TV or computer screen!
7. Stroke a pet
Studies have shown that keeping a cat, dog or rabbit can be wonderfully relaxing. Stroking your own Felix, Fido or Flopsy can be an effective method of soothing away stress. Alternatively, buy a cuddly toy pet.
If you’re managing to balance the home and the office successfully but you never have time for your own relaxation, you’re heading for trouble. Give yourself a break remember, there is only one of YOU. Take care of that YOU for yourself and your loved ones.