9 Simple Ways to De-stress Your Life that Actually Work

1. Breathe properly!

Too many people breathe shallowly and rapidly and from the upper chest area rather than from the diaphragm.
Take a few moments to check your breathing. You should be breathing from low down and not your upper chest. If you control your breathing, you control your levels of anxiety and reduce stress.

2. Reduce caffeine!

Any stimulant such as caffeine will prompt the heart to beat faster and the person to become more ‘wired’ This in turn leads to more rapid breathing and a potential increase in anxiety and stress. A couple of cups of coffee a day are no big deal. However, if you’re knocking back the stuff by the pot load and you’re already more tense than drug smuggler during a cavity search, then it may pay to ease up.

3. Drink less!

Sorry to be a killjoy and I like a glass of wine as much as the next person (more, some would say), but alcohol is a depressant. It may make you feel better at the time, but it will not help you reduce long-term stress. In fact it will have the exact opposite effect, especially when you see the photos of you dancing like a loon at the Christmas party. The same goes for stimulant drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine.

4. Eat better!

Try and keep all those saturated fats and processed and refined foods to a minimum. Also, drink plenty of water. Water is a great way of reducing acidity in the body and flushing out all those toxins. A healthy body can deal much more efficiently with stress.

5. Exercise!

Have you ever felt down or stressed after doing sports or working out? Of course not, it’s almost physiologically impossible. Exercise releases endorphins, oxygenates the blood and lowers stress. It also helps strengthen the immune system, make you feel better about yourself and finally you can get back into that sexy little black number. You can try it too ladies.

6. Say Ahh!

I’m not talking about the Ahh noise you make when your doctor asks you to stick your tongue because you have a nasty rash in your throat. This is the Ahh we make when we let out a huge sigh on contentment. Do it five or six few times either out loud if you don’t mind getting strange looks from work colleges, or internally if you’d prefer to retain a modicum of dignity. This action sends a signal to the unconscious that all is well in your world and you’ll immediately feel better.

7. Chill!

This is absolutely imperative. Take time for yourself to relax. 20 to 30 minutes meditation per day can have incredible results. There is no downside to meditation and lots of upsides. If you haven’t got time, then make some.

8. Say no!

If you think it’s necessary to say yes to every request that’s ever made of you, think again. It may seem like you have to take on extra work to get on in life, but that’s simply not that case.
Think of any really famous person that you admire and I’m willing to bet that they say no at least 10 times for each time they say yes. They have to, otherwise they’d spend all their lives opening shopping malls, kissing babies and meeting stalkers for coffee.

9. Know your values!

In my opinion this is the most important of the lot because it cuts through the symptoms and gets straight to what can often be the cause of chronic stress. Are you stressed because you aren’t living in accordance with your own values?
If you don’t know your values, you don’t know yourself and if you don’t know yourself then it’s difficult to understand why you feel like you do.

Tim Brownson is a professional Life Coach and NLP Master Practitioner and you can read more of his ramblings by visiting Adaringadventure.

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