The ABCs of dealing with everyday stress

This is from Hope for Today Psychotherapy and Counseling’s Linda Mesing Cook. It is great advice for everyone but especially us entrepreneurs. I had to share it. Be sure to follow these stress reduction strategies.

Need less stress? Here’s what to do.

I remember reading a popular book many years ago that started with the words, “Life is difficult”. You may be thinking, yes, I read that book, The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck, M.D.. Dr. Peck goes on to say that life is a series of problems. You need a basic set of tools to solve those problems. He calls this “tool box discipline”. When you exercise discipline, you can accomplish anything. But without discipline, life is often a struggle. Have you ever heard that if you do something for 21 days straight, it becomes a habit. Well, this is a sort of discipline. In this post, I would like to provide you a challenge.  Trying a few simple behaviors each day will greatly reduce your everyday stress. We will call these the ABCs of stress reduction. I am sure that if you commit to doing A, B and C for 21 days in a row you will see your stress significantly reduced.

A is for Action

Staying active and exercising daily has shown to prove a multitude of benefits both physically and mentally. Try walking for 20 minutes each day to start with. If this is too much, try walking for 10 minutes. Gradually increase your walking pace and the amount of time you walk. This is a great stress reliever. Research has shown that exercise improves our cardiovascular functioning, lowers blood pressure, and improves the effectiveness of our immune system. If you walk outside, you can also enjoy the beauty of the trees, flowers, wildlife, and get an extra boost of Vitamin D from the sun.

B is for Breathing

Taking deep breaths is a great way to lower your heart rate, calm your breathing, and help you relax. Try breathing in through your nose, holding that breath for a few seconds, then exhaling slowly through your mouth. Take 3 or 4 deep breaths anytime you begin to notice your body tensing up, you feel distracted or overwhelmed. This will help you re-focus on the situation at hand and feel more clear-minded so you can decide what to do next. Yoga is a great way to learn proper breathing techniques and is available at many fitness centers. It is available on-line as well.  Continue reading “The ABCs of dealing with everyday stress”