ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Make Stress Reduction a Priority

Updated on January 13, 2013

Most of us underestimate the harmful effects of uncontrolled, long-term stress. Left unchecked it can disrupt hormone functions, cause disease and accelerate aging. It also affects the people around us. When stressed we have a hard time controlling emotions, patience is difficult and basic courtesies go out the window. The people around you may not say anything (so as not to upset you any further), but your stress is obvious to others and makes everyone feel uncomfortable. Excess stress has a profound negative effect on our lives. If feel your life is stressful but feel unable to stop it, there are some simple and easy techniques to reduce it.

Deep conscious breathing. When we are anxious our heartbeat quickens and our breathing becomes rapid and shallow. Have you ever noticed people speak in a higher pitch and become a little breathless when they are excited? When you feel this happening, quickly stop what you are doing. If at work or other public setting, go to the restroom. Remove yourself from the situation and take a few minutes. Pay attention to the sound of your breathe. Become aware of its sound and start to slow it down. Listen and pay attention as you inhale slowly and deeply and do the same as you exhale. It might be helpful to pretend your stomach is a barrel, when you inhale the barrel expands, at exhalation, the barrel collapses. This kind of breathing brings the most oxygen into your system. If you focus on the sound of your breath and how the ‘barrel’ moves, it will stop you, for those moments, from thinking about anything else. Just a couple of minutes of this type of breathing will bring down your stress level. You will return to your situation with a clear mind, you will function better and more effectively.

Visualization. This is best done in the morning, just before you arise from bed. When the alarm goes off, take a few moments to think about your day and how it will be. For example, if you exercise in the morning, envision exercising with gusto and feeling great while doing it. If you have a hectic routine with your kids do the same thing, envision yourself calmly and competently handling the situation. If you are giving a presentation or have a meeting, envision everything going well and smoothly. As you envision your day going great, feel good about it too. Get up from bed and start the day as you envisioned it. To make sure you do not go back to sleep after the alarm rings, either change to a position in bed you are not able to sleep in - or sit up in bed while you visualize.

Counting. The old adage of counting sheep to help you sleep is no lie. Sometimes it feels as if our minds are racing, we are unable to stop the thoughts. When that happens try distracting yourself from your thoughts. We think counting works really well. You can count the objects you can see or just count quietly in your mind. Try to tie the rhythm of your breath with your counting. This will help give the mind a little break, sort of like hitting an imaginary reset button in the brain. You do not have to be trying to get to sleep for this to work. Whenever you are anxious and find yourself going over the same things in your mind you can try this. Just remember not to count out loud, people might think you have lost your mind!

Much of the stress we feel is due to procrastination. It can be prevented by doing small things every day. Here are some helpful lifestyle changes that can go a long way in reducing your stress levels:

Get organized. Start with one room (or even one drawer), clear out the clutter. Catch up on paperwork, create files or folders assign them for specific categories of mail, for example, bills, home and car repair, medical. These files will help you be able to locate items when they are needed. Get rid of clutter and catch up on paperwork.

Develop a morning and evening routine. In the morning, do some light stretching or exercise, take a moment to think about when you come home later, for example, if you need to defrost anything, take it out of the freezer now. At night, prepare lunches and decide what will be worn the next day and set it out. Taking a few moments each morning and night will help simplify these times and allow you to save your energy for the day's unexpected events.

Create a schedule. Includes the usual errands and appointments, but also include fun activities, housework and socializing, this way you can make time all the things in life and not feel rushed.

Take care of your needs. Get enough sleep, eat healthy nourishing foods, limit alcohol intake. If you have unhealthy habits think about making some changes.

Talk about it. It is important to be able to vent your feelings. Sometimes there are no solutions to some problems, you just have to deal with whatever it is. No need for advice or help, but you do need someone that will listen to you vent about it. If you feel funny about venting, you can also write about it, journaling can also help you release tension and stress. Just getting it out and off your chest makes a difference.

Don’t be a hero. If you are asked for help but you feel you can’t take on another project, you have to say no. If you have difficulty saying no, practice by saying no from time to time, on small items. Once you realize that nothing negative happens if you say no, you will see how easy it is.

If you feel stress is a problem for you, I hope you try some or all of these techniques to reduce it. The most important step is to have an open mind. Stop skeptical thinking and instead imagine that perhaps this is hokey enough to work. Give it an honest try and just go with it. After all, you have nothing to lose but so much to gain.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)