How To Reduce Stress At Home By Clearing Up Clutter

how to reduce stress at home

How To Reduce Stress At Home

If you are wondering how to reduce stress at home then I want to tell you about one of the most overlooked causes of stress and how dealing with it will seriously reduce your stress levels.

Clutter!

Stuff lying everywhere. Dirty dishes in the sink, an overflowing laundry basket, toys not put away in their toy box, a desk covered in pens, mail, books and magazines.

I get it – none of us enjoys cleaning up, especially after others, but while ignoring it is OK for a while, it still needs to be done and it will be nagging away at your subconscious mind.

When you’re stressed, you may say that housework is the farthest thing from your mind. But hear me out here. Even the busiest workaholic can benefit from tidying up the house.

When your home is enveloped with clutter, you feel exhausted and overwhelmed. Perhaps you keep telling yourself that you need to clean the house, but you can never find time to do it.

This is an all too familiar scenario for many people, when the pressures of home and work life weigh down upon you. But surprisingly, stress relief can actually start in the home and spill into other aspects of your life. When your house is clean, you feel a lot less stressed. No longer do you have to step over toys and dirty clothes, but you can walk without worrying about tripping.

Step 1 – Clean Up

Take time to clear out clutter. While cleaning the house may at times seem like an insurmountable task, it is actually one of the most effective ways to find more energy.

Even if you’re running low on energy, taking a few minutes to pick up some clutter will give you a significant energy boost, which in turn will lower your stress levels and aid in stress relief.

Add this into your daily repertoire, and you have the recipe for a happier, less stressful life.

When clearing clutter, don’t try to do too much at once. Instead, focus on clearing a small area. Pick up whatever is on the floor and throw away whatever you don’t use anymore.

Oftentimes you are the cause of your own stress. You place unnecessary demands on yourself, and you promise to do things that may be too much. This takes time away from housework and chores in the home.

When you’re clearing clutter, don’t let people distract you. Clean when you are alone, if at all possible. This cuts down on the chances of getting frustrated. Plus, it gives you the peace of mind of knowing you can get this done alone.

Enjoy A Break

As a result of your efforts you will find that you think more clearly, and you may actually have the energy to do more. But be sure to use that energy wisely. The rest of the family will be home before long!

Tell yourself that you can do this. It’s easy to get distracted and give up on cleaning. A lot of times this happens when you try to do too much in a short period of time. Focus on small tasks. Leave the rest for later.

When you clear an open space, you will also begin to feel less stressed, which will slow down your racing thoughts, and free you to deal with other pressing issues. Not to mention you will have more time to relax and enjoy life.

Take breaks. Don’t set a time window on yourself to finish cleaning. Instead, take small breaks in between to catch your breath and figure out what you need to do next.

If you find that cleaning becomes more of a stressor than a stress management technique, set the room aside and return to it later.

Stay hydrated, and eat small snacks in between. When you haven’t had something to eat or drink for a while, it’s easy to lose steam. Eat small snacks periodically to refuel.

When you’ve finished clearing a room of clutter, take time to do something you enjoy. You will find that you feel a lot better, and your energy level increases.

When your home is clean, you feel a lot more motivated to do other things, and you take a step toward a happier, less stressful day.

Don’t worry too much about making sure every little crumb is removed from a room. Focus more on clearing out an open space. Get rid of excess stuff. Arrange furniture, if it makes you feel better. Finally, when you’re finished, take a moment to revel in the final product. Congratulate yourself on a job well done. Your heart will thank you for it.

Dump Your Junk

When your home is clean there is one more thing for you to do and that is to dump your junk. Many of us are incredible hoarders who just don’t seem to be able to part with anything.

Take time to walk around your home and look at what you have in every room. If you see something you use regularly then make sure you have put the item away somewhere for it to be stored until the next time you need it.

You are bound to see stuff that you haven’t used for ages. Ask yourself to be honest about when or even if you will ever use it again. If you think it might be useful again then make sure it is put away until needed. If it’s not going to be used again then either dump it, sell it or give it away to charity.

The same applies to your wardrobe. Look through all your clothes and if you haven’t worn it in the last year then it’s time for it to go and free up some space. You can even reward yourself for your hard work by buying something new.

Clear your clutter and de-stress your life

Having an open space make you feel a lot freer. It makes your space seem larger. Being enclosed is a source of stress for a lot of people.

I’m not saying you need to clean the entire house in one day, or that you have to clean at super speed. All I’m saying is that clearing clutter will clear your mind and help you think more clearly. As a stress relief technique, this does wonders for an overloaded mind.

It is one of the easiest and most effective ways to reduce unnecessary stress. By clearing your home of clutter, you clear your mind of the tension most people know too well. And you make your home a more pleasant, livable space!

How to Manage Stress By Improving Your Communication Skills

how to manage stress

Stress is a part of everyday life.  It can creep up at the most convenient or inconvenient times.  Whether small or large, the causes of stress are wide and varied, bringing with them intense emotion and excitement.  But even amid pressures and not so expected events, you can manage to find peace in the face of conflict.

The question is: What is the best way to deal with stress, when it feels as though every emotion within you is racing?

Listen

If you’re stressed over everything under the sun, your emotions are running on hyper speed.  Your thoughts are moving faster than a freight train, and you can’t seem to sort out thoughts.

When this happens, you have already been propelled into the fight or flight mode.  Your brain is trying to put the puzzle pieces together.  And most likely, you don’t have time to hone in on how you feel about the situation.

Slow down.  Grab the reins, and get in touch with what you are feeling.  Sometimes people find it hard to communicate their own thoughts when they’re stressed.  But stress management requires that you get in touch with yourself.  When you take time to really get to know yourself and your feelings about the situation, you are that much closer to figuring out how to solve the problem.

Communication

Sometimes just talking things out with a friend or close loved one can ease the stress of the situation.  A spouse can sometimes see things in you that you can’t always see in yourself.

When you open up to a significant other, you make yourself vulnerable to your true fears and feelings about the stress at hand.  And you are finally able to release some stress.

Tell your partner what they can do to help ease your stress.  And if possible, ask for a back rub.  Not only does this feel good, but also it helps you get rid of some of the physical symptoms of stress.

Your muscles tense up when you’re stressed, and your breathing quickens.  A soft massage helps loosen muscle tightness and encourages deep breathing, which in turn, will help you get rid of stress’ physical manifestations.

If you talk to a family member or close friend, ask if they have any suggestions.  Other people may sometimes be able to give you advice on how to alleviate your stress.  As a means of stress management, talking about the source of your stress helps get out emotions that are bottled up inside of you.  It also gives others the opportunity to help you out.

Communicating, as a stress management technique, can be done in a number of ways.  For example, you may find that recording your thoughts in a journal or diary is a great way to get stressful feelings outside of your body and onto an external source.

When you write in a diary, you can also keep a record of your life and what may be bothering you.  And you can always go back and read later to see how you’ve improved.

When you’re under any kind of stress, good or bad, you tense up emotionally as well.  When you keep these feelings inside, you can feel as though you’re about to burst.

To avoid this problem, or to at least cut down on your pressure, don’t let the burden rest on you alone.  If the problem rests on you to solve it, try to develop a game plan, and ask someone if they will be there to talk to you and help you through each step of your stress.

People are generally very receptive when they know you’re under stress.  Also, it may help to ask your partner to share the responsibilities of taking care of your home and family.  If you’re too stressed out at the end of the day, ask your partner if they can put the kids to bed or make dinner, if that is usually your responsibility.

Take a stress management seminar.  A lot of states, provinces and community centers offer stress management seminars.  These seminars simulate stressful situations, and often give you the opportunity to vent your feelings about a stressful situation.  They may even act out stressful scenarios to see how you respond.

Attending these seminars gives you the opportunity to communicate your own feelings and get feedback from others.  Stress management seminars usually average about two hours in length, and are a great way to channel negative energy into a constructive solution.

When you find yourself getting stressed, it’s important to remember that communicating your feelings or venting frustrations are great ways to take the pressure off your heavy heart and onto someone who can help you.

Friends and family are some of your greatest sources of stress relief.  They are there to offer help and guidance.  Take this help, and run toward a more sane life!

How to deal with Stress During the Festive Holiday Season

how to deal with stress

The holidays are a time of happiness and merriment for most people.  But did you know that they are also a major cause of stress for some people?  While many find themselves gathering with family and friends, still others are spending the holidays alone, or are facing hard financial times.

However, finding ways to cope with stress on holiday isn’t as difficult as you may think.  Many people find themselves focusing on their problems during what should be a happy time.  These problems can include anything from not being in a relationship to the holiday blues.

The holiday blues, as many people know it, come from setting unrealistic expectations about how the holidays will turn out.  In your mind, you may build it up to be wonderful and filled with laughter, but unfortunately an argument breaks out.  This can lead to feelings of disappointment.  However, finding ways to reduce stress on holiday are only as far down as a few paragraphs.  Keep reading to find ways to manage holiday stress.

  1. Set a budget. A lot of people find themselves going into debt during the holidays.  This is a major cause of stress. Spending too much causes unnecessary financial pressure that can follow you through the holidays and into the New Year.

To avoid this problem, set aside the maximum amount of money you want to spend on presents this year.  Stick to this figure, and have the funds available.  Try not to rely too much on credit cards, as this incurs extra debt.  Setting a budget will help you feel more relaxed about your holiday spending.  And it will get you prepared for a prosperous and financially sound New Year!

 

  1. Mingle with relatives. A lot of people find themselves spending the holidays with in-laws.  If you don’t get along with your in-laws, it can be difficult to feel like you fit in.  Rather than keeping a silent vigil, find things to talk about.  Bring up subjects that interest others. But don’t brag too much about yourself.  As the holidays go by, you will find that people approach you more often.  And you will enjoy yourself a lot more!

 

  1. Bring a dish. Pitching in with preparing food can significantly reduce your stress on holiday.  Not to mention it helps take stress off of other people.  Try preparing a dish at home, and bring it with you.

Make the dish at your in-laws’ place.  Offer them a sample.  This gets other people involved, and will make them more eager to talk with you.

 

  1. Don’t expect perfection. A lot of people pressure themselves to create a perfect holiday for other people.  This, according to experts, creates unnecessary stress, and can make you feel bad if things don’t turn out exactly as planned.  Tell yourself that you don’t need to be perfect.  Everyone makes mistakes, and things will not always go exactly as planned.  Realize that you can’t do everything.  Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help.  People like to get involved.  Realize that you can only do so much.  That way, you don’t expect too much of yourself, and you will be able to enjoy yourself that much more!

 

  1. Simplify your decorating.  It’s easy to put up a lot of decorations for the holidays.  When you have to take them down, you can feel overwhelmed and perhaps let down.  This can lead to feelings of apathy about any upcoming holidays.  Instead of going overboard with trimmings, keep decorations to a minimum.  Put up only what you can manage.  This will make it easier for you to enjoy the holidays and be merry!

Stress during the holidays can put a damper on your holiday, but getting involved and taking a positive approach to the holidays can do wonders for lowering your stress levels.  Taking these stress management techniques to your next holiday gathering can greatly reduce the stress on holiday you would normally feel.  And you will be a lot happier.

Five Simple Breathing Exercises to Relieve Stress Fast

If you are suffering from stress, it can be hard to keep your thoughts straight, let alone focus on anything. When you’re stressed out, your brain is on overdrive and your mind is too concentrated on trying to resolve problems

This is why it’s so important to take a moment to breathe properly. That might sound a little bit strange to you but please bear with me here.

The great thing about deep breathing techniques is that they help you to unwind. Here are some very simple yet very effective breathing exercises that you will find to be a great help to you when stressed.

1. Deep Cleansing Breaths. A lot of people hyperventilate when they’re stressed. Doing this is not going to do you any favours, though.

If you find yourself falling into this pattern, take a moment, and take a deep, cleansing breath. Once you’ve done this, try to get your breathing into a steady rhythm. During the course of the day, take deep breaths, if you begin to stress out.

There are some things you can do to help facilitate this type of deep breathing. For example, you could lay down a blanket and pillow on the floor. Lay on your side or on your back, whichever is more comfortable.

Prop your head up on the pillow and close your eyes for a minute. As you do, practice your deep breathing until you feel your thoughts begin to quiet. Slowly, elevate your shoulders, if it helps you breathe more clearly.

As a stress relief technique, deep breathing exercises help quiet your thoughts and help both your mind and your body become one. The important thing to remember, though, is not to let your mind race, as you worry about other things you need to do. A lot of people make this mistake and actually add to their stress, rather than alleviate it.

2. Always try to breathe in through your nose and exhale through your mouth. It’s healthier to breathe this way, because the air going through your air passageways is cleaner and more pure.

3. It may also help to envision something peaceful when you practice deep breathing techniques. For example you could envision a grassy meadow or the face of a loved one. This is reassuring and may actually take your mind off your problems.

4. Another stress relief breathing technique that may help is focusing on your breathing without being distracted by negative thoughts. This may help you quiet your thoughts. When you home in on your own breathing, your mind has something to focus on, other than the stressful situation.

Listen to your breath. Does it rise and fall? Focus in on this. If you find that you’re breathing too quickly, slow down, and take long, sweeping breaths. Finding a quiet place away from other people also helps.
5. Being in large groups of people can be stressful and may make it difficult to truly relax. If you can, try to find a quiet place to unwind. You will notice that a calm feeling comes over you. If it helps, do some light stretching while you practice deep breathing techniques. Stretch your arms slowly above your head as you breathe in and out.

Don’t neglect yourself. A lot of people get stressed when they have no time for themselves. A lot of people use the excuse that they have too much to do and don’t have time for themselves. This couldn’t be father from the truth. You can always make time, even if it’s just a few minutes, to focus on your own well being.

Deep breathing can clear your mind of negative thoughts and actually give you the energy to focus on more important things. It will keep you from getting too stressed out by small things. These small things can turn into big problems when you build them up in your mind.

If you’re looking for a sure-fire way to calm yourself when you’re under stress, you should consider deep breathing techniques, as they are very simple to do. You can practice deep breathing anywhere. Once you get started with these techniques, you will find them to be an effective way of coping with stress in your life. Use them!!

How Eating A Healthy Diet Can Help Beat Stress

As most people know, eating a healthy diet is great for your body. It promotes good nutrition and gives you energy. But did you also know that it’s a great stress management technique?

According to experts, eating a diet of fruits and vegetables can improve your health and prolong life. In my own quest to get healthy many years ago, I decided to go on a diet. The foods I was eating made me feel a lot better, and as a result, reduced my stress. The food I had been eating up until that point was high in fat and cholesterol.

Foods that are high in cholesterol have a tendency to make you feel stale and lethargic. This is why it’s so important to eat these foods in moderation.

Eat slowly. When you eat slowly, you really get to experience what you are eating, and as a result, you feel more satisfied when you’re finished.

When you eat healthily, you feel better. You have more energy, and not surprisingly, you are happier. Healthy foods have the tendency to make you feel happy. And this would only seem natural. A healthy body is a happy body, right?

The important thing to remember when using diet as a stress management technique is that some foods are better than others. As a general rule, fruits and vegetables make you feel better than a bag of Doritos or a corn dog. Throw in a piece of baked salmon or skinless chicken, and have a recipe for a healthy meal.

When you eat junk food or food that is heavy in grease, you may feel guilty afterward. You know you’ve gone off your diet, if you were on one, and you just consumed a bunch of nasty substances, such as fat and cholesterol.

To relieve stress, consider eating a diet of fruits, vegetables and real food. Real foods are those that occur naturally in nature, such as berries or plants. Also, foods made from dairy products, such as cheese, are equally as healthy.

When you eat these types of foods, you will feel more energetic, and you won’t get hungry so quickly. Unhealthy snacks, like cookies, have very low nutritional content, so you get hungry more quickly afterward.

And of course, a lot of people suffer the inevitable remorse that often follows eating unhealthy food. This causes you to stress. When you eat healthily, you will find that you feel better overall.

Not only do you have more energy, but you feel good about yourself, because you’ve made healthy food choices.

In stress management, it’s critical to clear your mind of negative thoughts. By eating healthy foods, you do not have to feel guilty and stress out.

When combined with regular exercise, eating healthy can have tremendous benefits that will in turn improve your mood.

One other thing to remember is to eat until you’re full. Don’t eat until you’re overly full, even if you’re eating vegetables. Believe it or not, you really can have too much of a good thing!

Don’t go hungry, either. Going hungry has the tendency to make you grumpy, and will put unnecessary stress on you.

In addition to helping lower cholesterol and shed inches from your waistline, some foods can actually reduce your stress.

In fact, drinking more water, at least eight ounces a day, will help you feel full, so you won’t be tempted to snack.

Eat plenty of whole grains. Though many people say carbs make you gain weight, they are a great source of energy. Eaten in moderation, carbs help your body fight bacteria and help your brain stay healthy and alert.

If you’re looking for a low calorie meal that will make you feel relieve stress, try baking some chicken and steaming some broccoli. Cut a potato into slices and top with some cheese.

You will find as the evening goes on that you feel a lot more energetic and at peace with yourself. Be proud of yourself for eating healthily. A meal like this contains around 350 calories and stays with you for a long time.

Foods that boost your mood include the following:

• Fish
• Broccoli
• Peanuts

The important thing to remember when selecting a diet to reduce stress is that you should eat what makes you feel good. If a food makes you feel sluggish and stale, pass it over and opt for an apple.

When combined with exercise, you will find that a healthy diet will reduce your stress levels significantly.

Not only will you get your body in form, but you’re taking a step in the right direction to keeping stress to a minimum.
Now go out there, and grab yourself an apple. Your heart and mind will thank you for it!

Manage your time better and manage life better!

timeIn today’s world, it’s easy to get overwhelmed, especially when your time is limited. Most people today don’t have enough time to do the things they want. This is a major cause of stress, and it’s not surprising that everyone could use a little extra time.

The truth is managing your time is completely doable. These days, people spend a lot of time on their smartphones, or doing any number of other things. And finally, when it comes time to do the chores, you’re running on a tight timeframe. This causes your stress levels to skyrocket. This causes your blood pressure to raise your heart to race.

In turn, you are suddenly launched into fight or flight mode, which puts additional stress on your body. To avoid this problem, try getting up a little earlier in the morning. This will allow you to unwind a bit before facing morning traffic and before greeting your boss’ smiling face.

Giving yourself a little time also helps relieve some of the pressure you feel when you’re getting ready for the day. If it helps, write up a schedule for yourself. You don’t have to make it too regimented; just set aside as much time you think you need to perform each task during the day.

If you find yourself taking more time than you need, back off and take a breather. It’s best not to spend too much time doing one thing, because it takes time away from other things you have to do.

Make a time commitment and stick to it.

Don’t overstress yourself. When it comes to stress management, adding extra responsibilities to your schedule will only add to your pressure. Instead of trying to do everything within a given timeframe, give yourself a little leeway to take care of other things.

Don’t jump immediately out of one task and into another. Instead, take a few minutes to evaluate how much work you want to do on a specific task before starting.

Pace yourself. Once you’ve determined how long you want to spend completing a task, stick to that schedule. Don’t try to speed through one task to get into another one quickly. This will heighten your stress and make it more difficult to get the job done.

You may be wondering how you can use time management as a stress management technique when you life is constantly changing. The truth is that it is not difficult.

In fact, it is actually quite easy when you break time management techniques into steps.

Start you day with a game plan. Make a list of what you want to accomplish, and stick to it. If it’s a weekend, make a list of things you want to do before the kids get up. Figure out what you’re going to make for dinner ahead of time. That way, you don’t have to spend extra time figuring out what to do for dinner or other household chores.

Managing your time can significantly lower your stress levels, and make you more relaxed. In turn, you won’t rush as much.

In addition, it helps you get in touch with your own thoughts. People today often get so caught up in life that they don’t have time to really get to know themselves, amid everything else that is going on.

When I used time management to relieve stress, I found that I was moving at a much more even pace, and I didn’t feel so rushed, because of it.

However, don’t rush to get your work done within a given timeframe. Doing so will slow down your efficiency if you’re working, not to mention the fact that it will raise your stress levels.

In your quest to live a less stressful life, remember that you can’t do everything. There will be times when you have to take a step back and say, “I can’t do anymore.” Pushing yourself too much is unhealthy and could lead to health problems, such as high blood pressure.

If other people, such as family and friends, are pushing you to do things quickly, take a break, and move at your own pace.

Doing so will regulate your breathing and in turn significantly cut your stress. As a result of managing your time, you will also find that you have more time for the things you really want to do.

Also, it may help to slow down your pace. Don’t rush so much. Instead, move at a steady pace.

Whatever you do, keep a positive attitude and remember that managing your time doesn’t mean you have to cut activities from your life. It simply means that you get to enjoy them even more!

The power of positive thinking

field-328962_640Amid changing priorities, crunching deadlines and tending to your family, it’s sometimes hard to find time for anything, and thinking straight may not even seem like an option. But with so many pressures weighing upon your shoulders, wouldn’t it make sense to think positive?

Unfortunately, staying positive when you’re under pressure isn’t always as simple as we would like to think. But even the happiest, most unstressed person will find solace in positive thinking as a stress management technique.

The important thing to remember is that positive thinking comes from within. To think positive, you need to be at one with yourself. You need to be doing things in your life that make you feel good about yourself. This could be anything from taking a bike ride to taking a brisk walk before dinner.

Anything that makes you feel good about yourself helps clear your mind, so you can focus on positive things.

Try to think positive whenever you can. Not only will positive thinking make you feel good about yourself, but it will give you the incentive to give life the that extra 10 percent.

In my own life, I’ve found that positive thinking has helped me stay focused and actually improved my morale. I also set realistic goals, and kept telling myself that they were attainable as long as I kept up my spirits and worked toward doing something productive.

What I found as a result was that I was much happier and more focused on getting something done. Positive thinking is not difficult, however.

Keep a “can do” attitude. As a stress management technique, staying positive can do wonders for your self-esteem. A lot of people tend to get down on themselves when they do something wrong or fall short of achieving their ultimate goal. This should be avoided at all costs. Negative thinking can actually keep you from doing your best and may slow you down when you’re under pressure.

When you find yourself falling into negative thinking, try thinking of something you have to look forward to in the future. This could be anything from having dinner out to a weekend outing at the park.

One thing to remember is that positive thinking aids in stress management in many ways. When you think positively, you are taking a step toward a good future.

Happiness promotes feelings of hope and self worth, which make it easier to deal with stressful situations.

As I said earlier, positive thinking is not difficult. All you need is to find the good in life.

Smile. Take time out of each day to smile. If you practice this on a daily basis, you will gradually find yourself feeling better. Smiling makes you more attractive. Your eyes smile, and you seem more approachable overall. And as they say, the eyes are the windows to the soul.

Take time for you. A lot of people get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of life that they forget to take time for themselves. This is especially difficult when you have a family, because someone always needs something from you.

When you’re so busy with other obligations, it’s often hard to find time to think positive, and oftentimes people feel guilty for taking a few moments to focus on something they want to do.

But the good news is that positive thinking is good for any situation. Getting outside in nature or going out to the mall can promote positive thinking as well. It gets you out of the house, which makes you feel good and may actually help clear your mind of everyday stressors.

It’s not healthy to stay in the house all the time. Take at least 20 minutes each day to go outside for reflection. Just be sure to wear sunscreen!

Other techniques that promote positive thinking include:

  • Reading a book

Find a good book and read for a few quiet moments. Try to set aside 20 minutes to an hour each day to read, whether it’s a book or a magazine.

  • Dress nicely

Sometimes you don’t feel like getting dressed up; sometimes all you want to do is throw on some sweats and go. But the truth is that wearing nice clothes that make you feel good. In addition, it will help you think positive and succeed in your everyday activities.

In my experience, I’ve found that a little positive thinking can be achieved by doing something productive. When you lounge around the house all day, you tend to feel stale and unmotivated. Staying active, however, keeps your mind alert.

People who stay active and involved in activities are generally happier all around. They have more energy and spunk. And the good news is that you too can be one of them!

Five Powerful Tools To Relieve Stress Quickly

stress-1277561_640Are you feeling that you just can’t get a break from the pressures and stresses of life? Are you struggling to see the light at the end of the tunnel? We all know that a certain amount of stress can be beneficial and help to keep us motivated but too much of it and it starts to have an adverse effect on our health and well-being.

That’s why when you are feeling stressed it is so important to know how you can combat its effects before if starts to make you ill. This article will reveal five of the most powerful yet simple and effective ways to relieve stress quickly.

1. Slow Down!

Many people who are feeling stressed start rushing about all over the place trying to get everything done. The problem is, when you rush things you start to miss things or make mistakes. The result can be that the problem you are stressed about actually becomes worse rather than better. Of course this only serves to make you even more stressed!

Take your time. Just stop for a minute and think about things clearly. Perhaps things are not as bad as they seem. Evaluate your problems and then make a plan to tackle them. Personally I always find that it helps to write things down. If you have a list of things to do then you can tick them off as they get done. It is always nice to see that list get smaller and smaller and I find that as the list shrinks – so does my stress!

2. Breathing Exercises.

This is one of the oldest but still most effective ways to relieve stress. When you are stressed you may not notice but your breathing can become quick and shallow. What you need to do is take some slow, deep cleansing breaths. If you can find somewhere quiet to do this then all the better but it can be done at any time and in any place.

Try to breathe in slowly through your nose, hold the breath for a few seconds then breathe out again slowly through your mouth. Breathing deeply like this helps your lungs to absorb oxygen and release carbon dioxide so you will feel better. It also helps to relax your body if you feel tense. One extra little tip – when I do this I visualise myself actually exhaling my stress as I breathe out. It sounds bizarre I know but don’t knock it until you have tried it!

3. Exercise.

Sorry if exercise is a bad word to you but don’t worry I am not going to suggest any Olympic style training. When you feel stressed your body releases hormones such as adrenaline (epinephrine) in response to what it perceives as a threat. You have probably heard of the fight or flight response – well this is the body’s built in response to stress.

Exercise helps to use up your adrenaline. Now please don’t tell me that you’re not the athletic type – there is always some sort of exercise that you can do. Personally I enjoy cycling but simple things such as walking and swimming are just as effective. By burning off that adrenaline you will dramatically reduce your stress levels and completing some form of exercise gives you a sense of achievement. Do it!

4. Massage.

When I have had a busy or stressful day then I find a nice massage is one of the most pleasant ways to relieve my stress. A gentle massage can help to rub away your aches and pains but it also helps to stimulate the pleasure centres in your brain and makes you feel good about yourself. Some scented massage oil can help too.

If you don’t have a partner to give you a massage then try some gentle self-massage techniques. Rubbing the pads of your fingers gently on your forehead or temples can be very soothing especially if you can have a pleasant daydream at the same time.

5. Eat Healthily.

When you are stressed it is easy to give into the temptation to eat fast or junk food. While it might give you a temporary good feeling to tuck into a Big Mac or a donut you will probably find that you feel slumped afterwards. You might even feel guilty or dirty for eating such junk.

Healthy food will make you feel better and more energetic and more able to deal with issues. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water too. Dehydration can make you feel down, tired or lethargic which is the last thing you need when stressed.

Stress can have a dramatically negative impact on our lives but using these proven methods for managing stress you can start to bring your life back under control. These strategies work so try them yourself and very soon you will start to feel better about yourself and a lot less stressed.