We all think of stress as bad and terrible. As a result, we enter into panic mode when we think of stress and immediately look for ways to reduce it. The truth is that not all stress is bad. The response we develop from the perceived demands and threats resulting from stressful situations is actually what is dangerous. Here are a few tips on how you can reduce stress by altering your response to perceived threats and demands.
Watch Out for Your Stressors
You need to know what causes your stress. Is it the threats or demands that seem too much for you to handle? Is somebody making these demands and threats, or is it your own perfectionism? Make a list of all the things that make you to have a stress response.
Make a List of the Things You Can Change
Once you know exactly the causes of your stress, determine whether you can change them. You don’t have to change all of them. You may not be able to change your job immediately, but you can change your attitude towards work. You can greatly reduce stress if you change your ways, regardless how insignificant they are.
Learn to Say No
We all have those friends who want us to go to parties, attend weddings and extend favors. The more you agree to such requests, the more you are doomed to be overcommitted and stressed. Learn to say no with sincerity and firmness. Saying no is not necessarily selfish. It means you are honoring your existing obligations and ensuring you will devote quality time on them.
Embrace Regular Exercise
We are all in a rat race trying to keep up with competition from friends and improve our lives. As a result, we work round the clock and rarely have time to take a walk in the park, ride a bike or go to the gym to relax. Exercise increases the level of dopamine, a hormone known for boosting moods and happiness. Exercise also takes your mind out of stressful situations and improves your overall health.
Recognize Your Stress Signals
You need to learn how to recognize the stress signals your body gives. These may be in the form of a headache, neck and shoulder pain, nervousness or nausea. Know your signals and reduce them with a brief exercise, deep breathing, yoga, meditation, quick nap or change of activity.