Life in 2022 can be very stressful and if left unchecked, can run riot over your health, causing and contributing to a wonderful array of bodily disorders and chronic diseases. So what can be done to keep stress in check?

These are the best techniques I have found.

Awareness

When I feel stressed, feeling it is actually the first sign I look for as stress shows up in my muscles, tissues or joints often before I recognize the chaos that is going on in my brain. When my body feels under stress like this e.g. tight shoulders, heavy heart, fast beating heart, busy head, hard to focus, I know I need to take action. Without this awareness, you cannot remedy the situation there and then and stress gets a free pass to run wild in your body.

Breathing / Meditation

There is no faster way to bring yourself down off a ledge than breathing deeply, calmly and following a guided meditation. Taking a few minutes to sit quietly, focusing on your breathing — deep in, deep out — as slow as you can will reduce your blood pressure and heart rate and give you back that feeling of control that is often absent when you are in a state of high stress.

Exercise

Stressed is a state of being and exercise can really help you change your state . I think of exercise as a release valve for the body, which helps to discharge accumulated stress. The type of exercise is less important but going for a walk outside in nature, hitting the gym, or going for a sea swim are all state changing techniques.

Talk to someone

While the other three techniques can all be done alone, this one requires a human connection, and it might just be the most powerful of them all.

It requires courage to speak to another human being about stuff that is personal to you, and this is no small thing. Talking about your issues with another human being that you trust seems to steal the power and control away from stress. The old adage, a problem shared is a problem halved, remains true.

When it comes to stress management, I believe simpler is better. Focusing on these 4 techniques and executing them during stressful periods in my life has really helped me handle stress in a more helpful way.

They might help you too.

Be well,

JP