Skip to main content

Stress affects the whole person – body, mind, feelings, and behaviour, and just as symptoms can take many forms, there are many simple actions that you can take to relieve these symptoms. Here are some of them.

1. Take action on stress.
Ask yourself “Am I stressed, or am I in denial?” Simply making a conscious decision to act on your situation, will bring a sense of relief that the current unpleasant situation is going to change, and you will immediately start to feel some benefit.

2. Chunk down.
Chunking down helps you to define what the problems really are. It helps you to divide the problems causing you stress into smaller and more manageable parts. You can then look for solutions, options and ways forward. This is a good problem solving technique and effective with large projects or seemingly large, daunting tasks.

3. Speak to someone.
A problem shared is a problem halved, it’s good to talk. Talking things over with a friend or another willing pair of ears who won’t judge or offer advice, can often help to declutter the mind and clarify your perspective, helping you to take appropriate action to relieve your stress.

4. Write it down and let it out.
Write a letter to yourself (or to someone else) without sending it, often brings clarity to a situation and diffuses its apparent power. Write as honestly and openly as possible and try to cover all your worries and concerns. As a form of release, you can then destroy it, which you can then follow up with a plan to resolve the issues.

5. Ask for professional help.
Seek out a hypnotherapy DVD or find a hypnotherapist to help you refocus on relaxation techniques and stress relief.

6. Stop procrastinating.
Procrastination is in itself a cause of stress, so eliminating procrastination from your life is good practice. Don’t put things off until tomorrow. Do them today. Create a “do it now” mentality.

7. Don’t be afraid to say No.
Change the dynamic of your situation. When you learn how to be more assertive, this will enable you to say what you think and act how you want to, or probably should. Imagine how much less stressed this will make you feel.

8. Give yourself choices.
Change the stress factors that you can and strengthen your ability to cope with ones that you cannot change. Be creative, find compromises, Reframe problems and look for solutions that create win-win outcomes.

9. Take a step back from the situation.
Create some distance between yourself and what’s causing your stress. Walk away and find a quiet place, even if that’s sitting in your car or a bathroom. Close your eyes, take a couple of deep breaths and imagine yourself far, far away from it. See the stressor for what it really is. See it small and manageable compared to the bigger picture and see how much calmer you feel.

10. Manage your time – be organised.
Time management allows you to plan and organise your life to give yourself more space and opportunity. It involves planning, delegating, setting an agenda and not wasting any time doing unnecessary things or worrying about things over which you have no control.

11. Start the day with confidence.
Prepare for the coming day, the night before. Then you’re not rushed in the morning and off to a bad start straight away. 

12. Don’t rely on your memory.
Your memory can be the first thing to go when you’re experiencing stress. Write down appointments, to-do lists, directions, shopping lists and anything that needs doing. Create order out of chaos.

13. Don’t be late.
Give yourself more time to do things so that you are not pressured. Get up a little earlier, leave a little earlier for appointments.

14. Focus.
Do one thing at a time and do it well. Focus solely on the job at hand and forget everything else you have to do.

15. Take a moment.
Allow yourself some personal time everyday, a private moment for peace, quiet and contemplation.

16. Have an optimistic view of the world.
Expect things to go right and expect people to be nice. You may find that’s exactly what happens!

17. Learn to be tolerant.
Remember that most people are doing the best that they can. Find it within yourself to be tolerant and understanding. People often make mistakes. Accept the fact that we live in an imperfect world.

18. Take regular exercise.
Exercise combats many of the physical and emotional symptoms of stress and can make you feel better about yourself. Feeling healthy can bring about improvements in self-esteem and self-image and increase confidence. When our confidence and esteem are lifted, our perception of ourselves changes completely and becomes much more positive.

19. Make exercise fun.
Don’t ignore the mental and emotional aspect of regular exercise. Giving yourself time out to do something fun simply makes you feel good. So if you’re feeling stressed and unsure about whether to exercise or not, simply remind yourself of how you are going to feel afterwards and ignore those ‘excuse demons’!

20. Get outside and walk it off.
If you work in an office with air conditioning, get outside and clear your head. Walk about and fill your lungs with fresh air. Try some deep breathing techniques, which re-energises and invigorates your mind and body. This simple exercise also releases hormones that positively affect your mood, creating a more relaxed and positive frame of mind and releasing physical stress from the body.

21. Treat yourself, have something to look forward to.
Get away from it all, even if it’s just for one day. Better still, have regular weekend breaks and don’t ever take work with you. Make sure that you book a proper holiday each year to recharge your batteries, it doesn’t matter where, just do it, the change of environment will do you the world of good.

22. Learn to use your body’s relaxation response.
Imagine having relief on tap – something you could experience whenever you need it. Something that would remove all the stress from your body and return the sparkle to your mind. Hypnosis can be used to trigger this wonderful natural effect, which releases hormones and neurotransmitters that flood your body and mind with pure, cleansing relaxation. You owe it to yourself to feel the relief you can have instantly, so do learn some techniques.

23. Make relaxation part of your daily routine.
The following practices will help you to relax and unwind. 

  • Guided relaxation and visualisation techniques: obtain a CD or DVD
  • Meditation: Brings an abundance of calm into your life
  • Progressive muscle relaxation: deeply, physically relaxing
  • Massage/aromatherapy: Go on, pamper yourself
  • Yoga: a mixture of meditation and gentle movement and stretching
  • Shiatsu: energy balancing and deeply relaxing

Other methods and therapies include: Floatation Tanks, Reiki, Indian Head Massage, Thai Chi and Reflexology. Do your research and try a few things to find the treatment most suitable for you.

24. Eat properly – food is not just fuel.
Make time in your schedule to eat properly and take time to enjoy your meals when you do eat them. Don’t just shovel the food in and dash off for the next meeting, give your digestive system a fighting chance by eating slowly and resting after your meal.

25. Eat healthy.
Look after your health by eating a sensible balanced diet. Much sure you eat breakfast to kick-start your day. If you need to, create new good eating habits. Ensure that your lifestyle changes suit your real needs. Poor nutrition will further weaken your resistance to illness and allow other symptoms of stress to develop.

26. Lay off the coffee and tea.
Caffeine isn’t just in coffee, it’s also present in tea and as a stimulant, it doesn’t help you relax. 

27. Take a hot bath.
Have a good soak in the evening to relieve the tension in your body before going to bed.

28. Ensure that you get enough sleep.
This is essential. You’ll wake up feeling refreshed with more energy and be able to function better throughout the day. Aim for a minimum of 7 hours and you’ll feel the benefit.

29. Enjoy the moments.
Find something that makes you smile or laugh out loud. Laughter is always a great combatant to stress. After all, it’s hard to be stressed and anxious when you’re having fun and laughing!

30. Remember to enjoy life.
Every day, take time to do something that you enjoy. Just five minutes of guitar playing, researching holiday destinations or checking out some new restaurants or recipes can positively shift your mindset.

Everyone suffers from varying levels of stress from time to time, so it’s important to learn what works best for you and have it ready for those times when you recognise your stress-symptoms creeping up.

What do you do to manage your stress? Perhaps you have a technique that works for you that isn’t listed here. We’d love to hear and learn from you too.