Five Tips for Dealing with Anxiety and Relieving Stress

It is a common problem that everybody faces everyday. Call it what you will; stress, anxiety, worry, concern. It hits us everyday in different degrees regarding all manners, from health to money to love to careers to simple decisions to uncontrollable events. You may be wondering why you haven’t heard back from that job you interviewed at yesterday, or worrying about the spreading bird flu virus.

These basic guidelines are intended for those who may find themselves suffering from too much stress or anxiety, and are designed to help ease that stress. You are invited to conduct further research into methods of relaxation and stress relief. If you suffer from severe anxiety, these tips can be helpful but are not a complete solution, and you should seek an opinion from a doctor or therapist.

1. Take One Step At A Time
It sounds like simple common sense, but most people don’t do it. Most people find themselves thinking far in advance, and thus taking on the stress of everything involved from here to there. For example, everyone knows that planning a wedding is a stressful situation. There are many facets to be considered and completed, and it can seem overwhelming to attempt to focus on them all. Instead, break the planning into a series of steps, and focus on one step at a time, disregarding everything else for the moment. When you have completed one step, simply move on to the next. This will help to ease the burden as well as provide a well-deserved sense of accomplishment as each subsequent step is completed. The plan can be applied to almost any series of tasks, from a day of spring cleaning to a long-term career goal.

2. Find a Relaxing Medium
You may already have a favorite activity that relaxes you and not realize it. Basically, anything that can remove the focus from the current object stress and place it somewhere else can help relieve stress, at least for a small while. Try reading a book or magazine, going for a walk if the weather is nice, exercising (a great stress reliever), or finding something that is ultimately productive. Stress and anxiety can tend to fester during periods of inactivity, as there is nothing else to occupy the mind. Being productive not only takes your mind off of whatever you may be worrying about, but once again, a feeling of accomplishment can help change your mood from one of anxiety to one of contentment.

3. Ask Yourself This Question: Is There Anything I can Do?
This refers to something that may be beyond our ability to control. For example, if you recently had a job interview, it makes sense to worry about how well you were received and whether you presented yourself as a good candidate for the job. But since the interview has already been conducted, it is actually pointless to worry, as there is now nothing you can do that will change the outcome. You must first realize this, then accept it. Accept the fact that you are worrying for no reason, and let events play out. Until they do, focus on the positive. Another example is the current fear of bird-flu. Obviously something beyond your immediate control, it is also a significant problem to express some worry over. Some worry is normal, and you can’t be faulted for it. But it shouldn’t ruin your day. Realize and accept that it is something beyond your control, and resume your normal life. Unless the bird-flu is beating down your door, it is pointless to spend too much time worrying about it while instead you should be out enjoying life and enjoying whatever day-to-day happiness you can find.

4. Think Positive
Remarkably, it works. You may have to force yourself to do it if you are an overly cynical person, but think positively for just a few days, and you will find yourself not only more relaxed, but perhaps even more energetic. Stress and anxiety is draining, and recuperation times can vary. Positive thinking enables you to overcome your anxiety and find happiness and serenity. You will find that simple mundane things that used to cause you a modicum of stress before no longer affect you adversely.
Do not confuse thinking positively with being unrealistic. Not every situation in life is a positive one, unfortunately, and must be dealt with accordingly. If you are in an argument with your spouse, for example, you cannot simply think positive and say, “Oh well, I know things will be fine.” They may very well be, but the fact remains that you must deal with said argument there and then in order for things to be fine.

5. Compare to the Big Picture
Worried about money? Love? Or just annoyed that you had to wait on line too long at the bank and then the teller was slow. Or maybe that guy driving in front of you was braking too much. Perhaps something was said by a friend that rubbed you the wrong way, even though she didn’t mean it.

Compare it to the Big Picture.
In light of everything else going on the world, is it really that big of a deal if you had to wait on line five extra minutes. Does it matter much that someone wasn’t driving in compliance with how you think they should drive when compared to more serious concerns?

You need to create a Stress Scale, if you will, and see where each and every thing that causes you stress rates on that scale. You will most likely find that some things are just not worth it. Trivial things over the course of the day have a habit of adding up until we feel that stress knot in the back of our heads ready to explode. Putting things in perspective will simplify your day as you casually decide that each trivial thing simply doesn’t deserve another moment of your time and energy.

There are other methods of dealing with stress and coping with anxiety, and you must find the ones that work best for you. Hopefully these few tips can help alleviate some of that stress we feel everyday.

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