Online counselling. Counselling to improve feelings. Reduce stress – Ivana Straska
Reduce stress

Reduce stress

Why do you want to reduce stress? Can you learn the techniques to reduce stress? 

stressSmall amount of stress and pressure can be desired or motivational. A healthy level of stress can positively improve your  performance, increase stress resistance or your adaptation. You have to reduce excessive levels or chronic stress that is harmful and leads to many problems.

Excessive stress creates psychological conflicts and it develops negative emotional experiences potentially escalating into additional distress. Permanent stress slowly changes your mind, bodily functions and triggers sickness. It is like a ticking bomb you failed to deactivate.

What techniques can you use to reduce stress?

There are various self-help techniques to reduce acute stress but if someone chronically lives in stress these techniques are not enough. Life in chronic stress is maintained by beliefs, thinking and behavior.

The ways of thinking profoundly influence stress response, ability to regulate emotions, healthy choices and behavior. Coping strategies using cognitive – behavioral tools activate changes and restructure thinking patterns. Thus,  they can reverse reactions to stress to reduce emotional and mental tension. 

Reduce stress through changed behavior

Chronic stress maintains dysfunctional and risky behavior that has to be changed if one wants to decrease stress level. Some people are open to find few minutes to regularly relax or learn letting go. Beyond positive attitude you can reduce stress by nurturing your desires or wants. It puts you in a better place to handle the triggers of stress. Rest and relaxation should be in your daily schedule to increase your stress resistance. Taking a break from responsibilities is like recharging  the batteries.

Changed behavior might include physical activities (jogging, running or dancing)  to boost body’s production of bio-chemicals:  endorphins (serotonin, epinephrine and dopamine) also associated with the relaxed mind, happiness or positive attitude. Taking care of nutrition might be involved (chili, chocolate or hot pepper can be your choice to increase endorphins). 

Directed mind can reduce stress

Each time you think negatively the body reacts along as if it was in a tension-filled situation. Stress triggers negative thoughts and you have to help your mind to generate positive thoughts and feeling good. In your mind eliminate self-defeating thoughts, self-instructions, negativity or criticism that can be identified by the words: always, never, ever, should, ought to, must, mustn’t or shouldn’t. 

Some sources of stress are unavoidable and if you can’t prevent or change them the best way is accept the things as they are. Acceptance may be difficult but you can learn it as in the long run it’s psychologically beneficial. Accepting is always easier than railing against situations you can’t change.

Many things in life are beyond your control. Rather than ruminating about them focus on the issues you can control. Emphasize solutions rather than problems or try to see the problems as opportunities for your growth. If your own poor choices contributed to a stressful situation, reflect on them and learn from your mistakes.

Reduce stress with guided mental imagery

There are two different levels of brain waves, called Alpha and Theta, used in mental imagery. When you close your eyes your brain automatically starts producing more Alpha waves. Alpha is a very receptive, absorbent relaxed mental state. You can use it for guided imagery, self-hypnosis and mental re-programming. Theta level is a light sleep or extreme relaxation. it is used for stress release as well.

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