Relieving Stress and Living with Gladness
Marcia Hollingsworth, EdD

Slow down.
Allow more time to get to appointments, eat meals and pace yourself along the way. Enjoy your journey.

Keep your cool when crises hit.
Take slow, easy breaths from your belt line. Let your jaw and shoulders relax with every exhaling breath.

Take care of your body.
Do one task at a time. Avoid trying to eat your lunch, dictate a letter, make a phone call, and do the laundry at the same time.

Remember, you're not an octopus.
One of the gravest errors we make when going through a stressful or anxious time is to not know when to “retreat and regroup.” Any successful war general will tell you, to retreat is not to say we’ve lost the battle, but rather to be able to better calculate our next move! Backing away from the problem (the stress) whether that’s taking a walk, driving a few days in the mountains, time at the ocean, etc. offers a chance to regroup. Placing “distance” between you and the stress allows you to be refreshed to face the challenge another day.

Tell yourself the truth.
Eliminate destructive self talk, "I'm a failure... I'll always mess this up." Develop healthy, realistic self talk when tackling stress in your life.

Have clear boundaries.
Learn to say No. Work on being assertive. Expressing your feelings clearly, directly and respectfully can be a great tension reliever.

Remember to acknowledge your need for support.
Allow your friends, family members, church family, or neighbors to support you. People who have strong support can handle more stress and have stronger immune systems.

Go to Hawaii.
Or the woods or a walk on the beach. Take mental vacations, imagining yourself in a wonderful place for a few minutes each day to relax, read, meditate and pray.

Reward yourself.
Treat yourself when you've worked hard. Affirm yourself when you've completed a job. You deserve credit for your efforts.

Laugh and have some fun.
Learn to laugh at yourself; find some humor in your day. When we laugh, our stress seems lighter.

Balance work and recreation.
Develop leisure interests that can add fun to your day and week. Get involved in sports, crafts, reading, music, cultural events.

Learn to delegate.
Trying to do it all can leave you tired and lonely. Share the load; ask others to help. Encourage children and teens to help with chores.

Develop your spiritual center.
Pray, meditate regularly. Walk with God. Admit you need God's help and trust that He will supply your needs. His grace is sufficient.

Seek professional counseling.
For help with feelings, thoughts and behavior associated with overwhelming stress and/or relationship struggles.

:: back ::