Identify Your TriggersHow do you know when you are stressed? We all know the feeling of stress and how it makes us feel, but do we all know the triggers which set us off? Stress is a very personal experience and can be set carried off by some reasons, but more often than not they fall into the same broad categories: money, relationships, work and time constraints. These can then be broken down into things such as problems saving money, bills, fights in relationships, looking after a loved one, feeling stuck in a job you dislike, taking on too much at both work and in your personal life, lack of passion, being disorganised, holiday pressures, etc. Help yourself by identifying what it is that is making you overly stressed and prevented you from taking the time to relax. If it helps, keep a diary for a few weeks noting down when you feel most tense and what you were doing at the time. This will assist in the future to identify when you desperately need to take some time away and find some peace again.
Breathing TechniquesBreathing is not only a vital component of staying alive (critical!), but it is also important for nourishing the body and reducing tension thanks to the oxygen boost throughout your body. Try the following breathing technique in times of stress and panic; it will only take a few minutes.
- Start by either lying on a bed or yoga mat, sitting with your back in a sturdy chair with your feet on the ground or standing up tall with your feet roughly hip-width apart.
- With each breath, let it fill your belly as much as possible, whilst remaining comfortable.
- Breath in gently and count steadily from one to five if you can.
- Then, as soon as you run out of breath, release it without pausing, gently, counting from one to five again.
- Keep doing this for three to five minutes.