Most people living in Western Society deal with a great deal of stress, and stress can lead to a huge number of problems in daily life. Stress can contribute to anxiety, unhappiness, and damaged relationships.
Naturally, one might be interested in learning ways that they can clear their mind and deal with the high levels of stress that they’re experiencing. In this article, we’ll describe several proven techniques that can be useful for helping to reduce the amount of stress that you experience in your daily life.
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Proven Stress-Reduction Techniques and Ideas
There are lots of things that you can do to help reduce your overall stress levels. These are some of the best ways that you can go about doing this:
- Meditation practice. Meditation is one of the most simple and quickest ways to reduce stress. There are lots and lots of different ways that you can practice meditation. The two main types are mindfulness-based meditation and focus-based meditation.
- Mindfulness meditation is all the rage right now, and there are courses, classes, and retreats based on providing people with the techniques to develop mindfulness. Mindfulness is essentially an approach that allows you to mindfully accept the world as it is, by paying attention to all external input: sounds, smells, sights – and internal input: thoughts and feelings, without allowing any of them to take over your mind.
- Focus meditation involves developing concentration, focus, and a grounded state of mind by focusing on a single item – most often the breath. By developing focus, one is able to eliminate distractions (such as stress, or a demanding day at work) and focus on the present moment much easier.
A simple practice for focus meditation is to follow your breath. Inhale for a count of 4, focusing on nothing but your breath, then exhale for a count of 4, again, focusing solely on the breath. It will be easy to get distracted, but after lots of practice you will find it easier to maintain focus in any situation.
- The 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 technique is a good one for people who find themselves in stressful environments and like to have a solid way of practically recognizing what’s going on in the moment, rather than letting their mind and their stress get the better of them.
Focusing on a spot on the wall, or with your eyes closed, focus on finding 5 things from each of your 5 senses: five things you can hear, see, taste (this could be difficult, and can be skipped), smell, and feel. Next, find 4 things for each of the senses, and then 3, and so on.
- Quick Coherence Technique, pioneered by the Heart Math Institute, is an astoundingly effective technique once you’re familiar with it. The process develops coherence between the mind and body, allowing one to develop feelings appropriate for any given moment.
For those unfamiliar with bodywork, the quick coherence technique may feel strange and unfamiliar. The goal is to focus on the heart, attempting to generate feelings of compassion, love, and kindness, while mentally focusing on images or memories that promote these feelings.
- Body scans are another technique originally developed by meditators. During a body scan, you should start by doing a few slow breaths to bring awareness into your body. Then, ‘scan’ your body by directing your feelings from the top of your head all the way down your trunk and to your feet. See if you can identify where stress is being held.
Stress is a very common issue, but fortunately, there are just as many solutions to stress as there are reasons to become stressed. Hopefully this article has provided you with the proper know-how to prepare for stressful situations when they arise!