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Monday, October 22, 2012

Tips To Reduce Stress - Part 2

Today we continue our series of tips and techniques to reduce stress. Last week we looked at clutter and the stress it produces and how reducing our clutter reduces our stress. We discussed ways to deal with the clutter and we shared a resource that has been helpful to many who have had a challenge with clutter and the stress it causes – Fly Lady’s book Sink Reflections. Today another tip.

Image courtesy of Ambro/
Have you ever felt your heart racing and it was pounding so hard that you felt that might have been having a heart attack? Has it happened to you more than twice or three times depending on the situation you found yourself in.  Does it happen on almost a thrice weekly basis?  Did you visit the doctor only to be given a clean bill of health and find out it wasn’t a heart attack?

Take a look back for a moment at what was going on at the times you felt your heart racing and pounding.  Was your life in danger?  Was the life of your child(ren) or close family member in danger?  If the answer is no and there was no immediate threat to cause that reaction then you may be experiencing what is known as stress overload.

What exactly is stress overload you may ask?  Well in the words of my preacher husband “I’m glad you asked”(smile).  Stress Overload is caused when the pressures that are experienced in a work setting or even in the home become so severe, or continue for such a long time, that you start to feel out of control and like you're almost submerged. This occurs when the hypothalamus repeatedly discharges adrenaline and cortisol into the bloodstream, which causes the body to respond by heightening blood pressure and heart rate, making the blood vessels wider to allow more blood to be pumped to major organs, and large muscle groups, and glucose to be released by the liver to increase energy and stamina due to continual and repeated stress in one’s life.

Fortunately, there is an answer. You don’t have to suffer those heart racing moments for much longer. It is a very, very simple solution and I can state it no other way than the way it is.


Relax? Yes relax. I realize that it is easier said than done considering the moments of heart pounding you’ve experienced but I’m going to share with you a few tips that you can practice regularly to help you relax. The result of not doing anything to relax might end up being a heart attack and no one including you or your family wants that result.  So here we go, some tips and techniques to help you relax and reduce stress.

  1. Therapy – Yes, therapy.  Going to see a psychiatrist or psychologist does not mean you’re going insane but if you don’t get your stress under control you are likely to go insane.  So don’t overlook this solution.  The professional will help you get to the root of some of the reasons of your stress and help you deal with it. 
  2. Spend some time in nature. Go for a walk and do not start obsessing over how you should exercise more.  This walk is a slow one to help you connect with natural surrounding and help you relax. Visit the beach and walk the length of it. For me, nature is one big relaxer. In times past when I lived in Portsmouth I would just go walk the trails at Cabrits and pray and cry and enjoy the quiet surroundings. I felt much calmer afterward.

  3. Image courtesy of winnond/
  4. Play like a child.  Go to the park and swing. Slide down the slide. Who cares who’s looking at you? You need this. The person looking at you funny has no idea what you’re going through and how this much this is helping you avoid a heart attack or worse. I should do this sometime. My children love to go to Brizee's Mart. I should probably join them on the swing or slide sometimes and just ignore all the dirt on my clothes afterward.
  5. Deep Breathe – Now I’m not talking about when you feel anger to count to ten and breathe deeply. No. What I am talking about is to spend time throughout the day taking deep breaths.  Maybe three times a day, you just stop and set a timer for about 1 full minute and take some deep breaths taking your mind off your present surroundings and circumstances.  You may use the time when you have to go to the bathroom at home or at work to do this. Deep breathing helps to calm your nerves and your heart and reduce your stress level. I have been using this practice especially when I have my monthlies. It really helps to relax me. Try it.
  6. Watch a funny movie or go to a clean comedy show. The Bible says “Laughter does good like a medicine…”. Search youtube if you can’t go out at the time. Laughter has a way of helping diffuse tension and thus reducing stress. I know it has helped me a great deal. When I'm done laughing I feel very relaxed.
  7. Get a massage. Massage has been discovered to be a great relaxation technique.  Book one with a professional or have your children do your feet and hands or if you're married ask your husband to give you an all body one. You can even give yourself a massage from time to time. I see my husband rubbing his neck or waist from time to time when he need a quick massage. Check out this head massager as a do-it-yourself option. One customer who bought it on Amazon said
  8. I think this item is simply wonderful; I purchased one at Bed Bath And Beyond and gave it away as a gift (stupid!), then I couldn't find another until I came here to Amazon (yay!).
    Another customer said
    I'd never tried one of these scalp massagers before, and only ordered it so I could get free super saver shipping on an order. For $3 and change, I figured what the heck! So last night I opened the package and tried it out. I was sighing in contentment when my daughter (age 24) told me to please stop making those noises - it made her uncomfortable to hear her mother groaning like that. This thing is wonderful. And it works on knees and shoulders also! Any "round" area of your body. I'm going to buy a bunch more for holiday stocking stuffers. What a great idea!!!
  9. Pray. Prayer has been proven time and time again to be a wonderful way to relax. The Bible says in Philippians 4:6 and 7, that we should not worry about anything; instead, we should pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Works for me.
There you have it – 7 manageable tips for relaxation to help reduce your stress. Some of these tips can be done daily.  Others you can schedule them weekly or monthly. Relaxation is not something that comes naturally for a lot of us.  It is something that we have to work at for it to become a habit.  So schedule your relaxation and begin reducing your stress.

So let’s recap. Start eliminating your clutter with the tips in Part 1 of this series on stress - Reduce Clutter and Reduce Stress. Then start practicing one of these 7 relaxation tips at a time and add another one as time goes on until relaxation becomes a habit.

Other resources for relaxation:

Want more tips to reduce stress? Click here - Next Tip To Reduce Stress ~ Previous Tip To Reduce Stress

Ebook coming soon - The Ultimate Stress Relief Guide - 52 Simple Ways To Beat Stress and Enjoy Life!

To your stress reduction,


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For God's Glory!

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