5 Top Tips to Beat Stress

1. Write a list

Grab a pen and paper and write down all the things you are worried about. Include everything. Next, write down how you will deal with each thing and, once you’ve finished, place your list in a drawer or pocket with easy access. Whenever you find yourself feeling stressed, or imagining what could go wrong, you can read through your list to remind yourself that you have already thought about these things and decided what to do. There’s no point going over it again!

2. Take time out

It’s impossible to think clearly when you’re stressed or flooded with anxiety, so the first thing to do is take time out to relax. Even just making a cup of tea or going for a short walk can help. As soon as you feel stress or anxiety building you can slow it down by trying a simple breathing exercise, like this one:

Find a safe and comfortable space to sit and close your eyes
Take a deep breath in through your nose for a count of 4
Let it fill your whole body so that you can feel your ribcage expand
Hold for a count of 7 and release through your mouth for a count of 8
As you breathe out make a ‘whoosh’ sound
Notice that the air feels slightly warmer as it leaves your body
Feel your diaphragm return to its resting position
Take another breath in through your nose for a count of 4
Notice that the air feels cooler as you breathe in
Hold for a count of 7 and exhale loudly for a count of 8
Repeat for five minutes or until feeling calmer

3. Be mindful

Being present in the moment will stop your imagination from racing ahead and overloading. Use a breathing exercise like the one above if you feel stressed or anxious, and try to get out in nature every day. Whatever you’re doing, stop and actively notice everything about it. Employ each of your senses to become fully aware of everything you can in that exact moment, from the taste in your mouth to the colours in front of you, the smell that you catch and the sounds which surround you. You might even be aware of the feel of something beneath your feet or fingertips. Make a mental note of every one of your senses, from around and within you.

4. Talk to your GP

If you find that you have started to avoid certain things or situations, or feel overwhelmed by stress and anxiety, talk to your doctor so that they can rule out any physical cause. Certain medical conditions can cause anxiety and it’s important to get the proper treatment. Some people find that a short course of medication can help to reduce their anxiety so that they can concentrate on creating a better future  – such as improving their relationships at home, finding a new job or embarking on a healthy eating plan and exercise programme.

5. Contact a hypnotherapist

Instead of allowing your mind to worry about all the things that might go wrong, harness the power of your vivid imagination so that it works for you, not against you. Hypnotherapy will help you to visualise exactly how you do want things to work out, how you do want to feel, bringing your conscious and subconscious mind together to quieten the inner voice that worries. Your hypnotherapist will also teach you how to practice self-hypnosis at home so that you can take control and start each day with enthusiasm, full of confidence and free from worry.

 

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Claire Louise Gaskin is a qualified Youth Worker, a Clinical Hypnotherapist and Psychotherapist, a founder member of the British BrainWorking Research Society (BBRS), a member of the Association for Professional Hypnosis and Psychotherapy (APHP), and a member of the College of Medicine.