Monday, January 10, 2011

Tips to beat stress....

Reading our copy of the latest Spa Life Magazine, we came across this article with some great tips on how to 'beat stress'.
"Stress is defined as a response to a demand we are experiencing"
This can become a problem when; you find you are feeling overwhelmed a lot of the time; you spend most of your time trying to please other people and struggle with saying the word 'no'; you begin to overreact to small issues; your health and your family are suffering.
Read on for a few helpful tips, from Dr Cate Howell and Dr Michelle Murpy, to start the new year with.
Relaxation - Relaxation means different things to different people.  Relaxation can include slow breathing techniques or meditation, or active relaxation such as sport or exercise.  Think about what you find relaxing and build it into your day.  Some people relax by reading, having a massage or a hot bath, engaging in a hobby or getting in touch with nature by taking a walk in the park.
Do things you Value - We live in complex times and lead increasingly busy and demanding lives.  We want more and more, but know we can't have it all, at least not all at the same time!  With so much competing for our attention, we need to have clear priorities to be able to choose how we spend our precious time and energy.  What have been the most rewarding parts of your life so far?  What has brought you joy?  What has inspired you and what gives you meaning?  The answers to these questions should lead you to understand what you value the most.  If you prioritise these areas, you may feel less stressed as you are no longer spreading yourself too thin.
Connect with Family and Friends - Good social support can be a geat buffer against stress, so surround yourself with people who know how to relaxe and have fun.
Be in the Moment - A new movement known as 'mindfulness' emphasises the importance of being fully present at any given moment.  By fully engaging in the present, you are less likely to worry about the past or future.  You can also decrease your stress levels by choosing to take action in the present moment.  You have less control over the past of the future.
Use Humour - Simple ways to destress using humour include; watching a favourite comedy show, listening to what little kids say and trying to see the funny side of a situation.
Aim for a Health Lifestyle - Eating healthy foods and getting adequate sleep and regular exercise all assist in helping you cope with daily stressors.
Challenge your Negative Thoughts - Most people have automatic thinking habits that can be unhelpful - habits such as 'all or nothing' thinking, eg 'If I don't get full marks in this test, I'm a failure'.  You need to substitute these unhelpful thinking patterns with more helpful and realistic thoughts such as; 'I am an intelligent and valuable person, regardless of my test mark'.
Learn to say No - We often worry that people will not like us, or approve of us, if we don't agree to do what they want.  It's okay to say no, or to decline invitiations to do things for others that will be at the expense of yourself.  Most people will appreciate your clear boundaries and honesty.
Prioritise Yourself - You won't be of use to anyone if you're so stressed that you burn out.  Prioritise your own self-care to ensure you are able to take care of your loved ones.
Self Compassion - Take comfort in the knowledge that everyone feels stressed at some time and we are all in this together.  If you compare yourself to others and find yourself lacking, remember that you are not necessarily privy to the whole picture.  It is important to be kind and encouraging to yourself for all your efforts, regardless of the outcome.
We hope you found some helpful ideas to incorporate into your own life.
The seemingly simple act of making an appointment for a massage or a facial, is a major step in combating stress.  You are choosing to make time for yourself, no one else, and to replenish your own energy before helping others.
Contact us for more information on how we can help you create less stress and more balance in your life!

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