----------------------------------------------------
** Chill Out WHEN STRESSED - written by Dennis Tesdell**
------------------------------------------------------------
 
Life is full of stress. We experience it in our personal and our professional life daily. We see it on television and read about it in the newspapers and in magazines. We *integrate* it into our own minds when reading and watching even if we are not personally involved! Some of the *great* movies coming out have *considerable* stress in them, and we can come home from a a movie feeling tense or stressed as a result. Here are some time tested ways of calming down and creating some balance and inner silence and peace when times are stressful or when you are feeling stressed out and tense. Some of these, if practiced daily for life, can enhance your chances of preventing diseases, as well as adding great quality and peace to your personal and business life.

1. If Possible Leave The Situation.

Get some air. Go home if possible. Change your environment for awhile, even if for a few minutes. Give your body and mind a chance to burn off some of the adrenaline and other chemicals in your bloodstream which are causing you to feel tense or stressed or *hyper*. Take a break and eat a small snack.

2. Take A Nap Or Go To Sleep.

Sometimes, when stress from a crisis or severe situation is at a high level, we become so drained of emotional and physical energy that one of the best things we can do for ourselves is to rest for awhile and *recharge*. Humans are *not* Energizer Bunnies! A nap, where you can be in a quiet darkened place, or simply going to sleep for the nite or for awhile will not solve the problem, but it will decrease your stress level. You're not *chickening out* or running away. You are merely making it easier to work though the stressful situation at a later time with a stronger mind and body.

3. Take a Warm Bath/Shower.

Men favor showers...women usually baths. Warm water is very soothing and relaxing to tight and tense muscles, and to the mind. It also helps circulation, which will help speed getting rid of the lactic acid, adrenaline and other stress chemicals in your system. A long bath or shower, followed by a time out in an easy chair or nap without distraction, can do wonders.

4. Listen To Calming Affirmation Tapes/Music.

One of the very best ways to train your mind and body to calm down when you are stressed out is to listen to either subliminal relaxation music tapes (Louise Hay is a well known author of these) either at work or at home or in the car. The accompanying music alone is very relaxing also. The more you listen to them, the faster your "autogenic response" will be to relax you when you are feeling tense or stressed. The tapes also come in versions where the affirmations are heard and you can repeat them or hear them out loud. This is fine for home. Affirmations and music are one of the most powerful ways to change habits, and help our mind change the way we respond to the things that happen in the world as well as the things around which we might have chronic problems (illness, addictions, thought patterns, etc).

5. Learn And Practice Daily Meditation.

There are many books and tapes on the myriad types of meditation that can be easily learned and practiced daily to reduce stress and to put you in touch with your "higher self," which is totally calm and knows what is best for you. The tapes can be purchased online as well as the books through places like www.amazon.com. Studies have proven that daily self-relaxation or meditation 1-2 times a day for 20-30 minutes in the morning and afternoon or early evening *greatly* improves a person's wellness from a physical and emotional standpoint. It's cheap, it's not hard to learn, and it can save you mountains of stress and even illness in your life.

6. Watch A Humorous Video or Movie.

Here the idea is to distract and distract big time with some opposite emotions. It is impossible to feel amused/happy and stressed/unhappy at the same time! So rent a video, or go see a funny movie. This will take your mind off of the stress for awhile, it will allow the body to create *positive* chemicals to enhance your mood, and it will help you to think more clearly. Laughter is great medicine. It is all around us in many types and venues. Take advantage of it in tough times, and you will come out far ahead of the game.

7. Talk To A *Positive* Friend.

Sometimes talking something out with a person who will simply listen is very helpful. The one caveat here is to be sure the person is a person who will be accepting, compassionate, and positive with you. This means you do not want to discuss your stressful situation with a parent who you know from experience will probably give you a lecture, or with a person who themselves is very poor at handling stress. Pick a person who is solid and *balanced* and who cares for you and is an easy going and knowledgeable listener.

8. Exercise.

Right now you are saying you are already stressed out...why in the world would you want to do something MANY people find it difficult or a chore to do anyhow?! The reason is simple: it is both a diversion as well as a way to burn off those stress chemicals in your system. The exercise will also tire you abit, which will have a calmative affect. It will also create brain chemicals that are good for depression as well as pain and stress. Walking is one of the best exercises if you are not into or cannot do the more intense aerobic types of exercise. Walk and view nature and notice things and keep your focus on what you see, and don't ruminate or think about your problems during your exercising. You will feel energized later, calmer, and the stress will have dissipated greatly if you do 20-30 minutes of some form of exercise when you are stressed out as soon as you will *make the time* to do it.

9. Put Things In Perspective.

Unless you are dying, or a loved one is dying or has died, whatever is going on is *not* a life or death situation. Think about how important whatever is stressing you out will be in a week, a month, or a year from now. If it is on-going, think about ways to change your situation so you do not have the continual stress from it! Realize and *trust in* the old saying which goes, *This too, shall pass.* Most of the things people allow themselves to get worked up about in life are simply not worth the cost it takes. Unless what you are stressed/uptight about is a VERY serious matter, life is too short to allow it to make your mind and body feel so terrible! As another expression goes, *Don't sweat the small stuff*. (And it is almost all small stuff if you look at the *big picture*).

10. Ask For/Seek Out Professional Support-Help

If you have tried other things, and the stress is still *killing you* or you simply cannot get it out of your mind or body, seek out professional help from a counselor, a coach specializing in stress management, a pastor, or other trained professional. There are some times when we need to admit that while we may have all the answers inside of us, we cannot always access them alone without some guidance or help. There is no shame at all in seeking out help for any physical or emotional pain. In fact, it is the wise and sensible thing to do if you are not able to handle it yourself. Stress is like a perfect snowball rolling down a mountain. If left to roll, it will grow to huge proportions. Don't allow it to grow huge before you decide to get help with it if you cannot handle it yourself so that you are not suffering.


About the Author

This piece was originally submitted by Dennis R. Tesdell, profesional coach and author http://www.coachdt.com.