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Natural steps to reduce stress

In the modern world, it seems that stress, anxiety and depression are becoming more and more widespread.

Take a look at these common patterns, do you see yourself at all?

Feel overwhelmed by the pressures of modern living
Find it difficult to say no
Difficulty in setting and/or achieving your goals
Find it difficult to switch off at the end of the day
Have problems finding time for the things and people that really matter
Repeated procrastination
overrun by interruptions, emergencies and deadlines

If stress, depression or anxiety is taking over your life, then try these quick and easy tips to help you find relief.

Every week make sure you have something enjoyable to do and look forward to. It could be seeing a night out at the movies, or even just a night in relaxing completely.

As well as enjoying yourself, having something that you can look forward to helps the week along.

Try not to compare yourself to others who are apparently in a better or worse position than you. If people appear to have more possessions than you do, that’s OK it may be that they’re heavily in debt to be able to afford them. On the other side of the coin, don’t feel guilty if you are in a better position than others. You may see bad things on the news but Just accept that your circumstances are unrelated to others’ situations and address yourself only to matters that you can actually have some control over. What would be even better is rather than just feeling guilty about those who have less than you, why not join a voluntary association and do something about it? The satisfaction you get from knowing you have helped others will help to lift your mood.

Continually brooding about your problems is no use either. You need to “switch off” and forget them from time-to-time. This could be through a hobby that you enjoy, a movie (with a happy ending!) or just listen to some relaxing music. The perfect excuse to sing, dance or even play air-guitar. Don’t choose anything too heavy or emotional; that defeats the objective. Music is excellent for relieving stress, depression and anxiety, and it’s definitely a better tonic than watching TV.

Do you sometimes feel as if you’re ‘burnt out’? It’s a common problem in modern society. We do a full day’s work, and then may come home to DIY, housework, meal preparation, elderly parents and/or taxi duties for the children. Everyone knows it’s good to spend quality time with the family – but have you considered whether you’re spending quality time with YOU? At work, have at least a 20 minute break each day. At home, schedule periods of rest and relaxation into every day. It’s important for your mental and physical health. You’ll perform better and feel better.

Often feelings of depression are triggered by a sense of being in a rut, with the same pointless activities and routines day after day. This isn’t what life should be about.
Although some sense of security and predictability is helpful to reduce stress, new experiences and achievements give sparkle to life. Do something outside your comfort zone.

Take a course, learn a new skill – for instance a language or a musical instrument. Join a club, or go on an activity holiday – even just a long weekend break. These needn’t be expensive activities. Check in your local library, you’ll often find free activities that can just give you the change of scene you need.

If you apply the above tips as often as you can, perhaps even just one a day, you’ll soon see a big difference in the way you feel.

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