That depends on how important your health is to you. Knowing and practicing different ways to manage stress is a must today. Read more below.
If you want to manage stress, experience less stress and enjoy life, this article is for you. In this article, I reveal a useful stress management technique, 10 effective ways in managing stress and a number of top stress management techniques that just work great today.
Although a lot of different information is provided in this article, you may already know about this information but had forgotten about it. My hope is that this article will act as a refresher for that forgotten information and that you may also learn something as well.
If you suffer from stress or anxiety, my hope is that this website will provide you with additional options/techniques that help you to manage your stress or anxiety to empower you to enjoy life.
I am a real person who experiences stress and anxiety. I do not claim to know everything about stress or anxiety, far from it. I talk about various options/techniques which either I have found helpful or which I believe may be helpful to people who experience stress or anxiety.
A bit of Background
Hi there, I am David. I am the founder and owner of this website. I created this website so that I could help people manage their stress. Like a lot of people, I also experience stress and to be honest I also experience anxiety.
Over a period of time, I have learned a lot about stress and anxiety from the common person’s viewpoint and have come across different methods, techniques and ideas on how to manage stress. Some good, some okay and some crap. So I thought I would share with you what I have learned.
Effects Of Stress On The Body
I came across this great infographic showing nine areas of the human body affected by stress which shows the effects of stress on the body.
This infographic shows why stress management is so important.
I want to talk about effective ways to manage stress. I do not like a lot of theory and little or no practical stuff. I much prefer to learn about a technique quickly and put that technique into use straight away to see if it helps.
Some ideas like meditation require a regular time commitment and it may take some time to see the benefits of that. I recommend very strongly that you give meditation a decent chance.
There are a number of different meditation techniques. I have learned about and practiced a few of them, some I like and some I do not like as much and some I find quite hard to do.
If I had learned the meditation techniques that I find hard or the ones I do not like first, and then stopped doing meditation, I would have lost out in the long run. The meditation techniques that I like are helping me a lot. For me this is a time commitment every day ranging from 3 minutes to just over an hour most days, depending on what else is on.
Some techniques will naturally fall by the wayside and others will be kept. Some techniques require a regular time element and it is not always possible to spend as much time om those techniques due to other life commitments.
For instance, meditation is a great effective way to manage stress. There are many different meditation techniques out there, and you could spend anywhere from 3 minutes daily doing meditation to hours daily.
Building a 3 minute daily meditation practice is way more achievable than a meditation daily practice of hours. However doing it every day for a short period daily is more effective than doing longer periods most days or so the meditation people tell us.
10 Effective Ways To Manage Stress
- Slowing down – Do not be rushing all the time
- Keeping Calm – Techniques to help you in the heat of things
- Positive Mind-Set/Changing Your Mind – Reframing situations so that you manage stress
- Taking It Easy – So that you are ready for the more serious stuff
- Unplugging – Removing yourself so that you are not available online 24/7
- Enjoying Life/Having Fun – Enjoying fun activities is a great way to reduce stress for sure
- Breathing/Sleeping – Letting out a loud sigh when breathing out signals to your body to relax and getting the correct amounts of high quality sleep is a major preventive activity
- Relaxing – Practicing relaxation techniques is another great way to manage stress
- Outside Activities – Going for a decent walk on a regular basis in a natural safe and secure environment
- Meditation – Building a meditation practice has many long term benefits including stress relief
As you can see from the above list, a number of effective stress management techniques are free. You just need to add them to your daily routine. Easier said than done in real life.
I continue below with more ideas and approaches on top stress management techniques that just work GREAT today. I hope that you find this information useful and practical and helpful in your life.
Top Stress Management Techniques That Just Work GREAT Today
I have a keen interest in learning how to manage stress or anxiety. I am fiercely interested in any practical effective stress management techniques. Over time I have picked up a number of mostly simple practical effective stress management techniques which you may also find helpful. If so, that is great. 🙂
If you are looking for my Top Stress Management Techniques That Work GREAT Today (Most Are Immediately Actionable), than you are in the right place.
These stress management techniques are not in any particular order and there may be some duplication as not all of these are clearly separated from each other.
Another thing to keep in mind is that not all of these techniques are equal. Some of the best stress management techniques in my opinion, are the ones that are extremely easy and simple to actually do, once you are aware of them and give yourself the time to do them.
A lot of these stress management techniques may also be considered as anxiety techniques as well. A good percentage of them may be considered as good general life techniques as well. So the potential benefits are spread into a number of potential areas of your life which is also good.
Use the word “prefer” instead of “must” in your silent thinking to yourself
The concept is to think in a slightly different way. Often, people say to themselves, “I must do x”. This in turn is making a demand of you that you think must be met, no matter what. This in turn is putting unnecessary pressure on yourself. By changing the words used silently in your thinking to “I prefer to do x”, it removes the demand and part of your thinking becomes “if x is not done, no big deal” and this approach can work. Using this “different switch” can help.
From personal experience, I can say that this technique does work on occasion. Why not give it a go and see if it works for you?
Where can I Educate Myself On This “Prefer” Concept?
You can do what I did and read the book Anxiety And Panic: How To Reshape Your Anxious Mind And Brain by Dr Harry Barry. I found that some of the things that he discussed in the book to be helpful on my stress, anxiety and panic attacks journey. This includes a discussion on this “Prefer” concept. Read my review of the Anxiety And Panic: How To Reshape Your Anxious Mind And Brain book by Dr Harry Barry.
Back to the technique of using the word “prefer” instead of “must” in your silent thinking to yourself, from my experience, I can say that this technique does work on occasion. Why not give it a go and see if it works for you?
Ask Yourself “Will this be important in 5 years time?”
This is one particular concept that I personally find useful. This was something I was aware off, however was not aware that it could be used as a stress management technique. Once I became aware that it could be used as a stress management technique, I have used it on a number of occasions and find that it is effective. Hopefully you will too.
A quote from Catherine Pulsifer
“When you find yourself stressed, ask yourself one question: Will this matter in 5 years from now? If yes, then do something about the situation. If no, then let it go.” by Catherine Pulsifer
I find that the concept behind this quote is mind-blowing. If something or someone is annoying you in such a way that you are becoming stressed, than just simply say to yourself something like the above question, for example “Is this really important, 5 years from you?” Quite often, if not always, you will find that the answer is “No”. When you do, see what happens to your stress levels. I find that they drop down a lot. Hopefully you will too.
Of course, if the answer is “Yes”, then like Catherine Pulsifer suggests, “then do something about the situation.”
This is a very simple and effective technique to manage your stress levels. Realising that this great helpful technique can be used as a method to manage stress and reduce stress is very useful on a practical level.
You might like me, have been aware of this concept however just didn’t put it into use. Once you are aware of it very deliberately and very intentionally, you may find that you start to use this concept very much on purpose, and in the process, it may also help your stress levels go down.
Asking yourself “Will this be important in 5 years time?” in your silent thinking to yourself can be a very useful question to ask. If you remember to do this whenever you are feeling stressed or anxious, you may find that it helps you more often than not, and that is why it is such a great approach.
The technique is that whenever you are feeling stressed or anxious is to ask yourself silently the question “Will this be important in 5 years time?”
Many times when you ask yourself this great question the answer is No. If so, silently say to yourself “Oh, this is not important. Moving on” and move on.
If the answer is Yes, determine what you can do about this right now. You might need to give yourself some time, so deciding to think more about this when you have some time might be a good approach. Decide to allot some time to look at this in more detail and actually do this at the assigned date and time is a great idea.
From personal experience, I can say that this technique does work on occasion. Why not give it a go and see if it works for you?
You know now that when you get into a stressful or anxious situation, that asking yourself silently the “Will this be important in 5 years time?” question may reduce the stress or the anxiety. If so, great.
This is a very simple and effective technique. You might like me, have been aware of this concept however just didn’t put it into use in this way. Once you are aware of it very deliberately and very intentionally, you may find that you start to use this concept very much on purpose, and in the process, it may also help your stress levels or anxiety levels go down.
An interesting variation of this, is that instead of using a 5 year period is to use a 1 year period. So the variation is that instead of asking yourself silently “Will this be important in 5 years time?”, you ask yourself silently “Will this be important in 1 years time?”
I do think that the longer time period is better. I find it way quicker to dismiss something as not important if I silently say to myself “Will this be important in 5 years time?”. When I change this to a year away, I find myself taking longer to dismiss it as not important.
My take is simple, whatever time period works for you. If you do not have a preference, I think you should like me, opt for 5 years.
From personal experience, I can say that this technique does work on occasion. Why not give it a go and see if it works for you?
Interrupt A Thought Process
This technique is to interrupt an internal thought process when it goes astray. The more technical term is to interrupt the CBT Cycle. In a nutshell, the technique is to understand the CBT Cycle and how it works.
CBT is short for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. It shows that our thoughts influence our feelings which in turn affects our behaviour, and the cycle continues.
Knowing this, to interrupt the CBT cycle with positive affirmations helps to reduce the stress or anxious levels.
For instance a “bad” CBT cycle might look like this: The thought is “I’m unwell” which could lead to an “anxious” feeling which could lead to a “go into myself” behaviour and so the CBT cycle continues in a downward direction
A “good” cycle might look like this: The thought is “I’m doing OK” which could lead to an “upbeat” feeling which could lead to “making choices” behaviour and so the CBT cycle continues in an upward direction which is good for reducing stress or anxiety. This is good for life in general.
One good practice when you have some time is to repeat silently to yourself positive affirmations that are applicable in your case and that can help create good feelings. I find repeating silently to myself one or two or three positive affirmations is helpful. Examples include “I’m doing OK”, “I’m doing fine” and “I have things to work on”.
Repeating them silently to yourself in a safe secure place where you do not need to be 100% focused on another activity and you do not need to be 100% alert is a good idea. Therefore, do not do this when driving a car or operating machinery or anything similar. A great place to do this is your bedroom.
It is important to realise that “not great thoughts” can come and go. This is normal. The trick is to acknowledge them and go back to what you were doing before hand. I know that this is easier said than done.
It is also important to realise that if emotions are involved here that it is extremely important for them to be processed properly. Ignoring “bad” emotions is not recommended. It may be ok to ignore “bad” emotions in the short term, however do not allow them to “stay” without “processing” them properly. I discuss this in more detail in another of my articles at this website.
Also do not personalise the emotion. For example, do not think silently “I am anxious” however to think silently “ah, there is that anxious feeling”. And then to focus your attention back to what you were doing. This concept is also used in meditation, which is another great technique.
If you find that repeating silently certain affirmations makes you feel worst instead of better, that may be a hint for you to revise that affirmation or at least to drop it for the moment. You need to be kind to yourself.
Make sure that the affirmation does not have a “must” in it, but rather a “prefer”. For example, saying “I must be well” to yourself when you and your body know that this is not realistic puts more pressure on yourself. Instead saying “I prefer to be well” is a better affirmation in this case, in my opinion.
You might have noticed that this point, using the word “prefer” instead of “must” was already discussed above.
Another option is to use the word “choose”. For example “I choose to be well”. There is no hard and fast rule. Just see which one resonates with you the most and which one makes more sense to you. You might find yourself using both. That is ok, as there is no hard and fast rule.
From personal experience, I can say that this technique helps on occasions. Why not give it a go and see if it helps for you?
Do Regular Daily Brisk Walks (if possible)
This technique is to do regular daily brisk walks (if possible), ideally in the countryside. The actual physical movement of walking is one of the things that is good for you here. And if the walk happens in the countryside where there is a lot of nature and a lot of green that is also good for you.
The technique is that walking briskly on a daily basis for between 20 minutes and 60 minutes, ideally in the countryside has a number of health related benefits, including reducing stress and uplifting mood.
The effect is cumulative, although regular daily walking is encouraged when possible. Of course, if the weather is not great, it may be smarter not to go for the walk. In this case, read a book that you enjoy reading. And of course, if you are not fit enough to walk, it would be smarter not to go for the walk. Maybe, in that case, read a book.
From personal experience, I can say that this technique does work. Why not give it a go and see if it works for you?
I read somewhere that for each ten minutes of brisk walking you do, that can help to keep you in an “upbeat mood” for two hours. So a 40 minute brisk walk would help to keep your mood up for eight hours.
Going for daily brisk walks is a good idea as long as the conditions are suitable. Conditions include being up for it, both physically and mentally as well as the environmental conditions (for example, physical location, weather, suitable clothing, etc).
Remind Your Body To Relax
This technique is to tell your body to relax. This uses a very simple process so you should be able to do this. The trick then is to remember to do it a few times every day. By so doing, you help yourself to ‘recharge’ which is always good.
The technique is to use a very simple technique, and is to let out a loud sigh. When you are alone, if you let out a loud sigh when breathing out that signals to your body to relax. You breathe in through your nose, and you breathe out through your mouth. When breathing out, let out a loud sigh. If you do this, 3 to 5 times, hopefully you will feel your body starting to relax. Doing this for 3 to 5 times, will take you about a minute, depending on your pace. You do this at your own pace.
Do the breathing in and out at a pace that is comfortable for you. Doing this for 3 – 5 minutes can be effective and if you can do this at least once very day, you will see for yourself if this is one that works for you.
There are two main ways to do this. You can simply count your breaths up to a number determined by you at the start, no more than 3 to 5 times. Or use a “timer countdown” function on a smartphone, timed for a minute or so.
Be careful if you do this for too long, you will feel sleepy. A lot of meditation sessions will do this for a minute or so at the start of the session and then revert the breathing process back to its normal pattern before continuing on with the meditation session.
If you are in company, you can do this without letting out the loud sigh. In which case, you let out a silent sigh while imagining letting out a loud sigh. Just be careful, that you do not let out a loud sigh, otherwise people will wonder what is going on. 🙂
And of course, you do this technique when it is safe to do so.
From personal experience, I can say that this technique does work. Why not give it a go and see if it works for you?
Stress is a part of modern living. There are different types of stress. Here I am talking about emotional stress. Emotional stress can bring about physical problems as well. It is important for you to keep your stress levels as low as possible, and only for your stress levels to raise should it be necessary.
It is also important to understand that different people experience stress in different ways. What stresses one person out may not even register with another person. Stress may also affect people at different phases of their lives in different ways. Different factors may also be present. A number of smallish problems with terrible timing can make for stressful situations, whereas those same smallish problems at another time wouldn’t be so stressful.
Fight, freeze or fright
You might have heard of the “fight, freeze or fright” response and that this is driven by your amygdala. This is the “stress box” component of your brain. As soon as the “stress box” detects trouble, it goes on “high alert” and instructs your brain to prepare for “trouble”. The issue is that your “stress box” can keep you in this high state of alertness for some time, when the trouble is relatively speaking, minor. This “stress box” served us humans very well when we noticed that a tiger might enjoy us for his dinner. It also serves us well today when we notice a bus heading straight for us, and gives us the added resources to get out of the way of the bus as quickly as possible.
Breathing fast and shallow when stressed
When we are stressed, we sometimes breathe fast and shallow. This is to give us much-needed resources for the “fight, freeze or fright” response. By breathing fast and shallow, it can make it harder for our brains to become relaxed. The brain may see the breathing fast and shallow thing and does not “believe” us when we say silently “relax, there is no issue here”. However, if you can breathe slower and deeper, it sees that and is more likely to at least believe “there is no issue here”.
Meditation usually has a breathing slow and deep component
One usual component of meditation is breathing in a more relaxed and deep manner. A lot of the guided meditation sessions I have done include instructions on breathing at the start of the meditation process. This is to help with the relaxation process and this also helps to reduce stress as well. By doing different guided meditation sessions for stress, you will find that you resonate with some of them more than others for your own personal reasons.
By doing guided meditation sessions online, I find that I can practice different components of them at different parts of my day. If I am waiting for something in a queue, I use that time to breathe slowly and deeply on purpose. This helps me. Some other meditation components also helps me.
There is a meditation technique called “Loving Kindness”. If I am driving and struck in traffic, I find that thinking silently “May that driver in that car over there have a good day” type of though is useful. Some of these components are learned during different guided meditation sessions for stress, so I begin to use the ones I like in other areas of my life.
Learning how to meditate to reduce stress
One way to help reduce stress is to do meditation. Meditation itself is a huge topic. There are different meditation techniques out there. One author indicated that he experimented with over 80 different styles of meditation.
Now I assume that you would find it useful and of benefit to just do a guided meditation for stress relief by listening to applicable audios via an online App. For this reason, I think that one great idea is to do free guided meditation for stress relief in the comfort of your own home or wherever you find useful and where you are connected to the online world.
Free Guided Meditation For Stress
I found that a really great free guided meditation for stress app for your smartphone or your tablet is the very popular Insight Timer App. They have a very large collection of guided meditation sessions which you can access online within their App that are supplied by many meditation teachers. These guided meditation sessions cover a number of related topics, for example stress, anxiety and the like.
To learn more about the Insight Timer App, continue reading. I include some additional information about meditation because it is such a huge subject. Access to the online meditation sessions is free via the Insight Timer App. There are additional completely optional features which attract charges, however access to the online meditation sessions is totally free via the App which the founders of the App have indicated will remain so for the foreseeable future.
Using free guided meditation for stress relief is a great way to learn about meditation initially. Meditation is potentially a life long skill with potentially a lot of life long benefits should you continue doing meditation every day for the rest of your life. If you do a few free guided meditation sessions, you may find yourself doing some techniques you learn in other areas of your life. This is a great “win win” type of situation, learning something that can be used in your life in different ways.
Of course, there are other meditation related Apps out there. However I have used and am using the Insight Timer App from my own personal experience. I just happen to find that it does the “trick” for me. It may also very well do the “trick” for you as well. 🙂 🙂 I also talk about the Headspace App as well. It is good in my opinion, however Insight Timer is way better in my opinion.
Meditation is a huge subject
There are many different meditation techniques. My experience of meditation is that it is a process used to help calm the mind, and in so doing, gives you that additional space and time to help.
During the meditation process, the person doing the meditation is trying to keep their attention on a main focal point. For example, this could be focusing on their breathing. By focusing their attention on their main focal point, their attention is not drawn to other things. This of course, is easier said than done. When the individual realizes that their attention has drifted away from their main focal point, they are to return to their main focal point. It is important that before going back to the main focal point that the person doing the meditation does not “beat themselves up” for letting their thoughts drift. It is normal and kind of expected that the person doing the meditation will drift to something else apart from the main focal point. When they do, the person simply acknowledges that they drifted and return back to the main focal point in a calm and relaxed manner.
Meditation may be used to reduce stress which is why we are interested in it here. There are many different meditation techniques. Here, I will focus in on one extremely simple approach which you will be able to do yourself, seconds after reading this.
- Sit comfortably
- Breathe naturally
- Follow the sensation associated with breathing in and breathing out
- Let tension out with every out breathe
- When your notice your mind wandering and it will, return to your breath
The main idea is to do this for a set period of time, starting with two minutes and performing a few times every day. You can use a timer countdown device to do this. Most smartphones come with a timer countdown function.
You can increase the amount of time from two minutes over time to longer periods. Increasing it by one minute per week is one approach, until you have got it up to your target amount of time.
Meditation has loads of benefits. This very brief post just focuses on some of the benefits that are health related. Meditation has a number of different benefits on health. Some of these benefits are listed below.
The Benefits Of Meditation On Health Includes A Healthier Body
The following are some of the benefits of meditation on health.
- Improves immune system
- Improves energy level
- Improves breathing
- Improves heart rates
- Reduces blood pressure
- More longevity
- Lessens heart problems
- Lessens brain problems
- Lessens inflammatory disorders
- Lessens asthma
Doing Daily Meditation Can Help You To Reduce Your Stress
One of the benefits of daily meditation is that it may help you to reduce your stress levels.
From personal experience, I can say that meditation does help. However it is important to do meditation with no expectations. Why not give it a go and see if it works for you?
Use The Popular Insight Timer App
I have been using this brilliant meditation popular app myself since October 2016 and highly recommend it. It is a top rated free meditation app on both the Android and iOS stores.
I do suggest that you use their free version to see if this is for you. If it is, know that you can stay on their free version for ever or you can upgrade to their premium paid version. I myself used their free version for quite some time before opting for the premium version. Both versions are excellent.
Even if you do not experience stress or anxiety, you may find the Insight Timer App to be helpful in your life. They have thousands of different meditations of varying lengths by many different meditation teachers. They also have a number of musical tracks as well.
This is a great handy app for empowering you to do meditation related tasks at anytime. The app can operate in offline mode for some of its functions. They have thousands of different guided meditation sessions covering a large number of topics within the meditation arena, including stress and anxiety.
The App is an application that runs on compatible smartphones on Android and on iOS that empower people to learn about meditation, do meditation, document their meditation progress, perform various countdown functions, do guided meditation sessions online and do unguided meditation sessions along with other functionally within the App itself.
Why I Think The Insight Timer App Is Good
Here are some of the ways that I use this App as a tool to help me. For instance:
- I enjoy the timer aspect of the App. Different timers can be customised with different options. For example, how long in minutes, any background noises, any interval bells, the sound of the starting bell and the sound of the ending bell are some of the attributes that can be customised.
- I enjoy different guided meditation sessions that are available. There are many thousands of different guided meditation sessions/recordings available within the Insight Timer App which were and are developed by thousands of different meditation guides.
- I note any meditation sessions that I done outside of using this App, so that all of my meditation times are noted in this App. I find this useful and helps motivate me to do meditation every day. This is good. I have done meditation for hundreds of consecutive days now, so I am unlikely to miss a day now.
- I listen to different talks by different people about different meditation subjects.
My Real World Experience in Using The Insight Timer App
I have been using this App every consecutive day since October 2016.
I use it to note my meditation sessions, using any of the available ways to meditate using the App. For any meditation sessions I do not using the App, I can note those times within the App. I also do some of the many thousand different guided meditation sessions/recordings available online on the App on a regular basis.
I also do some of the Insight Timer Courses. This is included in the premium version, not the free version. The free version and the premium version does give you access to a 7 session/day Insight Timer Course that teaches you how to meditate. One session is supposed to be done daily, however you can do as many sessions in a day that you like. And you can actually do multiple Insight Timer Courses at the same time. More about this later.
I have a number of pre-set timer profiles setup and use the one that I want to do now. The nearby screen capture shows a 3 minute countdown, that sounds a bell every minute. I have configured this countdown to have no ambient sound and to use an ending bell when the 3 minutes is up.
I configured this particular pre-set for my personal use within the Insight Timer App to do a meditation technique called The Three Minute Breathing Space that involves three separate one minute mini meditations in the one session with my eyes closed. I need to know when to switch from one mini meditation to the next, so that is why I have the bell going off every minute in that meditation session. This is just one of the many ways I use this App.
Success using the Insight Timer App
Like a lot of people, I experience stress and anxiety. I also have experienced panic attacks, migraine headaches and have a heart condition. One of my brothers suggested back in October 2016 that I should look at doing meditation. At that stage, he had been doing meditation himself for about 4 months.
He pointed me to Headspace, another online meditation solution, which I have also used on and off over the past while since then. I no longer use Headspace as I feel that the Insight Timer App is way better for a number of reasons.
In my opinion, Headspace is good however the Insight Timer App is way better. I explain why I am of this opinion later on in this article.
I decided to give meditation a go as I felt that it could help me on the health front and I also felt that it would be useful and beneficial. Beside which, I discovered that meditation has a lot of potential benefits which I did not want to miss out on.
I took advantage of the offer by Headspace to learn and do my meditation sessions on their platform. I did this because one of my brothers suggested it as he uses them and finds them helpful. They also they had a free trial period at the time.
I had heard that there are quite a few different meditation techniques, so I wanted to learn a few of them quickly so that I could continue with the techniques that I like best and discard any I do not like.
If you learn a meditation technique that you do not like as your very first introduction or early introduction to meditation, there is a risk that you will not like it and so you stop doing meditation. I do not resonate with some meditation techniques as I just don’t like them, so I am glad that I know other meditation techniques which resonate with me and which I enjoy.
The Insight Timer App has a number of different functions, one of them is a countdown function which you can configure yourself. I have setup a number of different countdown options based on the length of the countdown, sound options, how often to make sounds, and so on and so forth.
Some of the meditation techniques involve doing tasks on a timed basis with your eyes closed. For example for one minute do this, for the next minute do that and for the third minute do something else. Well, to do this, you need some sort of timer.
This is the sort of thing where you can use the Insight Timer App countdown function. When you do meditation counting down from say 3 minutes, you need an alarm, for example a low sounding bell, to go off when that time is up, otherwise you never end! The Insight Timer App countdown function does this brilliantly.
Of course, I used the countdown timer function on my cell phone initially. It made me jump at the end of the meditation session when its alarm goes off, not exactly what I was aiming for!
The countdown timer function on my cell phone only has a “total” countdown function. It is not able to countdown for one minute, then another minute then another minute.
If my cell phone or smartphone is in silent mode, it flashes when the countdown is complete, but with my eyes closed during meditation, I would not see that!
Again, not exactly what I was aiming for!
So I had a bit of a problem. I needed a solution that was simple, workable and practical. And that was also cost effective!
The countdown function within the Insight Timer looked like such a solution. It turned out that the Insight Timer countdown function works in a way I like and so I have been using it since October 2016.
As well as that, each time you note meditation sessions using that App or do meditation sessions using that App, it notes that information. Those statistics can be retrieved and you can view that information.
I captured the nearby screenshot a while back. At that time I had done meditation every single day for 650 consecutive days in a row, with an average time of meditation of 27 minutes each day. I use these type of statistics to remind me to keep doing meditation every day!
What is the Insight Timer App?
The Insight Timer App is an application that runs on compatible smartphones on Android and on iOS that empower people to learn about meditation, do meditation, document their meditation progress, perform various countdown functions, do guided meditation sessions online and do unguided meditation sessions along with other functionally within the App itself.
This is a great handy app for empowering you to do meditation related tasks at anytime. The app can operate in offline mode for some of its functions.
I connect my smartphone using WiFi connected to a router which in turn is connected to the internet. I then use the Insight Timer App on my smartphone to select and listen to their guided meditation session online and this works very well for me.
The App itself has a number of features which I find very useful to help me to manage my stress and anxiety.
Who Is This For?
This is for anyone interested in learning more about meditation or interested in recording their meditation sessions or interested in listening to guided meditation sessions.
How Is This Helping Me?
This helps me in a number of ways. I can do guided meditation sessions using the App. I can do unguided meditation sessions using the Timer countdown function inside of the App. The number of guided meditations available is quite large and covers a large range of topics relating to meditation.
It helps me to keep my current meditation streak active. In meditation “speak”, the meditation streak refers to the number of consecutive days that a person has done meditation in a row.
What Do I Like?
- Simple to use.
- Timer Countdown function is great.
- It is free. Note that chargeable things are being added.
- The “My progress” section within the App shows some interesting statistical information showing progress over time.
- There are always more meditation sessions/recordings to listen to.
- Bookmark favourites.
- There are thousands of guided meditation sessions/recordings available.
- There are thousands of meditation teachers and musicians adding applicable guided meditation sessions/recordings and other great content.
What Do I Not Like?
- Updating the App takes some time every time that an update is available.
- When doing online guided meditations, on occasion the sound has to be turned up or down. There does not seem to be a standard sound level that is the same level across all online guided meditations. This can also happen with different meditation sessions/recordings developed by the same meditation guide. This is more a minor inconvenience rather than anything else.
- Some of the recordings/approaches/courses actually increase the level of noticeable stress or anxiety as these emotions can come to the surface using these recordings/approaches/courses. The logic I believe is that once these come to the surface it is easier to deal with them. That has not been my experience.
Learn Meditation Using This
There are a number of different ways to learn how to meditate using the Insight Timer App.
A recent offering within the App is a new seven day course. The course is called Learn How To Meditate In Seven Days and it is currently free within this App. Each of these lessons with a guided meditation session lasts about 10 to 12 minutes per day for each of the seven days.
Although I do not consider myself as a meditation beginner or as a meditation guru I actually started this course recently. I learned something new. I think that it is important to expose yourself to different meditation approaches, so that you are better able to determine which approaches work best for you.
If you are a meditation beginner or not yet a meditation guru, I suggest that you download the Insight Timer App and start this course.
This option within the Insight Timer App was not there when I started learning meditation back in October 2016 as this is new. I suggest the following approach:
Get the Insight Timer App. Begin the free seven day course within the App to learn about meditation. This is about 10 to 12 minutes per day. You know pretty quick if you like it or not.
You can always do any number of the guided meditation sessions/recordings online within the Insight Timer App. There are thousands of them to select from, so you should find some that you like.
Why Is It Free?
“At Insight Timer we believe everyone deserves access to a free meditation practice. That’s why we offer the largest library of guided meditations on earth for free, and the world’s most loved meditation Timer, for free. You can meditate for as long as you want on Insight Timer without ever paying a cent.”
Source: Insight Timer App within the “Learn why we’re free” section in late July 2018.
They have a few optional paid features which are completely optional:
1. Insight Premium which covers offline mode, high quality audio and their advanced audio player.
2. Insight Courses which are more in-depth multi session courses. This is discussed further on in more depth later on.
In my opinion, the premium version is well worth it. However I recommend that you use the free version until you are ready to use the premium version. You can remain on the free version for ever.
Insight Timer have make the following commitment:
“If you’re someone who isn’t interested in our paid features, you remain a loved member of community with free lifetime access to 10,000 guided meditations, 2,000 teachers and our Timer. That’s been our commitment from Day 1, and will remain so forever.”
Source: Insight Timer App within the “Learn why we’re free” section in late July 2018.
I expect that over time that some of the information may change however I expect never to have to pay for the lifetime access to thousands of online guided meditation sessions/recordings developed by thousands of different meditation guides and the Insight Timer App.
In-Depth Multi Session Insight Timer Courses
Starting in 2018 they have started to create In-Depth Multi Session Insight Timer Courses. I have done a few of them, so I can comment on how I found those courses. These courses are designed and provided by different teachers within the Insight Timer platform. These are usually 10 sessions or 30 sessions however the number of actual sessions can vary.
These courses are divided up into 10 to 15 minute sessions where people are supposed to do daily. Doing it quicker or slower is totally up to you. The information is provided as an on-line audio lecture/discussion where the meditation guide provides more information about the subject matter.
The subject matter could include more introductory detail about some life improvement topic. When using the App itself to search for guided meditation sessions, if the meditation guide of that guided meditation session has developed one of these In-depth multi session Insight Timer course, the course image and title are displayed as a link.
The seven day Learn How To Meditate In Seven Days Insight Timer course is an example of one of these courses. Note that at the time of writing this, this was free within the App.
The premium In-depth Insight Timer courses that I am aware of within the App consist of 7 or 10 or 11 or 30 sessions. Other courses may have different number of sessions. Each session usually lasts 10 to 15 minutes for the audio component which is an on-line audio lecture/discussion where the meditation guide provides more information about the subject matter. One great advantage is that you can rewind or forward this audio component. I find this very useful and would be lost without it!
Some of the sessions involve doing ‘homework’ which are designed to help you understand the subject matter better and get additional benefit from doing the course. Whether you do the ‘homework’ or not is totally up to you.
Insight Timer and Headspace
I mentioned earlier, that in my opinion, Headspace is good however the Insight Timer App is way better.
Between October 2016 and October 2018, I used Headspace on and off. I no longer use it as I feel that they limit you in what you can do with your meditation practice. Headspace use the same meditator all of the time in all of their meditation sessions for all of their meditation packs.
This guy does a good job and has a good calm strong voice. Headspace use the concept of packs, which are split up into single packs or 10 day packs or 30 day packs. These packs cover different topics, for example, stress is one, and anxiety is another. They have many other packs and are always adding additional recordings.
Each meditation session recording is different for each of those days within a pack, sometimes the differences are very minor, sometimes minor and sometimes not so minor. I feel that when the differences are very minor per day that the instruction should be to repeat a certain recording for a few days in a row, rather than having a larger number of recordings with very minor differences between them.
If you miss doing at least one daily meditation session in Headspace, your meditation streak (in meditation “speak”, a meditation streak is the number of consecutive days in a row that you have done meditation) goes back to one when you complete another Headspace meditation session. However you lose the number of days that you have done meditation up to this point information. This may or may not be important to you.
Technically you could have done a meditation session that day, just not using Headspace.
In my opinion, your meditation streak is the number of consecutive days in a row you have done meditation, not the number of number of days that you have used Headspace to do your meditation.
With the Insight Timer App, you can see the current consecutive days and your best consecutive days as noted in the nearby screen shot, that I captured earlier when I was using the Insight Timer App.
It is important to me to know these statistics. I use these statistics to empower me to do meditation every day. I find them helpful.
I no longer use Headspace as I feel that the Insight Timer App is way better for a number of reasons:
1. It is possible to use the Insight Timer App for nothing. With Headspace, after the initial trial period is up, you have to subscribe to continue.
2. With Headspace, all of your meditation sessions are effectively guided. You do not have the option using Headspace to follow an unguided meditation session. With the Insight Timer App, you can do both guided meditation sessions and unguided meditation sessions. Also with the Insight Timer App, you can add additional information about other times you have done meditation not using the App.
3. When I was using Headspace, I was using my laptop. In order to do a meditation session I had to be online as all of their meditation sessions are guided meditation sessions. With the Insight Timer App, I can do meditation sessions offline. I use the Countdown Timer function within the Insight Timer App to do this. These are noted when I am offline, then when I am online, I can synch this data so that my meditation history is updated.
4. With the Insight Timer App, there is a function that allows you to add any meditation sessions manually. You might have listened to a meditation session on your laptop and need to add this information to your meditation history to add to your meditation streak. Headspace does not recognise non Headspace meditations as adding to your meditation streak within Headspace.
You might do meditation sessions from other sources and need to note your meditation sessions in one place. I really like this idea of being able to add this information manually: Date, time and length of these meditation sessions that were done outside of the App.
5. With the Insight Timer App, you have access to thousands of different online free guided meditation sessions/recordings. These also include music tracks, talks and courses that are provided by thousands of different meditation guides, that is meditation teachers and musicians. So you have variety between different people and a wide range of topics. With Headspace, all of their guided meditation sessions are done by one man.
In conclusion, my comparison between Headspace and the Insight Timer App shows a number of differences. I think that it is possible if someone uses Headspace first, subscribes, starts paying the regular recurring fee and only uses Headspace as their source for meditation that that would work for them.
If you are using Headspace and not yet using the Insight Timer App, I would suggest that you give the Insight Timer App a go and see if you can include it in your meditation practice.
The Headspace solution is good in my opinion. However once you become aware of the Insight Timer App and the functionally within that, that is in my opinion, a much better solution. The more time I spend using the Insight Timer App the more grateful I am.
Where To Learn More About Insight Timer App?
For me and my experience so far with the Insight Timer App, I find that this is a brilliant tool that helps me to maintain my meditation daily habit. It also helps me to expand my meditation practice in different ways.
There are a number of different ways to use this App. I found that for the first 18 months that I had this App, that I was mainly using the Timer function inside of the App to record my sessions and how long that they last. I learned when starting meditation that it is a great idea to try to do meditation every day, and this App helped me to do that so far.
After about month 18 I started to also listen a lot more to the guided meditation sessions that the App gives me access to. I am enjoying looking up, selecting and doing those guided meditation sessions. I am enjoying these. I am starting to build up my list of favourite guided meditations along with a list of favourite teachers.
I find with some of the guided meditation sessions that I listen to using the Insight Timer App that I gain additional insights. Pun not intended. 🙂
You might start using the Insight Timer App yourself one way and find that over time that you actually use it in different ways, like I am. The thing to bear in mind is to use it in the way that helps you and that you enjoy the experiences and find them of benefit. Otherwise, why bother?
Learn more about the Insight Timer Meditation App which is highly recommended at the Insight Timer website. Insight Timer do not use affiliates so I do not earn from them should you ever buy from them. 😞
I provide this link as I think that their offering is very useful to people who experience stress or anxiety from time to time. 😃
From personal experience, I can say that the Insight Timer App is helping me. Why not give it a go and see if it works for you?
I find that I learn things best by using a number of different routes. I learnt and continue to learn about meditation using books as well as the Insight Timer App. I find that one reinforces the other.
For me, the Practical Meditation book is one such book. This book is a practical book as well as a reference book. It contains a lot of illustrations which help to convey the concepts and ideas across to me really well. I found that the topics discussed in the book to be really helpful on my meditation journey.
From personal experience, I can say that the Insight Timer App and the Practical Meditation book is helping me with my stress and anxiety. Why not give it a go and see if it works for you?
Consume Enough Water
This technique 7 is so simple but so important that it can get overlooked by accident, especially on days when people are really busy.
The technique is simple: Make sure you consume enough water. This is based on the fact that drinking enough water every day is important to your health and your overall well-being. If you do not drink enough water and get dehydrated, it can cause problems.
It is important to understand the following process:
Stress is known to cause dehydration. Dehydration is known to cause stress. Stress is known to cause dehydration.
The undesirable endless horrible loop has started. There is one way out of this endless loop and that is simply to consume more water on a daily basis.
Also, dehydration can make you heart start racing or make you feel lightheaded or dizzy. These physical events are also quite common in panic attacks or in anxiety attacks, so you might feel anxious or panicky because you are dehydrated. Consuming more water on a daily basis, helps to keep dehydration away and hopefully prevent these “false anxious feelings” from arising in the first place.
No way do you want a “panic attack” because you are “feeling a bit dizzy” because you are dehydrated which caused your mind to misread the situation “oh oh, looks like the start of a panic attack” and turn into a “full blown panic attack” which is very real and horrible should you experience it.
Recommended daily intakes of water depends on a number of different variables. Location and current weather being two of those variables. You might have to talk to a medical professional in your area to determine the amount of water you should consume each day based on the variables that affect you. And based on the changing variables that may affect you over the different seasons when there are usually different weather patterns.
From personal experience, I can say that this technique makes sense. I am happy enough to drink more water if it helps. Drinking some usually involves a “change of scenery” as I usually have to go to the kitchen to get the water which is also good. Why not give it a go and see if it works for you?
Go To The Seaside
This technique is to go to the seaside. This is a fairly simple technique which if you are near to the seaside is pretty easy to do. 🙂
If you are not, it does require some effort. 🙂
I remember growing up, and every so often, you hear that someone’s doctor recommended that they go to the seaside and I would wonder why. It turns out that being by the seaside may help to reduce stress levels. This is for a number of reasons.
People say that “sea air is good for you”. Well, any time I have been to the seaside I would have to agree with this. I have noticed that it also tends to be “fresher”. Then there is also the sound of the waves against the beach. This is usually relaxing, and is the same sound again and again. This helps to reduce stress.
I also find that if I go for a walk along the beach, that I would end up walking for longer than I had initially planned. Being at the seaside may be less stressful because there is hopefully this ‘blue’ natural stuff; the color of the sea and the color of the sky. The sea is a natural environment, there is a great feeling of open space, and there is that fresh air. The sound of the waves against the beach is also a sound that helps to reduce stress.
People also usually associate happy relaxing good times with being at the seaside which is all good.
I also suggest taking some photographs of what you see at the seaside taking in all this wonder, so that you can relive your visit to the seaside by looking at your photographs.
I would suggest that if it is practicable for you, to put your smart phone or your mobile phone or your cell phone off, or at least put it in ‘silent mode’. You are at the seaside for you, and you need your ‘alone time’ in order to recharge yourself. If you end up answering your phone, you are not going to get this time to recharge yourself.
From personal experience, I can say that this technique does work. Why not give it a go and see if it works for you?
Do Regular “Brain-Dumps”
This technique is to do regular “brain-dumps” and have a process that processes what comes up in the “brain-dump”.
This is an interesting technique which a medical professional suggested to me a while back when I mentioned that I could not sleep due to stress, she suggested that rather than taking a sleeping pill to do what she called a “brain-dump”.
The way that she suggested is that if I can not sleep, grab some paper and a pen, and write down all the things going through my mind in no order and to just get it down to paper. The very act of doing this releases some stress. A few times since then I have found it difficult to sleep, I simply practiced doing meditation in bed and was able to nod off. I just did not feel like getting up and writing down the thoughts in my head.
My understanding is that the very process of writing those thoughts down “helps to slow down the brain” and it just happens that the meditation in bed process does the same or similar thing.
Use the “So What?” Concept
This technique is another one that is simple in concept. It is to silently say to yourself “So What?”. This is a very simple idea, which is easy to implement, if you remember to use it when it may be helpful.
You may be aware that if you think of something “not great”, that the next thing that happens is that you get into a bit of an endless loop. What you want to do before getting into the endless loop, is to do something to prevent going into the endless loop.
What you do is simple, you silently say to yourself as strongly as you can, “So What?”
You can replace the “So What?” with other stronger phrases. It appears that using “bad language” may be more effective. For example, “So F* What?” can be more effective that using “So What?” because it is more emotional.
This dispels the potential situation and you move on as before. You do not get into the endless loop and this is good.
Worded in a different way: The technique here is that when you think of something “not great”, and you know that dwelling on it is “bad” for you, immediately after the thought appears, you say to yourself, silently of course, “So What?” as strongly as you can.
Two other similar ideas:
1 – Instead of thinking that a bad thing can happen, think that a good thing can happen.
2 – Instead of “expecting the worst”, “expect the best” until it is confirmed otherwise.
The human mind is very good at conjuring up things, so guide it to conjure up “expecting the best” images rather than something else. Understand that a lot of the worries that people have do not actually happen, and that means that a lot of time has been “wasted” because those people could have been doing something else more enjoyable with their time.
Get your mind to work with you, instead of against you.
If I say “think of a time that you were happy and at the seaside”, I assume that you will conjure up happy memories of being happy and being at the seaside. Ah, Happy Times. 🙂 🙂
Hopefully I reminded you of some good times and that is bringing a smile to your face. 🙂 🙂
Before going to the next point, I would suggest that you stay here for a while, and recall those happy great memories in more detail and you do exactly this, now.
Give Yourself A Treat
This technique is to remember to give yourself treats on a regular basis. This technique is another good one. As well as potentially helping with stress levels or anxiety levels, it can help greatly to give us some ‘recharging time’ which is always good.
The concept is simple – it is to give yourself some sort of treat.
Maybe go to a coffee shop, and have the coffee there, with the intention of drinking the coffee very slowly and staying there for 40 minutes to 60 minutes, with no distractions (No mobile phone, no reading the paper, no laptop, no computer, no book). Just be “lazy” for that 40 minutes to 60 minutes. Enjoy that time.
Sometimes, that is the most productive use of our time. Give the brain and mind a chance to catch up. Oh, if any “not great thoughts” come up, re-divert them with a “hey, brain, I am relaxing here. Go f* off”.
You may need the “down time” and it is way better to be in control of that “down time agenda” than not.
Everyone is different. So rather than going to a coffee shop, you might go somewhere for afternoon tea. Enjoying afternoon tea at a hotel is a different experience that enjoying tea with a treat at a coffee house. They are different experiences and prices usually reflect this.
It is important however to give yourself some treat on a regular basis, ideally at least once every day. Going out to enjoy the latest blockbuster at the local cinema is also an idea. You may find that you find some variety with your treats so that you enjoy them and it does not become dull.
Giving yourself a bigger treat on occasions is also an idea.
This technique is to read novels. This is an incredibly simple stress management technique. It is to read novels that you totally enjoy and totally engage in. The important thing is that you totally engage yourself in the story.
Once you start turning pages and read for a while (over 6 minutes according to a UK study), your stress levels start to go down.
I recommend that you read novels that you totally enjoy and totally engage in every day for at least 10 minutes. I have resumed doing this myself recently and read in bed most nights for at least 10 minutes. I get so engaged with the story that it is usually nearer 30 minutes when I call it a day.
My gut feeling is that my stress levels are going down, so all good.
Why not give it a go, and see if this one works for you? You surely have a novel in the house that you could start reading or rereading later today.
Note that whatever you read for stress relief, is something that you enjoy reading and something that you totally engage in. Reading a technical work related document might not fit the bill in this instance. 🙂
Reading a novel from a gene that you do not enjoy may not be a good idea. For instance, I myself will not read horror novels, well because I do not enjoy them. Horror novels freak me out and do my stress levels no good at all. So I simply do not read that gene of novels. Whereas I like a good thriller that I truly totally enjoy and totally engage in. I suggest that you read novels from different genes that you do enjoy.
From personal experience, I can say that reading novels that I enjoy helps. Why not give it a go and see if it helps for you?
“Doing Your Thing” Thinking
This technique is using the “I do my thing and you do your thing” concept in your silent thinking. This is based on the famous quote by Fritz Perls:
I do my thing and you do your thing.
I am not in this world to live up to your expectations,
And you are not in this world to live up to mine.
I find that saying this quote silently to myself a few times that it helps.
Yes, I think that it is okay to be concerned about another person. In this case, doing meditation, especially loving-kindness meditation can help you get you some space. You need the space yourself to help you to see the situation clearer for yourself.
Then determine if it is a good idea to help and if it is, and you can, and the other person is okay with it, then proceed. Just be careful that you do not cross a line. Once you get involved, you could be “hooked” in emotionally for a lot more that you initially expected, so you might need to put some sort of condition on this to help you remain “unhooked” or to very clearly state some condition, “Sure, I can give you 10 minutes now, but then I have to go” and 10 to 15 minutes later, go.
Worrying about things that are of no real concern to me is not a good use of my time and my energies. For one thing, it can add to my stress levels. For another, it can make me more anxious. So from my point of view and from my health view, I am better off to focus on “doing my thing and living up to my expectations”. If any additional thoughts come up that are not related to “doing my thing and living up to my expectations”, I can re-divert them with a “hey, brain, thanks for that. As it is not related to doing my thing and living up to my expectations, go f* off”.
From personal experience, I can say that saying this quote silently (I do my thing and you do your thing. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, And you are not in this world to live up to mine) to myself a few times helps. Why not give it a go and see if it helps for you?
It may be noted that the Loving Kindness Meditation phrases involved in acceptance are somewhat connected to this strategy. Examples of these phrases are:
May I accept myself as I am. May I accept others as they are.
You might have noticed that using Meditation for stress relief was already discussed above.
Drink Green Tea Or Not
This is one that should be relatively easy for you to try out, this technique is to drink green tea or not.
The reason for the “or not” addon at the end of the sentence is simple however very important. Some information out there suggests very strongly that drinking green tea may interfere with the effectiveness of some medication.
To my great surprise I found out that two of the medicines I am taking, a beta-blocker and aspirin may not work as effectively as they should if I also drink green tea. After finding this out, I no longer drink green tea. It is just as well that I had not been drinking green tea for too long and was not drinking too much of it. Better safe than sorry. This also explains why during my last visit to my heart consultant that she said that my blood pressure was high. This surprised her and me. I couldn’t understand why. Now I have a suspect which I am pretty sure is the real reason which is great to know.
However and this is very important, if you are taking medications, please be sure to check with your health professional to be sure that drinking green tea is safe for you. Be sure that your health professional knows about all medications you are taking eg beta-blocker nadolol, including the over the counter ones eg aspirin.
Have a Good Laugh
Use the NoPhone
The following is my light hearted approach to looking at the problem of being continually or continuously connected to the smart phone from a purely entertaining angle with a product that may help. 🙂 🙂
I want to remind you that being continuously connected to the digital world is not good for you. These days, most people are continuously connected to the internet, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, leaving little time for them to be disconnected from the internet. This is not good for you.
I touch on the idea of unplugging yourself as a stress management technique, so this post ties in with that concept.
It is a good idea to unplug yourself from the digital world. If you are addicted to your smartphone, I want to introduce to you a solution – The NoPhone. This is a real product. I kid you not. 🙂 🙂
- The NoPhone itself is a great way to combat smartphone addiction.
- The NoPhone is a fake phone which is for you if you need smartphone therapy or if you suffer from smartphone addiction.
- The NoPhone is a fake phone for people addicted to real phones.
- It has no data plan, no camera, no battery, no wifi but is completely toilet-bowl resistant.
- It is a possible solution if you experience Nomophobia. This is the phobia of being out of mobile phone contact or cellular phone contact. Lots of people worldwide experience this.
Why you should get a NoPhone
If you want to unplug yourself from your phone and disconnect from the online world, the NoPhone is great. It has no camera, no music, no screen and no phone. It helps you connect with offline stuff.
I really loved the following comment by a customer who brought it on Amazon when he said “This is the best product I have ever bought! The look on people’s faces when I yell “Son of a bitch!” and hurl it at the wall or the floor is worth every penny paid for it.”
The NoPhone is about the importance of disconnecting yourself from the online world so that you can find yourself.
The NoPhone is for anyone who is always connected to the online world using their smartphone. It is a great way to help you overcome smartphone addiction.
The NoPhone is a great way to unplug yourself from the online world.
Pros of the NoPhone
- It is really durable.
- It passes drop tests very well.
- It has a neat look.
- It has a slim look.
- Its battery life is infinite.
- It is light.
Cons of the NoPhone
- It has no camera.
- It has no speaker.
- It has no facility to view videos using it.
- It can not connect to other devices using Bluetooth.
- It can not connect using WiFi.
You can find more information about the NoPhone at the Amazon website here. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Go to a counselor
Getting counseling help is an idea if you want to manage your stress. However you need to be careful when selecting your counselor. Different counselors may subscribe to different ways of therapy which may not fully reflect your values and your current needs.
Stressed? Have You Considered Stress Counseling?
If you are stressed, it might be time to consider going to a stress counselor. If you want to manage your stress, going to a counselor may be a good option. My understanding is that a psychotherapist will help you investigate your early life and experiences to identify and hopefully resolve early childhood potential issues. These may not be real issues in your eyes because as far as you are concerned, they were not issues until the psychotherapist brings them up. As far as I am concerned, the jury is still out on this one. But they do seem to help some people and that is what is important.
My understanding is that a counselor will help you sort out certain problems because a lot of human behaviour falls into patterns. So the counselor sees the pattern that the patient is in, and provides the patient with alternative behaviour on how to deal with this problem. The reason is that the counselor based on their training and their experience will have seen the pattern that the patient is in, and is aware of more healthy alternative behaviours than the ‘default’ behaviour that the patient is in. This is in my opinion more hands on and more practical than the approach used by psychotherapists.
If you are considering stress counseling, knowing about a few different type of counseling may help you to decide on which one is better for you. Please know that counselors sometimes specialise in different areas and the area that you need help with might not be something that the counselor specialises in and therefore you may not be getting the “best bang for your money”.
One type is the psychotherapist type. This type of counselor will help you investigate your early life and experiences to identify and hopefully resolve early childhood potential issues. Their take is that a major cause of your stress is related to unresolved issues.
Another type is the cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) type. This type of counselor will try to work with you in order to reframe mental activities (thinking) in a more reasonable and positive manner. In my opinion, this one hits the nail on the head. If a person can change their thinking processes to be more positive, that may help their stress levels, especially if the thinking changes almost at once when you ask yourself a question. For instance, if something is stressing you out right now, asking yourself silently the “will this be important in 5 years time” question and discovering that the answer is usually no, helps to reduce stress. What has really changed? Nothing, just how you are processing it. Call it a mind trick, however it is one that works more often than not, and is one well worth using if you are stressed.
There may be more types of counselor types that I am not aware off.
In my opinion, I think that a Counselor who specialises in CBT is the one to see if you are suffering from stress, especially one that understands you and is able to help you overcome your stress.
My personal experience with a Counselor and Psychotherapist
My local doctor recommended that I see a counselor and recommended a local one to me. I phoned the recommended counselor, and arranged to see her. I asked her if it was covered under my private health insurance and she said that it was. She said that I pay as I go, she issue receipts, and I claim from my private health insurance afterwards. Over a period of about 8 weeks, I visited the counselor 5 times. The first 3 visits were in my opinion well structured and I took something away with each of those visits. Visits 4 and 5 ended up being in my opinion not well structured and ended up being informal chats. After visit 5, I decided not to proceed any further.
My personal experience with my private health insurer to pay up
It was then time to claim those visits against my private health insurance policy. In the end, they did not pay.
Basically in order to benefit from their counseling benefit you access that by phoning a special phone number which you obtain my contacting the private health insurer and asking how to get benefit under such a such section. You phone this special phone number and have a phone conversation, and if they think you need counseling, they give you a list over the phone of local counselors who get paid directly by the private health insurer. You select one and this local counselor then contacts you and you take it from there.
Basically I went the wrong way to get my private health insurer to fund my counseling sessions. My counselor had given me incorrect information. This is the most neutral way I have of putting it. And she has over 20 years experience of providing counseling.
My private health insurer explained that some policies do allow cover for visits to a clinical psychologist which they define as a full member of such a such organisation. The policy I have does not have this cover. And the person I saw is not registered nor a full member of such a such organisation.
Basically the most important takeaway, is that if I need to make an appointment for treatment of any kind, to contact the private health insurer in advance so that they can advise me on how to get the best benefit from my policy. And of course, this takeaway applies to other areas of life as well. 🙂
I have had health insurance with this private health insurer for in excess of 35 years, starting when I was a child. Based on this experience when it comes up next for renewal, I will be thinking a lot more do I need the cover, instead of automatically thinking, oh yea, health insurance, a non brainer, I need this cover and just renewing almost automatically.
Luckily enough, by the time that I was in discussions with my private health insurer, I came across the very interesting technique “in a few years time, will this be important in the overall scheme of things, and if not, just to let it drop” as it is not worth stressing out about. However I am still rightly annoyed that my counselor gave me incorrect information. A client of a counselor is supposed to trust the counselor to look after the client’s interests.
I do believe that for some people this technique does work on occasion. It is just that for me, it did not work for me in my opinion. I put it down to another lesson from the university of life.
Counselors charge for each separate counselling session so you need to be very sure that you are getting your monies worth.
You can find more information about the 50 Things To Do Before Seeing A Psychiatrist book at the Amazon website. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
The cost of this book where I reside is actually cheaper than one visit to my counselor. I had 5 visits to my counsellor as you know after reading my story above.
As you can see there are many different ways to manage stress. I hope that you can use a number of the different techniques discussed in this article to help you manage stress.
As you can see there are quite a number of stress management techniques out there. My list of my top Stress Management Techniques just outlines a small subset of different stress management techniques out of the many different techniques out there.
I hope that a number of my top Stress Management Techniques can help you in your management of stress in your life. As you can see I have some experience on stress management directly from my personal experiences and indirectly from obtaining practical knowledge from different sources over the course of my life.
I have come across a lot of information out there that has not been put together well and would be difficult to apply in what I call the real world.
There is no way that I want to read a “dry book” full of academic theory that contains very little practical knowledge that can be applied to my real world straight away.
I prefer to read a few paragraphs about some technique that provides all the required information and practical knowledge to apply to the real world straight away.
I don’t mind if that acts as an introduction to that technique which can be followed up with more detailed practical knowledge that can be applied to my real world almost straight away.
I hope that one or more of the stress management techniques that I outlined above help. I also have more related materials below. I hope that you find the information on this website useful and practical in helping you in some way with your life.
Again, I’m David. I wish you all the best with your managing stress activities. I thank you for visiting my website today. As I update my website with new information that I know you will find interesting on a regular basis, make sure that you visit my website regularly. Be sure to bookmark this site. 🙂
Feel free to contact me if you ever need anything. You can always drop me a message below. 🙂
Of course, if you have a way of managing stress that you find effective, or that you want to learn more about, you can always drop me a message below. I might write a future article about that technique. 🙂
May you be free from stress and enjoy life,