Stress Management Skills – Enjoy life More

If you are not a baby and are not very elderly, chances are high that you need stress management skills to help you to enjoy life more. Too much stress is not good for you and can lead to undesirable and unwanted effects. You would want to know and actually practice a number of stress management skills to help. Chances are also high that you know a number of great stress management skills except you do not put them into this category and may not consciously practice them on a regular enough basis to keep bad stress at bay.

There are mainly two types of emotional stress, good stress and bad stress. Good stress is stress that assists you with your life. Take for example a student preparing for an exam, good stress will help to keep the student alert, relaxed and excited enough to help with the exam. Bad stress will hinder the student in preparing for the exam, this may lead to the student not being able to sleep properly and the bad cycle begins, sleeping poorly leads to the student not being able to study properly and so the student may not do as well in the exam as initially expected.

This article is mainly concerned about keeping bad stress at bay as it is not possible to keep bad stress away all of the time. One way of explaining this is having a bucket and the bad stress is added and taken away from the bucket over time. The problem arises when the bucket is too full of bad stress.

I am going to talk about four different stress management skills. Each one of these you will be able to do, seconds after you read these here. Of course, you might want to get more detailed information, however there is no excuse from doing any of these four different stress management skills a few minutes from now.

Well, the first is that every night, write down 3 things that you are grateful for. For this one, you might have to wait until bed time tonight. 🙂

In the meantime, consider getting a journal or small notebook to formally write these down. You could, of course, just note them in a pad and not keep them.
The second is that when something stressful is happening, to ask yourself the question “Will this be important in 5 years time?” Quite often, the answer is “No” so say to yourself “Oh, this is not important. Moving on”. You be surprised at how useful this little technique is.

Then the next one, is to go for daily brisk walks. This has a number of benefits and is quite easy to do in most cases.

The last thing is a very quick overview of meditation and a very simple meditation technique that you could be doing a few minutes from now.

Every night, write down 3 things that you are grateful for

This is a great idea and costs you next to nothing to actually do. If you actually record these 3 things every day in a small journal, then you have the added bonus of being able to review the things that you are grateful for over time. At the time of writing this article, I have managed to record these 3 things every day for over 6 weeks, except for 3 days, in a small journal. I find that I do not repeat the things I am thankful for too much. If I miss a day, I just accept it and do not get too excited or annoyed about it, and just continue on as soon as possible after that.

By looking for things to be thankful for, the brain has to think “What am I thankful for?” This process means that the brain at that point in time is focused on finding answers to that question and is less likely to be focusing on something that is troubling you. By doing it shortly before bed time, your mind when drifting off to sleep may still be thankful for these things.

If you cannot think of 3 things to be thankful for, try to think of two things to be thankful for. If you cannot think of 2 things to be thankful for, try to think of one thing to be thankful for. It is the actual searching for these grateful things that helps the brain. By doing this, the brain is not ‘going over and over and over some bad thing’.

By noting the grateful things in a journal helps later on, if you are stressed. You can simply review part of the journal and that helps. It shows you some things that you are grateful for. This may help you to stop ruminating.

Ask yourself “Will this be important in 5 years time?”

If something is annoying you or stressing you out, ask yourself this one question “Will this be important in 5 years time?”

Since I become aware of this as a stress management skill, I find that it helps a lot. I was aware of this technique earlier however once I became consciously aware of it as a stress management technique I find that I have used this on a number of occasions, and guess what, the answer in all of those cases was “No”.

More often than not, the answer is going to be No, and if it is not going to be important, it is not worth stressing out about it now. My attitude is “Not important, moving on”.

If it is important, you may then need to take more actions now to help you with managing it, so that you are doing something positive about it now, and that in itself, should help your stress levels. Just try not to ‘put it on the long finger’ as that may not help long term.

Go for daily walks

Doing some sort of physical activity most days or every day is a stress management technique. If you can do over 30 minutes of brisk walking every day that should help your stress levels, as well as providing you with other health related benefits of brisk walking.

I am fond of walking myself and I walk a lot myself, well because I enjoy it and because of the associated health benefits associated with walking briskly on a daily basis. I wrote about this in a recent post over here.

Do meditation every day

Meditating every day is a great skill to have to help you manage your stress levels. One of the great things about knowing and having practiced a few different meditation techniques is being able to practice meditation when doing normal everyday activities.

The benefits of meditation are many, and include helping with stress management, lowering blood pressure, decreasing muscle tension and relaxing the nervous system.

A simple meditation technique that you can do right now:

  • Sit comfortably
  • Breathe naturally
  • Follow the sensation associated with breathing in and breathing out
  • Let tension out with every out breath
  • When your notice your mind wandering and it will, return to your breath

Most smartphones today have a timer function hidden away in all of their functionally, so set a timer for say 2 minutes and do the simple meditation above. Start with 2 minutes initially. If you can do the above a few times every day, you will be very proud of yourself. It is a great stress management skill to have.

I am fond of meditation myself and I practice meditation every day myself, well because I enjoy it and because of the associated health benefits associated with meditation. A while back I knew nothing about meditation, and my brother suggested that I give it a go. I found an online meditation beginners course and I did that online course and from a meditation viewpoint I have not looked back since. I now enjoy meditation every day. I wrote about this in a recent post over here. This course covers 5 different meditation techniques, so you see which techniques you prefer based on your own real life experience. Practicing meditation is a great skill to do, and is a great stress management skill.

4 New Stress Management Skills for you?

To my mind, each one of these can be put into practice almost straight away. Some of these you would already have been aware of however maybe not as a stress management skill. Now you are also aware that they are also stress management skills and so you might use them consciously as stress management skills. That should help with your stress management.

As you might gather, I have picked up some knowledge about stress management, directly from my own life experiences and indirectly from learning from multiple sources. There is a lot of information out there that is poorly put together and can not be applied directly to ones own situation. I do not want to read a 1,000 page book about some stress management technique that can not be applied in my real world almost straight away. I got better things to do with my time.

Recently, I came across an online stress management course that ticks a lot of the boxes for me, full of practical ideas and suggestions on different stress management techniques which I am sure will also interest you. I purchased the course myself to see if it was any good. It is. If you need to learn a number of different stress management techniques in ‘little daily chunks’ for 28 days (or more because the course is self paced), I recommend this course, the online Conscious Stress Management Course.

Doing the online Conscious Stress Management Course is a great way to learn different ways to manage stress and makes a lot of sense. This is a course I did and I can recommend it from personal experience. Click here to read my review of this course.

Let me know if you have any applicable thoughts on this great subject by leaving your applicable thoughts below. Many thanks. 🙂

About David

My name is David and in common with a lot of people I suffer from stress. In my experience of managing my stress I have learned different ways of managing stress. I suffer less than I used to because I have learned how to manage this way better and proactively do so regularly. This is working for me. I hope my stress management blog helps you. Continue Reading

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4 Comments on “Stress Management Skills – Enjoy life More”

  1. Stacy says:

    I really appreciate your post on stress management skills. I think your four main points to reducing stress are spot on. Gratitude is so key to keeping a positive attitude. Sometimes we can get so bogged down with the things that are wrong we forget to remember all the things that are right. Meditation is my go to stress reliever. I have been a meditator for almost 20 years and have developed the ability through breath to quiet the mind and find peace.

    1. David says:

      Hi Stacy,

      Yes, I been meditating now for just over 15 months. I knew nothing about meditation before that. I did a “beginner’s course” online. The course had me practicing meditation on day 1, two minutes of it in fact. By the last day of the course, day 35, I was up to 15 minutes a day meditation. I learned and practiced 5 different meditation techniques, one of which has at least 5 slightly different focus areas. Two of these meditation techniques have breath as a main component, and the others use breath as a component as well, with the main component being another object of focus. I personally find meditation a great activity to do every day. Click here to read my review of that course.

      I find the other stress management skills I mention in this post also useful and practical. As I also mentioned in the post above, I learned a number of stress management techniques in the Conscious Stress Management course. Click Here To Read My Review Of The Conscious Stress Management Course. I find that knowing more stress management techniques helps me to manage my stress.

      Peace,
      David

  2. Sharon May says:

    I and my husband get easily stressed. We try to take everything in our stride. I get stressed over different things than my husband. He gets stressed over our grown-up kids still living at home and I get stressed over trying to be confident in business when really my insides are exploding. My husband is better at chilling out than me, all I want to do is work…I find it difficult to sit down and relax. We were already putting most of the things you’ve suggested into practice before I read your article and they really work. One thing that stood out to me in your article is ‘will this be important in 5 years time? I think this question will remain with me, help me with work management and what’s really important. Thank you

    1. David says:

      Hi Sharon May,

      If you find it difficult to sit down and relax, consider meditating. It is a great skill to have. And has other potential health benefits as well as the reducing stress benefit. I find it great. A while back one of my brothers suggested I give meditation a go, I did an online course to get “up to speed”. Thanks to it and my determination, I now enjoy practicing meditation every day. I learned a number of different meditation techniques. Click here to read my review of that course.

      I agree that the “will this be important in 5 years time?” question is a great one to have, because in my experience I find that the answer is usually no and therefore I can dismiss that potential cause of stress.

      Peace,
      David

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