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Stress Relief - Some Techniques For Coping With Stress

Left unchecked the effects of stress can build up over time and yet this can easily be prevented with a few simple, but very effective, techniques.

Stress is part and parcel of normal everyday life and, while it is not impractical to talk in terms of finding a cure for chronic or long-term stress, it is certainly impractical to talk of a cure for stress in the sense of eliminating stress completely from our lives. There are, however, several practical steps which you can take to minimize its effect.

Most people tend to ignore stress for far too long, allowing it to build up. They will normally say either that they're too busy to worry about it or that there's nothing that they can do to change the situation. A commonly heard statement is, "Oh well, that's life". However, the effects of stress certainly do not have to be an inevitable part of life and it is unwise to accept them as such.

The first step which you must take is to increase both our outward and inward awareness. You must be conscious of your own internal state and try to evaluate it as realistically as possible. You must also be objective about external circumstances and understand that when they present a legitimate course for worry, reacting with a certain degree of stress is both normal and healthy. But you must also understand that reacting with unreasonable fear is not.

One of the commonest reactions to stress is tension, often seen in the form of muscle tension, and the first thing to do is to stop and take a moment to breathe. Muscle tension is commonly seen in your neck and, as your neck muscles tighten, they often cause your breathing to become shallow. Focus your attention on this and, if you detect it, consciously loosen up your neck muscles by gently moving your head from side to side, taking slow and deep breaths as you do so. There's no need to over do things here and just a few gentle movements of the head and some deep breathing for a moment or two should be enough to break the tension.

Now while this might seem very simple, it is also an extremely effective way of dealing with acute stress and can literally stop it dead its tracks. However, when it comes to the buildup of stress over time and to chronic stress we need to look at some additional techniques.

Here simple things like a walk in the park can be surprisingly effective. Believe it or not, this is not simply some old wives tale and fresh air and sunshine can be especially relaxing. It's also true that exercise can go a long way towards relieving many of the physical symptoms of stress.

Laughter is also a great help and watching your favorite comedy program on the television or on DVD is an excellent idea. Sitting quietly and spending a little time listening to your favorite music can also do wonders, as can spending some time at your favorite hobby, especially if this involves some form of physical activity.

Talking your problems over with a close friend can also be useful, but here you need to be careful. Airing your problems, and getting them off your chest so to speak, can be helpful but talking about them too much can create the effect of obsessing over the problem, making matters worse rather than better.

At the end of the day you should remember however that all of these simple, but very effectiveHealth Fitness Articles, techniques will only help you to deal with the effects of long-term stress as you go along and that they will not tackle the underlying causes. Dealing with the underlying causes requires a set of techniques of their own.

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