Stress Reduction comes in all shapes and sizes, so you have to find one that fits you.
You might like some of the ideas below right away, and others might grow on you, so don’t be put off by them before giving them time.
Lets start with easy ones first.

Distraction
This may help if you are prone to zoning out – going numb when you are anxious.
Doing something that captures your attention is also great. Try naming countries from A – Z is good fun – do it on your own or take turns – you can do the same with A – Z of animals or any other area you know a lot about
Noticing and naming things around you. Notice and name 4 things you can see. Notice and name 3 things you can hear. Notice and name 2 things you can feel/touch. Notice and name 1 thing you can smell. This technique can also help to ground you following a panic attack or when you go all “fuzzy headed” and become detached from reality.
Sport and other physical work outs especially if they require focus are a great way for finding a break from stress.
Sport and other physical work outs especially if they require focus are a great way for finding a break from stress.

Breathing
Bigger brains than mine have worked out that something as simple as slow breathing can help. Spend 6 minutes each day as well as before you get too stressed by breathing in for four and breathing out for six. Do this for six minutes for six days as an experiment – don’t give up and see whether it helps. If it helps, keep going.
Whilst slow breathing try saying some kind thoughts to yourself.

Using your imagination
Going to a safe place in your mind especially if this is done in a place where you feel safe may calm you.
Going to a happy memory and replaying this can help.
Remembering some nice things people have said to you may also calm you down.

Favourite reading
Are there any words you have read that always stick in your mind and have a positive effect?
Have a favourite book or sentences from a book that make you feel good or calm.
What about recording these on your phone.
Accepting yourself
If its difficult to change something why not try accepting it?
If you have words in your head that you use to beat yourself up with accept that they are there and see if they disappear.
Maybe write down the criticisms and then replace them with more kind thoughts. Why not record kind thoughts that you believe about yourself or what others believe about you on your phone for playing in an emergency.

Accepting stress and panic
Instead of fighting back stress and anxiety welcome it into your life as a friend.
Spend time thinking about stress and anxiety as a help and how it does this.
When the physical signs of panic start let them happen and see whether just by spotting them, they somehow start to get smaller.
If you can breathe slowly instead of breathing fast as panic begins to start, this may help.
Telling yourself that panic wont harm you might help. When anxiety is high we start to have thoughts we are in imminent danger, notice these thoughts, accept them, don’t fight them … but don’t believe them.
Accept that sometimes you may not be able to stop panic and that you are not a failure.

Stress first aid box
This is good to interrupt negative thoughts about past trauma or current high stress.
Why not collect things into a box that help remind you of things that calm you.
These might be photos. Photos of people who you love and care for you.
You may include souvenirs as reminders.
You may include words on cards ie kind words from yourself or others.
You may include inspiring words. Maybe words from a favourite song: “Cause I am resilient; Open to better; Won’t let the concrete hold me back, oh, yeah” (resilient by Katy Perry)
You may include a favourite smell such as perfume on a hanky/tissue.
You may include fidgets or soft fabric you like (a favourite piece of material or maybe even a teddy or doll or action figure).
What else could you put in there?


Problem solving
When stressed we feel overwhelmed with problems – layer upon layer of them, so we don’t know where to start. Why not do something physical with your mind?
Outpour all your problems first onto a blank page and give them a hard stare. Then categorise your problems into things I can do something about, things I cant do anything about, things that I don’t care about or are way too far in the future.
Now start to look at the problems you can do something about and start with tackling the easiest on the list. By then, you may have the motivation to tackle some of the more difficult ones on your list.
Nutrition
Don’t forget about nutritious food. At the very least treat your body to rich nutritious supplements. A balanced diet especially with vitamins and omega oils may help your mental health. Maybe give yourself a blast of vitamin D through going out in daylight especially if it involves a good walk.


Helpline numbers if needbe
Its brave and courageous to call people if things get really difficult. Just knowing these are options may help. Make a list of people you would call when you are finding things just too tough. The following numbers may also help:
MIND has a great website with lots of emergency contacts
https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/guides-to-support-and-services/crisis-services/helplines-listening-services/
Samaritans are excellent: Call free 116 123
For young people:
http://www.youngminds.org.uk/for_parents/parent_helpline
Bereavement helpline
0800 2600 400
Worried that a young person is vulnerable or self harming or suicidal, try Papyrus
http://www.papyrus-uk.org/
0800 068 41 41
A great website for supporting young adults
http://www.kooth.com
Young Minds is also a great place to start:
http://www.youngminds.org.uk
And for the parents https://mindedforfamilies.org.uk/young-people

1 comment

  1. If I feel stressed or anxious I observe the body and the feelings and the mind thoughts as the observer so that I am sort of detached from them, at the same time as experiencing them. Accepting is a great way to deal with them.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: