How to Relieve Stress Fast
Aha! An expert guest post solving the challenges highlighted in this uncomfortable read:
Thank you, Chrissi King!
3 Quick Techniques for Banishing Stress
Guest Post – Chrissi King
As entrepreneurial mums we are ultra-busy and our to-do lists are huge! We have such a lot to remember.
We have school runs, snacks & Water bottles, PE kits. Then there are birthday parties, after-school activities, washing, shopping, housework, meals to cook, family to visit.
And all this is before we take into account business commitments and ME time.
It is no wonder that stress and stress-related illnesses are on the increase, the pressure to perform and be ‘successful’ is higher than ever before.
An article published by the CIPD in September revealed a study which found that 34% of parents ‘feel balancing work commitments with family responsibilities has taken a toll on their health or mental wellbeing’.
That is a third of us suffering from stress.
When we are in a stressful state, be it overwhelm, anger or anxiety, it can be awful. Our thoughts spiral, our brain produces cortisol and our body tenses up.
This is because stress is designed to help you combat a direct threat. It is a primal instinct, also known as fight or flight. In the days of cave ladies our stress reaction would kick in when we were faced with a mountain lion or a rabid wolf and it was our stress reactions that would (hopefully) save our lives.
Stress does amazing things to our neurology.
- It enables us to switch off our logical brain
- stops us over-thinking
- frees up energy for fast reactions
- Cortisol, adrenaline and other hormones are released into our bloodstream
- Our heart rate increases and we can move very, very fast.
The effects of the hormones are disbursed through physical movement but when we are stressed without a release (either running or fighting) the hormones stay with us.
This can cause mayhem for our mind and body.
In our modern world, the stress is very rarely disbursed and our episodes of stress are often prolonged.
Unfortunately, most of us mums experience stress on a daily basis.
At one point in my life, I felt constantly stressed. In fact, I used to think that I wouldn’t be able to function without the stress – how else would I get the million jobs done? That was until I got unwell, which was a big wake up call. In order to remain healthy for our families, our businesses and ourselves we need to banish stress from our lives.
There seems to be a stigma around stress but please remember to speak up if you’re struggling.
There is no shame in feeling stressed, depressed, overwhelmed, most of us will experience a mental health illness of some sort during our lifetime.
Talking and finding support is huge on the road to recovery of any illness and if you are struggling with prolonged or heightened symptoms please seek medical help today. There may be underlying issues which can be resolved with help from your doctor and/or medication.
The research into stress and mental health is massive right now, which is why we are seeing the mindfulness movement. There are hundreds of tips and techniques out there, today I will provide you with some fast techniques for reducing stress very, very quickly.
Your intention is an amazing resource which you can tap into at any moment.
- Before each day set your intention for the day. Say it out loud or in your head and mean it!
- If your intention for the next hour is to write a blog post – say it and mean it!
- If your intention for the day is to relax – say it and mean it!
- If your intention is to walk 10,000 steps say it and mean!
Having a powerful, positive focus through intention will align your subconscious mind with your conscious mind, which stops all the ‘other stuff’ jumping in, sabotaging your efforts and stressing you out.
Everything waits while you focus – reducing overwhelm.
Great idea, Chrissi, thanks. I hadn’t thought of doing this and sometimes I think I’m doing this unconsciously. Definitely going to be more conscious about my intentions from now on.
Rapid physical movements will clear your mind, energise your body and disperse unwanted hormones.
I recommend doing something dynamic, something like jumping jacks or spotty dogs. This gives your mind a focus having a meditative impact, which calms your thoughts.
The physical movements will positively impact your body, shaking up your physiology.
You only need a few minutes for this exercise! It is available to you in your office, in your living room, in the kitchen, in the supermarket (supermarket will also put a big grin on your face).
I highly recommend 2 minutes of jumping jacks or 3 sets of 10! Enjoy!
Ooh, I love this advice because often I jump on the trampoline with my 4-year-old, now I have a really compelling reason to make this an everyday thing. Of course, it’s also great bonding time with the little guy.
Breath is your life source, you can not live without. When you are stressed, your breathing patterns change to shallow and quick. Your brain notices and starts creating your stress hormones, which quickens your breath and the cycle continues.
You can stop this cycle by simply changing your breath with the following exercise
- Take a moment (at least 3 minutes)
- Close your eyes
- Focus on your breath
- Take slow deep breaths
- Focus on nothing but your breath
- Repeat and notice your mind clearing and your body calming
- Continue to focus on your breath and repeat as long as needed
By the end you will notice your body has become relaxed, your mind has cleared and your focus has returned.
(I once did this in the middle of a heated discussion at work. I left the office sat on a bench outside and spent 3 minutes focusing only on my breath. Afterwards I felt calm and my rational brain had returned – needless to say, we resolved our differences very quickly after that!)
Stress is not nice but you can deal with it healthily and you can live without it. The exercises above are a few that have worked for myself and my clients. Try them and drop me an email – I’d love to know how you get on.
When I was studying Shiatsu, I learned that Doctors in the Far East call us Westerners “shallow breathers”. This is certainly a habit I need to cultivate and incorporate into my daily life.
About the Author
Chrissi King is the founder of Life is for Designing – a coaching practice dedicated to the Mums of the world.
‘I love watching Mums grow, change and smile’
Chrissi takes a very holistic, supportive and professional approach to coaching. She combines her personal experience (she has 5 children) with NLP and powerful coaching techniques to enable her clients to design and live the life they dream of.
Visit Chrissi’s Website: http://lifeisfordesigning.com/
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Moms, how are you coping with your stress on a daily basis? Have you tried any of these techniques? Let’s use these simple techniques to survive the Silly Season.