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Relieving & Reducing Stress & Anxiety 

In this section, you will find practical, effective recommendations, expert endorsed methods and techniques to try for yourself.


Relaxing in a hammock

Let's look at some of the key points before we begin.

The below are basic ideas and suggestions of a range of effective techniques for relaxation that you can try yourself at home with minimal disruption to routine.

These suggestions act as a good starting point to consider trying for improving and prioritising self-care and self-healing.

They can assist in:

  • Finding your inner centre

  • Achieving better balance (life, mentally and personally),

  • Self-improvement and enabled capability / empowerment in effectively identifying triggers and having knowhow and confidence to be able to manage with tools, support, techniques and practices.

  • Better coping skills, self-awareness, structure and capability in avoiding or better handling of stress and anxiety potentials or escalation.

  • Self-driven focus and a proactive approach to growth and influencing personal positive change (creating better health and wellbeing habits).

Not only will this help build self-confidence and a sense of regained control in life, it will also assist in generating less erratic and overwhelming scenarios, build resilience, self-reliance, a sense of security and less time operating in a fixed, closed or negative / self-destructive mindset. Therefore, further relieving and reducing risk of stress and anxiety symptoms and the associated impacts to general well-being and overall health (including mental).

Group Meditation

Complimentary methods and practices that can be adapted to everyday living as a booster approach to your 'Whole Person Health will further benefit'. Even when not stressed or anxious, these techniques are a great way of feeling positive, relaxed, rejuvenated, pampered and contributing positively to your self-worth, mindset, and general wellness for maintaining good general health and well-being.


The following tools are proven to be effective (and an approach used to assist our personal lives as well). They can be applied as a mitigation or coping mechanism for assisting in high pressured and stressful periods / situations or applied in a proactive approach (where possible)..


What can I do to relieve stress?

The following key recommendations are things to introduce or attempt to influence relaxation and relieve stress. These are all endorsed by health industry experts and leading bodies, including the Federal Australian Government main digital health platform (Healthdirect.gov.au)

Whilst reading the below, think which stress management tools are most likely examples / preferred options you could visualise yourself doing or at least attempting. The ones you are drawn to and more likely to try.... Tick the blank box make a note of why it is likely. Everyone is different and no-one knows us better than ourselves.


Whilst I encourage you may want to try something different and apply as many key fundamentals to well-being, We must also be logical in our planned approaches and using our intimate self-awareness and history patterns of what's a likely possibility for happening (success and positive change), but also realistic in our plans for minimising the gap (and risk of no action) between great intentions and realistic action / attempts.

This will ensure you tailor an action plan for making positive changes that will deliver results, better wellbeing and health (including mental health) benefits.

plank exercise

Exercise & Physical Activity

Daily exercise has many benefits, including stress reduction.

Something as simple as going for a short 20minute walk on your lunch break or early evening can work wonders in providing some relief, clarity or clearing out some 'brain baggage'.

Kicking the ball with kids or a dog, hit of tennis with a partner or friend, dusting off the ping pong table or even considering taking a dance / movement class, signing up in a team social sport or joining a walking group can all be great ways of creating change and initiating a movement routine to significantly improve your health (including mental), general wellbeing, break a sweat / lift the heartrate, burn some physical energy to help you relax.


organic vegetables

Eating and Drinking Well

A well-balanced diet, drinking water, maintaining gut health and basic nutritional intake are all key influences and essential to maintain wellbeing and mental health.

Vitamins D and B as well as omega-3 and omega-6 are considered really useful for reducing stress.


Supplements and vitamins (from trusted and preferably Australian well-known brands) are another reliable and alternative option to consider introducing in the mix if your diet lacks these vital elements.


Fresh air and standing outside in the sun for 15-30minutes per day (when safe - not in high UV risk or extreme heat) has an immediate effect and works wonders on restoring balance and mitigating the daily over exposure to 'manufactured air sources' and cooling/heating flows we can't avoid in our modern and working lives.


Try to reduce your use of stimulants like caffeine or cola. Avoid reactive binge drinking or using alcohol as a way of reducing stress or letting off steam. If you find you are turning to alcohol often, ask your doctor to recommend a support service to help you find a better way to manage your stress or contact dedicated support lines available in your state..

Afternoon lunch outdoors

Socialising (human connections)

Healthy personal and family relationships, frequent friend time and social interactions and are an important part of feeling well and supported.


Socialising with friends and family is a great way to have a healthy break reduce stress. You can even combine stress-relieving techniques, for example exercising with a friend. This will help you spend quality time with someone you care about while keeping physically active as well.


Remember to prioritise the need for positive human connections and interactions.

Avoid long-term isolation and pro-longed exposure to conflict or unhealthy relationships. If unavoidable (a partner or relationship in the home/work), look at support options for mediation or limiting continuous negativity, arguments or escalation risks.


Consider joining a social team or hobby/interest group for change. Possibly reconnect with a past friend who is a positive person and you may have lost contact with.


Volunteers

Creating Structure, Activities and Goals

Finding an activity that provides meaning and structure can help to clear your mind of worries. Try a craft activity, write a decorated card for a friend or volunteer at your favourite charity. You may like to set a goal for yourself related to an activity, such as volunteering once a week. Reaching your goals is very satisfying and can be a great way to relieve stress.


If your stress is significant, perhaps consider using a problem solving and goal setting support tool and target your efforts to improving the problem causing the stress..

a lady sleeping

Sleep

Getting enough sleep and rest on a regular basis is essential and allows you, your mind, your body and overall being to rest, repair and continue function at your best. It will also positively impact to your mood, attitude, mindset, emotional responses and general sense of wellbeing.


A clear and rested mind provides optimum functioning, clarity in thinking, problem solving, decision making communicating effectiveness and a positive mindset.

Sleep allows the body to heal refresh, recharge, heal and reset.


Sleep prevents exhaustion, avoidable and unnecessary extra stress on the body and organs, a weakened immunity and minimises risk and significantly reduces the probability of health issues or conditions.


Sleep and rest can significantly help you to process, manage and influence your stress and anxiety levels better.


What relaxation techniques can I use?

There are so many relaxation techniques available if you’re feeling stressed. It’s important to find the techniques that are relatable to you, easy to apply and most likely to work for you.

Slow Breathing / Focused Breathing

Stress can cause you to take fast, shallow breaths, and slowing down your breathing may help you to feel better. Count to 3 as you slowly inhale, and then count to 3 as you exhale.

Repeat this process for 2 or 3 minutes and notice an immediate change.

Group meditation

Mindfulness

Mindfulness involves focusing your thoughts on whatever task you are doing at any given moment.

Concentrate only on what you are doing, without paying attention to distracting or judgemental thoughts. This might be walking to the shops, brushing your hair or just breathing (known as ‘mindful breathing’).

The aim is to be in the present moment, so that you don’t get caught up in stressful thoughts.


Meditation, Relaxation, & Applied Complimentary Methods (Reiki, Qi Gong, Tai Chi & Yoga)

Meditational, Relaxation, Complimentary Heath methods and Yoga techniques are all recognised and proven ways to assist in effectively maintaining Whole Person Health.

There is a general consensus on the secondary benefits that these practices also help you to reduce and manage stress.


Studies show that people who meditate daily are more successful at managing their stress and general sense of wellbeing.


Including additional and regular self-care applied practices such as Tai Chi, Qi Gong and Yoga will all benefit Whole Person Health and contribute towards effective reduction strategies and practices to relieve against stress and its subsequent impacts, overall risks, health affects and issues. All modalities and methods use aspects of targeted self-healing, mindfulness, focused relaxation, body movement, optimised interconnectivity and strengthening to help you feel controlled, relaxed and more focused.

tai chi outdoor group

Progressive Muscle Relaxation, Whole Body Tension & Inter-connectivity

Progressive muscle relaxation/whole body tension ensures optimum and sustained connectivity between body, mind, systems (physiology, psychological, cognitive and reaction time).


Lie down in a quiet place and close your eyes. Starting from your toes, slowly tense up each part of your body one-by-one, hold for 2 seconds and release.

Visualisation Techniques

Use your imagination to paint a mental picture with one or more of the 5 senses (sound, smell, touch, taste and sight). Find a quiet place where you won’t be interrupted, and think of somewhere that makes you feel calm. For example, “You are at the beach, under a bright blue sky, you can hear the waves crashing on the shore as the sun gently warms your body”.

Positive Affirmations

When you are stressed, you may think negatively or struggle to believe in yourself. Positive affirmations such as, “I did well today despite all the challenges” or, “It might be busy now but soon the stress will fade” can help you to relax.

Transformations

This technique is about turning a negative thought or image into something positive. It is similar to visualisation techniques but focuses on the transformation from the bad to the good. For example, visualising a tied knot being untied, a thundercloud drifting away and being replaced by a clear sky or a tense fist relaxing into an open hand.


Girl sitting on wall looking up

Gratitude

When you are stressed, it can be hard to notice the good things in your life. Writing down a “thank you” list or keeping a gratitude journal can help you focus on what is going well. You don’t need to show this to anyone — it can just be for you. Gratitude helps to keep stressful thoughts in perspective.

Briefly describe your degree and any other highlights about your studies you want to share. Be sure to include relevant skills you gained, accomplishments you achieved or milestones you reached during your education.


What has been your experience with stress reducing techniques?


Which techniques or methods did you find most effective for you?


Everyone is unique., Everyone is different. What works for some people, may not work for others.

We want to hear your success story in stress reducing techniques and share it on our group page and Facebook page so others can use your example as inspiration.

Help others overcome their struggles with stress and feel there is a way forward and hope they can find their way to better.

So in the spirit of....

"Sharing is caring",

"Knowledge is power",

"Guidance from proven experience" and

"Give good energy, receive good Qi", we ask you please share your personal experiences and success stories with us and others in this community.

Share your stories and post your experiences with overcoming and effectively managing a time of stress for you. Include some background (the situation, what were the root causes of the stress), what action(s) you took and what outcomes followed.


Be open and share what worked, what attempts didn't work and how you were able to overcome the challenges and maintain reduced stress after and whether that has changed now.




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