Stress management exercises can be used by anyone at anytime, no matter what form of stress we each have to deal with. We all have stress in our lives, sometimes it is daily stress from work and home life that is minimal, but builds up when we don’t get a break. Other forms of stress can be more extreme such as dealing with immediate trauma, relationship problems, recovering from addictions.
Stress management exercises can also be effective with chronic stress and anxiety issues such as post traumatic stress syndrome or generalized anxiety disorder. Having a collection of stress management exercises to use when we feel stressed for any of these reasons can help relieve stress immediately and also help us become more resilient to stress so we suffer less from it over time.
Stress Management Exercises to Relieve Stress Immediately
Stress management exercises to relieve stress immediately can be helpful when we do not have time to take a break. Driving in heavy traffic, dealing with coworkers, young children or other immediately stressors can push you to the breaking point if you do not do something.
Stress management exercises that will help immediately is to take three long, deep and slow breaths. That alone can help relax you, but if that is not effective, take the next stress management exercise step and tighten up your entire body. Constrict every muscle as tightly as possible and then relax them all quickly. Take a few more deep breaths and you should feel slight relief.
If you are driving and need immediate stress relief, try playing soothing music and remembering, it is better to show up late than dead from driving thoughtlessly. The best stress management exercises when driving is slow down, look around, relax your grip on the steering wheel and sit back in your seat.
Stress Management Exercises for Ongoing Stress Relief
Chronic stress can quickly turn into debilitating health issues. You simply must take the time to learn stress management exercises that you do daily to become more resilient when dealing with stress. What I find often is when people think of relieving stress, they think they should relax and then they do not understand why resting causes them to feel more stressed. For this and for stress management exercises in general, I suggest the opposites approach.
The opposites approach to stress management exercises is to make sure and pursue activities that are opposite to your daily routine. If you work sitting at a computer most of the day, the best stress management exercises for you would be to get active. Walk, jog, stretch, work out and spend at least twenty minutes a day moving. These stress management exercises will help work the stress chemicals out of your body. In contrast, if you move all day, pursue stress management exercises that are still and calming. These stress management exercises could include any form of meditation, a long hot bath, or relaxing with a good book that is inspiring and uplifting.
Stress management exercises such as yoga, Tai Chi or practicing mindfulness are all three potent pursuits for gaining resiliency from the negative effects of stress. Even if you only do a few minutes a day of any of these stress management exercises, you will begin to see the benefits.
Stress Management Exercises to Avoid Cravings from Addictions
Stress management exercises are critical to pursue when you are recovering from any type of addiction because stress, depression and other negative emotions are huge triggers that will leave you craving your addiction of choice. Using all the above stress management exercises, along with calling your support person or sponsor and programming yourself that “Craving means serving” will be two of the biggest tools you can develop for yourself. What “Craving means serving” refers to is when you feel a craving, instead of allowing it to ruin your recovery, get outside yourself and do something for someone else, anyone else, until the craving passes.
When you make stress management exercises a part of your daily routine, you will feel more relaxed and when stressful situations come up, you will notice you are able to remain immune from the more negative effects of stress. Even if you can only practice stress management exercises three minutes a day, do it. Start now and even three minutes a day will give you more benefits than if you do nothing at all.