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Here's how you can manage and significantly reduce your stress levels

Stress Management Techniques:

Stress is an issue which affects our day-to-day life and clogs up our brain, making it difficult to make sound decisions and even affects our concentration, attention and focus, leading to reduced productivity and low efficiency. But how do we manage such stressors and make our life more ‘stress-free’.

Here are a few techniques you can inculcate in your daily routine without much adjustment, which would significantly improve your mental health, reduce high-stress levels and improve your overall quality of life.

Relaxation Techniques: It is an active skill that reduces symptoms of stress and decreases the incidence of illnesses such as high blood pressure and heart disease. Usually, relaxation starts from the lower part of the body and progresses up to the facial muscles in such a way that the whole body is relaxed. Deep breathing issued along with muscle relaxation to calm the mind and relax the body.

Meditation Procedures: The yogic method of meditation consists of a sequence of learned techniques for refocusing of attention that brings about an altered state of consciousness. It involves such a thorough concentration that the meditator becomes unaware of any outside stimulation and reaches a different state of consciousness.

Biofeedback It is a procedure to monitor and reduce the physiological aspects of stress by providing feedback about current physiological activity and is often accompanied by relaxation training involves three stages: developing an awareness of the particular physiological response, e.g., heart rate, learning ways of controlling that physiological response in quiet conditions; and transferring that control into the conditions of everyday life.

Creative Visualization: It is an effective technique for dealing with stress. Creative visualization is a subjective experience that uses imagery and imagination. Before visualizing one must set oneself a realistic goal, as it helps build confidence. It is easier to visualize if one’s mind is quiet, body relaxed and eyes are closed. This reduces the risk of interference from unbidden thoughts and provides the creative energy needed for turning an imagined scene into reality.

Cognitive Behavioural Techniques: These techniques aim to inoculate people against stress. Stress inoculation trainings one effective method developed by Meichenbaum. The essence of this approach is to replace negative and irrational thoughts with positive and rational ones. There are three main phases in this: assessment, stress reduction techniques, and application and follow-through. Assessment involves discussing the nature of the problem and seeing it from the viewpoint of the person/client. Stress reduction involves learning the techniques of reducing stress such as relaxation and self-instruction.

Exercise: Exercise can provide an active outlet for the physiological arousal experienced in response to stress. Regular exercise improves the efficiency of the heart, enhances the function of the lungs, maintains good circulation, lowers blood pressure, reduces fat in the blood and improves the body’s immune system. Swimming, walking, running, cycling, skipping, etc. help to reduce stress. One must practice these exercises at least four times a week for 30 minutes at a time. Each session must have a warm-up, exercise and cool down phase.

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