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How to Relieve Stress

How to relieve stress? There are many ways to relieve stress. This site has a stress relief tip or stress relief technique on nearly every page. For a full listing explore the easy-to-read site map .

To help in understanding the how question of how you can relieve stress let's start with one of the stress relief tips for pain and stress reduction.

A self-care moment:

Ask yourself these two questions:

  1. What do you feel your life will be like when stress is reduced? Imagine it. Ponder it. Write it down.
  2. For what reason(s) do you want to relieve stress? It's may be obvious but kindly take a moment. Ask yourself that. Make a list.

Maybe your reasons are similar to these. Perhaps you:

  • Want to relieve stress because you're anxious, tired and worried
  • Don't like what you are feeling
  • Know somewhere inside of you that feeling better is an option
  • Want to feel calmer
  • You desire more ease in your life
  • Feel a place of calm is distant

It takes small steps to create big effects

Returning to calm is doable.
In order to take those small steps it takes something extraordinary . . .

It takes making a change

The truth is this: how to relieve stress involves change. It involves changing your behavior. It means changing how you react to stress.

And real change can stop most people. Not because you don't want to change.

Change stops you because if you're like most people, you don't know how to do it. No one taught you how to change.

So underneath the question of "How to relieve stress?" is the foundation question of "How do I change my reaction to stress?"

Fortunately, there are people who have studied this. Through watching human behavior, they have observed patterns in how change actually happens. Interestingly, the steps to real change involve very familiar and grounded common sense.

Here's the first step:
Remember that you have a natural tendency to be healthy

"Individuals prefer to be healthy rather than sick, to be free to choose rather than having choices made for them, and in general to further the optimal development of the total organism." *

Carl Rogers believed this. In his many years as a helping professional, he observed that people have this self-actualizing natural tendency of choosing health.

He also noticed that what gets in the way of this natural tendency toward health are external forces. External forces can't be controlled. So what really gets in the way is how you react to what's happening to you. And that's something you can control.

Fortunately, there are very concrete steps to change how you react to what happens to you a.k.a. those "external forces". It's called changing your habits.

Have you been feeling higher than normal amounts of stress for a while? Then there is a habit of reaction occurring that invokes the flight or fight response. In order to reduce stress, you'll need to change the habit of reaction to a new habit. A new habit that is calming and supportive.

How to relieve stress involves changing unsupportive bad habits into supportive good habits that serve you.

You'll learn the next steps of how to change on Help Yourself Stress Relief's changing bad habits page.

* Raskin, Rogers & Witty as cited in Corsini, R. J., & Wedding, D. (2007). Current psychotherapies (8th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

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