Empower Your Life With Stress Management Therapy
07 Sep 2023
Are you stressed all the time? Many people are. The demands of modern day life seem designed to cause anxiety. But you don’t have to feel constantly frazzled.
In this blog, we give you the best ways to limit your stress. Try a few of these and you will be sure to feel the benefit. If you would like more information on stress reduction techniques or would like to book a stress-busting psychotherapy session with one of our team, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Strategies For Stress Management
The world can be a stressful place. This is a fact no one can disagree with. But there are ways to relieve your burden. With stress management therapy, you can reduce your stress so you can enjoy life and not always feel so on-edge.
Meditation is an ancient practice that originated in India several thousand years ago. But meditation is not a practice that has been limited to India, and cultures all over the world have also practised this skill for thousands of years.
People meditate for a diverse range of reasons. Some use meditation to connect with God, others meditate to connect with themselves, and still more meditate to improve their focus and concentration.
Meditation has been scientifically proven to reduce levels of stress. When practising meditation, you may experience some changes in stress levels right away. And over time, the stress reducing benefits of meditation become more pronounced, as consistent practice changes brain structures and activity.
At Samarpan Health, our team often suggests that clients practice meditation as part of their stress management therapy. We consider recovery from anxiety and other mental health problems a holistic journey in which meditation can play an important role.
While we use meditation to reduce stress in our minds, we should also target stress in our bodies as part of stress management therapy. There are many different ways to exercise, and you should choose a method that works best for you.
Walking is one of the simplest forms of physical exercise you can do. Stretching your legs this way can range from a walk around the block to a day-long ramble through the countryside.
Walking consistently helps lower cortisol levels in the body, which slows down a racing mind and releases tension from the body. This exercise is also great for people suffering from PTSD, as walking has been proven to reduce PTSD symptoms.
Another ancient practice originating from India. Yoga originally referred to the “eight limbs of yoga” from Pantajali’s yoga sutras. These eight limbs involved various types of meditation, strict moral observances and breath control.
Nowadays, when people talk about yoga, they usually refer to moving their body in certain poses (asanas) while focusing on their body or breath. This practice is fantastic for stress relief, as well as healing from depression and other mental health problems.
There are a wide range of different yoga practices you can choose from. These range from the somewhat grueling ashtanga style of yoga, to far more relaxed styles such as yin yoga and restorative yoga.
We recommend that when you use yoga as part of your stress management therapy you ease into it. Consider the more laid-back styles. If you feel like taking a more vigorous class, check out hatha yoga. This practice involves poses that are held for around 30 seconds to one minute, which some people find particularly grounding. In most hatha classes you can also work up a sweat.
Lifting weights is not the first activity most people jump to when they think about stress management therapy. But you would be wrong to disregard lifting for stress relief. Consistently lifting can be immensely stress-busting and depression-abating. And weights can also optimize your hormones, which also play a role in stress relief.
If you eat a decent diet, lifting will also get you in good shape, which may help boost your self-confidence.
Diet is an often overlooked aspect of stress management therapy. While eating a diet full of sugar, carbs and oils may satisfy you in the short term, in the long term this dietary approach may increase your anxiety levels.
There are a few different reasons for this. Firstly, constantly spiking your blood sugar levels can increase cortisol production, which raises stress levels. Over time, the perpetual yo-yo of blood sugar wreaks havoc in your body. You can develop insulin resistance, which is when your body does not allow glucose to enter your cells for energy. This can cause you to become lethargic and full of anxiety.
Eating too many carbs can also cause insulin resistance. And carbs may also lead to problems with your digestion. Robust digestion is vital to your physical and mental well-being. When your stomach is not breaking down food well, anxiety levels may again creep up.
Oils like soybean oil and corn oil cause inflammation in the body. Over time, this inflammation may cause your thyroid gland to cease functioning optimally. This reduces energy levels in the body, and again causes more stress.
A diet high in protein with a decent amount of vegetables and healthy oils can go a long way when it comes to reducing your stress.
Breathing properly is so important to keep our levels of stress down. When we are stressed, we often start breathing fast and shallow. Often, people who do this are not even aware of it. Sometimes calming a racing mind can be as simple as becoming aware of our breathing and slowing it right down. This activates the parasympathetic nervous system - the “rest and digest” switch in our bodies, which allows us to relax.
Certain breathing patterns are particularly powerful for stress management therapy. Try breathing in for four seconds, then breathing out for eight seconds. Make sure that when you breathe in you inhale deeply into your belly, as this is the best for stress relief.
The stress management therapy tips above can help you to get your stress levels down, but ultimately the best approach to reducing stress is talk therapy, also known as psychotherapy.
While life can sometimes be inherently stressful, how we respond to that stress is everything. When you start psychotherapy, you will learn to be aware of maladaptive patterns of thoughts and behavior that are increasing your stress levels. Changing these is one of the most effective ways to reduce stress.
During psychotherapy you will also have the opportunity to look at traumatic events that have happened in your past. Sometimes there are one or two “big traumas” that have happened in your life that cause you to experience far more stress in your present day. Physical and emotional abuse, violent crimes and serious accidents that you have been the victim of or witnessed can all cause you to feel on edge.
But you don't need to have experienced trauma in this way for it to affect you in the long term. Sometimes, someone may be subject to traumas where they felt trapped or powerless. While someone who was subjected to these traumas might not remember individual incidents as being particularly unbearable, the combined effect of these incidents contribute towards a nervous system that always feels overworked.
The stress management work for any kind of trauma involves acknowledging, processing, and gradually reducing the emotional and psychological impact of your traumatic experiences. You should only do this with a mental health professional who you trust and who has plenty of experience helping people with their trauma. Digging trauma out is an incredibly powerful element of stress management therapy, but it takes a psychotherapist with a great deal of skill to be able to do it effectively.
Stress Management Therapy At Samarpan Health
Stress management therapy takes many forms. At Samarpan, we offer our clients psychotherapy, as we have found this is the most effective stress management therapy available. All our psychotherapists have many years of experience helping people who experience stress - this allows them to be far more effective at getting to the root of your stress.
If you would like to speak with us about how we can help you to reduce your stress, please do not hesitate to contact us. We would love to receive a call from you.