Living a Stress Free Life

Can you really lead a stress-free life?

Probably not completely as living a stress free life is not a reasonable goal in this high tech world. Dealing with everyday stresses is a more achievable goal. Look at people in your lives that deal with stress well. These are the people who cope even when thrown life’s challenges but handle it. Stress resistant people also tend to accept the problems as circumstances  and don’t personalize the problem eg They might say “I have a bad habit” and not “I am a bad person.”

Here are some strategies for a stress free life:

  • meditation
  • massage
  • relaxation exercises
  • yoga
  • biofeedback
  • music therapy

Can you really lead a stress free life? Again I don’t think so and maybe you wouldn’t want to. Stress is a part of a life well lived, the sort of life that inevitably involves change.

Try repeating an affirmation for stress relieving. Here is a lovely affirmation below that you should say each day, and remember stress will chase us but we don’t have to make it change our life for the worse.

Stress Free Affirmation

Cognitive Therapy for Anxiety

I am a big believer in cognitive therapy for anxiety as changing how you think will give long term benefits that masking the problem like taking medications cant do. I have tried both of course for anxiety help and slowly but surely the cognitive therapy has given me the results I wanted.

The following is my personal comparison with taking medications and cognitive therapy for helping me with panic attacks and reducing anxiety.

Medication
I was first referred to a Psychiatrist for my increasing anxiety and panic attacks and she prescribed medication (I wont disclose the specific drug) which unfortunately didn’t help me significantly but did gave me several side effects that were unpleasant with  one of them long lasting.

The doctor said it was unfortunate that I was one of the people who experience most of the side effects of this drug which included dizziness when bending down, creeping scalp (this persisted when I experienced anxious for many years), blurry vision.  It seems most people will only experience one or two side effects only.

Cognitive Therapy
I joined a group of people who also suffered from social anxiety and panic attacks and what surprised me when I started was how different we were and what made us suffer this way.  One person could never talk on the phone, another couldn’t return goods to a store, ordering a drink at the bar was someone else’s fear and I found it very difficult to eat in restaurants, just to name so we were so different but so similar in our reactions to their stressors.

With cognitive therapy for anxiety I learned to change my thinking and reactions to certain triggers.  I learned the tools to prevent my panic attacks and felt now confident that I could now take back control of my life.

Looking at the two now I have to say that there is no comparison in regard to the results.  Medication helped me for about a week but not to a great extent but cognitive therapy gave me back my life.

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Over Breathing and Anxiety

We take breathing for granted as something that we just do but breathing and anxiety do have a  link.  Breathing is not something we have to think about, it just happens.  We adults breathe about 15 times per minute on average.  I am a shallow breather so I would take more breaths per minute than the average person would.

What does that me to me personally?  Well when someone is anxious they tend to over breathe and hyperventilate but I am already half way there already.

My goal over the last few years is to control my breathing by slowing it down and taking bigger breaths.  This was not easy at first but when you start to see the good results then you know you have to persevere.  Retraining yourself for anything takes time  so don’t be hard on yourself and keep going.  I used to just do these exercises below when I felt a panic attack coming on but now I do them when I think about it as  a kind of preventative measure.

Here is my 5 step method for breathing and anxiety:

  1. If you are already hyperventilating just exhale, then hold your breath for a count of 5.   Breathe in and hold that breath again.  Now continue or if this step does not apply to you go to No 2 now.
  2. Sit somewhere quiet if possible.  You don’t need to lie down unless you really want to.  If this is not possible then proceed anyway.
  3. Take a deep breath for 5 seconds, hold it for another 5 seconds,  feel your stomach expand, now exhale slowly for a further 10 seconds.
  4. Do this again a few more times.
  5. Now breathe in without holding your breath and exhale slowly.

These are easy steps to take to control your breathing and anxiety but they work for me so try them yourself and see what difference they make for you.  Everyone is different but I am sure you will get some benefit from this method.

Anxiety Lie

Social Anxiety | My Experience (Part 1)

I suffer from social anxiety.  Social anxiety Disorder is a recognized psychiatric condition and is common in both sexes and which causes distress and impaired ability to function in social situations in a person’s daily life. This is my personal story but I must say that I manage my anxiety well now, and keep my stress levels down as much as possible.  I won’t say that I am ‘cured’ but I am learning again to enjoy the things I once feared.

Continue reading Social Anxiety | My Experience (Part 1)