Stress Reduction Tips from Crystal

1) Walk away for 20 minutes from your stress. Sometimes stress is addictive and we get sucked into hanging out with it, thinking we will resolve it. However, taking a 20 minute break from thinking or working on the issue can bring new perspective and calm.

2) Try to look at things from a different point of view.  In counseling, the term is reframing. I always ask myself this question:

"What can I gain from this situation that is positive?"

For example, I have a pressing bill due and the money isn't here. I won't make enough to pay it, so I worry about it, trying to find ways to make it work. I look at the facts: I can only pay $10 on this bill, but they want it paid in full. After praying and doing all I can, I give up the worry. I look at the positive. I learn patience, I learn how to budget, I learn wisdom as I learn better ways to save my money. It isn't easy, but it helps me worry less.

3) Talk with a friend, parent, counselor, or colleague. Talking about an issue that causes worry can help put things into perspective. This helps to avoid what we call catastrophizing.

4) Schedule a worry time. Remind yourself you have 20 min of worry time every day at the same time. This helps you not worry the whole day until this time, where you get out your list and you worry about it for 20 min. We eventually try to get the worry time down to smaller amounts of time.

5) Breath in.Breath out.ig belly breaths. 5 times. Now, let your shoulders fall in relaxation. Do this when you are not anxious or worried and it gets easier to do when you are stressed. When you are stressed, you don't get enough oxygen because breathing shallows. Purposely breathing deeply in and out replenishes your supply so you can think more clearly.

6) Exercise. Exercise releases endorphins. Endorphins trigger positive feelings in the brain that make you feel happy. It is similar to drugs such as morphine.

7) Meditate. Use your own scripts, ones you find online, or in the Bible. These scripts can be recorded and played back with relaxing music. I depend on this daily. It is my go-to plan for calming myself down and it works. Here are some scripts: