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Prevent Stress Build-up

In my previous article I focused on techniques to help decrease the effects from an in-the-moment stressful situation that comes out of the blue and needs to be eased quickly, and easily. In this article, the angle is more of a preventative one.

Both methods go hand-in hand…the preventative helps to get a hold on your known causes of stress and keep them at bay, whereas the S.O.S techniques assist in unprecedented moments where you can’t let it get the better of you (for example before, or in a big meeting). The type that prevents low levels of stress from building over time and potentially becoming all encompassing (at which point it is even harder to manage) requires consistency, practice and awareness. This is what I refer to as the preventative tools.

Preventative measures should ideally be carried out daily and be part of your routine. Even when life seems to be going smoothly, they need to be maintained in order for that calm to continue and not turn into stress. We often do all the right things when life feels too much, but then forget about them when things calm down. The issue is that without the consistency, life will inevitably feel too much again at some point in the future. Your preventative techniques might look something life daily journalling to find clarity and vent, a yoga practice to come back to the body and find balance, a morning walk to clear the mind and get fresh air or boxing to release and sweat out pent up energy.

You may also choose to alternate between techniques that you enjoy, or reserve 20-mins of your morning for a steady, identical set of rituals that you rely on for a smooth week.

Remember, just as we go through phases in relationships, our favourite food changes or form of exercise works it is vital that our stress less techniques change when needed, too. Don’t get too stuck on one single technique and instead be open to it evolving, changing or not working any longer and needing to find a new one. As we change, we have to adapt our preventative stress techniques and incorporate new ones to meet our needs.

In order to incorporate a new tool to help manage your stress, attach it to a habit that you already do daily without thinking about it. For example before brushing your teeth or putting on your pyjamas in the evening. By doing it just before or after something that already comes easy, you have a higher chance of sticking to it and reaping the benefits.

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