“There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will.” – Epictetus
“Make the best use of what’s in your power and take the rest as it happens.” – Epictetus
Stress is a major problem for many people – a hectic job, a chaotic home life, money issues to worry about, toxic people, unhealthy eating, drinking and smoking all contribute to stress.
Stress is unavoidable however we can implement certain practices to manage it so that it does not run our life. High stress levels that go unmanaged can cause unhappiness and health issues.
There are numerous steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of being affected by stress. This blog contains some simple steps that you can take to help minimise or avoid stress. Many of these practices were adopted in ancient Greece. In ancient Greece the focus was on managing ones energy by practicing therapies such as food therapy, meditation therapy, prayer therapy, gratitude therapy, affirmation therapy, chakra therapy, massage therapy, music therapy, salt therapy, light therapy, dream therapy etc. The ancient Greek practices have worked for me and you can pick and choose the ones that will work best for you and give them a try.
Learn to recognise when you are stressed and take steps to minimise stress and avoid additional stress. If you are worried about your stress levels or are struggling to manage or avoid stress then it is important that you speak to your doctor or someone else for help and support.
- Exercise and consume high vibrational food
“Let medicine be the food and food thy medicine”- Hippocrates
“If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we would have found the safest way to health.” – Hippocrates
When you are stressed distract yourself by doing something active – walk, hike, play a sport, go for a run, do yoga. It doesn’t have to be gruelling to reduce stress. Just move and have fun doing it. Incorporating periods of physical exercise into your routine will help to improve muscle control, make you feel healthier and increase self-esteem.
Poor health in itself is a major source of stress. Try to improve your diet and avoid stimulants as much as possible. Excess caffeine or nicotine can make individuals feel anxious or on-edge. Junk food and refined sugars low in nutritional value and high in calories can leave us feeling out of energy and sluggish. A healthy diet, low in sugar, caffeine, and alcohol, can promote health and reduce stress
For good health eat an abundance of foods with high vibration energy and nutrients such as organic nuts, fruit, vegetables and fresh herbs. Keep to a minimum foods such as meat, poultry and sugar and foods that are highly processed, microwaved, chemically altered, genetically altered (GMO), contain chemically additives or have being mistreated by a person. They have little or no good vibrational energy and nutrition to add to your body. Examples of foods that aid in reducing stress include dark leafy green vegetables, fermented foods, blueberries, dark chocolate, seeds and avocado.
- Meditation, Prayer & Gratitude
“Only when your mind is silent and listens, and your heart is full of love — only then God talks with you.” – Pythagoras
“Learn to be silent, Let your quiet mind, Listen and absorb”. – Pythagoras
Do something calming. Both meditation and prayer are great for reducing your stress levels. They are helpful to get you away from the worries of life to a more peaceful state of mind. As little as 10 minutes of meditation a day can make a huge difference by bringing peace and relaxation to your body and mind.
When you are unsure as to how to cope with a situation say a prayer and send the concern to the universe (“God”) for a solution.
It is important in tough times and in times when we need guidance to pray, meditate and to search from within for answers and direction. Focus on all the good things happening in your life and give gratitude and thanks. Focussing on the things going right in your life can diminish the worry and stresses we are focussing on.
- Focus on been present and breath
“Live today, forget the past” – An Ancient Greek Proverb
“The whole life of a man is but a point in time; let us enjoy it.” Plutarch
We all encounter obstacles and challenges in our life that stress us out. Embrace them, learn from them, accept them and move on. Find peace with your challenges and be present and open to new opportunities and ideas. Interpret a NO as a new opportunity to knock on another door or to move you in a new direction. The biggest obstacle in our lives is usually ourselves. Try not to focus too much into the future it hasn’t arrived yet.
- Focus on positive thoughts
“Day by day, what you choose, what you think and what you do is who you become.” Heraclitus
“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.” – Epicurus
“Happiness depends upon ourselves”. Aristotle
Always strive to think and feel positive. “Think good thoughts” the ancient Greeks would preach. When negative thoughts enter your mind wave them goodbye and replace them with happy thoughts. Focus on the present and things that you are grateful for. Eliminate negative people around you and always surround yourself with positive and happy people
Do not dwell on failures and reward yourself for your successes. Accept that everyone has limits and cannot succeed at everything. Reflect on what you have achieved.
Inner balance and “agapi” (unconditional love) cannot coexist with worry, stress, anger, frustration, fear, anxiety and competitiveness. These feelings or experiences do not create good feelings or good energy for our health and wellness. Ultimately, we are responsible for our health and well-being, so it’s important to substitute fear, stress with faith.
Practice Affirmations also assist in reducing stress as were practiced frequently in ancient Greece.
- Sleep, Rest and Play
Plan time in the day to do something that gives you pleasure for example get a massage. Looking forward to such times helps when you have to cope with less pleasant aspects of life.
Many people do not include relaxation time in their schedules. Conscious relaxation is important for your body and mind and can help you deal with the negatives of stress.
A good night’s sleep makes you able to tackle the day’s stress more easily. When you are tired, you are less patient and more easily agitated which can increase stress. Most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Practicing good sleep hygiene along with stress-lowering tactics can help improve your quality of sleep.
It is important to try not to cope with problems alone. Having someone to share your problems can greatly help to ‘off load’ the stress. You might find it useful to talk to a friend, family member or work colleague or talk to your employer if you are experiencing stress in the work place.