God will never give you anything you can’t handle, so don’t stress – Kelly Clarkson

Stress is a part of everyday life, but being stressed out is not. Your body is designed to handle, even  thrive on, brief periods of stress. However too much isn’t good for mind and soul. So, even when you can’t change a stressful outcome, you can have some control over the way you deal with it.

1. Breathe Easily
Breathing from your diaphragm oxygenates your blood, which helps you to relax instantly. To breathe deeply, begin by putting your hands on the abdomen just below your navel. Now, inhale slowly through your nose and watch your hand move out as your belly expands. Hold your breath from a few seconds, then exhale slowly. Repeat several times.

2. Visualise Calm
This is a highly effective technique in reducing and managing stress. Close your eyes, take three long, breaths, and spend a few minutes picturing a relaxing scene, such as walking on the beach, sitting by a brook. Focus on the details – the sights, sounds and smells.

3. Mantra
Everything is impermanent, as all things are subject to change. Remember this and you’ll get disheartened less often. Devise a simple affirmation – a short clear, positive statement about your ability to handle stress. So, the next time you feel as if life has thrown you overboard, repeat 2 to 3 times, “This too shall pass.”

4. Self Reflection
Writing provides perspective, you can start by reflecting on your day, your emotions, your thoughts and feelings. Ask yourself questions: What happened? What did you learn? Reflect on the questions you ask yourself and write them down.

5. Practise  Mindfulness
Mindfulness is an approach to life. The present is the only time we have. The past has gone and the future has yet to come. Start by focusing intently on a single object. Notice a pen’s shape. color, weight and feel. For a minute forget about your worries, deadlines and just focus intently on the object. Practicing mindfulness leads to relaxation.

6. Walk Away
Any time you feel your heart rate rising due to stress or anger, simply excuse yourself from the situation and do everything you can to recover. Take a few deep breaths, think positive thoughts and remind yourself that you are in control.