How to Manage Stress and Depression – Relaxation Techniques

If you know how to manage stress and depression, you won’t completely eliminate stress from your life — but you will be happier and more peaceful! These coping tips will help you make the best of a bad situation — and they include five ways to turn bad stress into good stress.

Before the tips, a quip:

“Life is not orderly,” says writer Natalie Goldberg. “No matter how we try to make life so, right in the middle of it we die, lose a leg, fall in love, drop a jar of applesauce.”

We’ll never be free from problems in life, so we need to find ways to manage stress and depression. Here, Dr Sandy Gluckman describes relaxation techniques, such as reframing negative situations and turning bad stress into good stress.

How to Manage Stress and Depression

“Stress is the body’s way of telling us that we have lost touch with our bold and courageous self,” says Dr Gluckman.  “The first step to manage stress is to reframe a situation that we have labeled as negative. So, ask the following questions…”

1. What’s the best outcome? Write this down in as much detail as possible. Creating a positive and inspiring vision gives a sense of hope. When we create an inspiring vision, we automatically feel better — whether it’s home or work stress. This picture of the positive outcome causes our bodies to secrete endorphins (natural anti-depressants). An effective relaxation technique is to visualize how you hope the situation will be resolved.

2. Tell yourself that this (yes, even stress and depression!) is happening for a reason. It’s offering an opportunity to do something that could enhance your life. During a stressful time, you may not see the possibilities – but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

3. Tell yourself how grateful you are that this is happening. If this stressful event did not happen, you wouldn’t have this opportunity to enhance your life. Changing how you think about unfavorable circumstances is valuable way to manage stress and depression.

5 Ways to Turn Bad Stress Into Good Stress

Good stress stretches you to a higher level of functioning. Taking a public speaking course, for example, is good stress because it teaches you to take risks and increases self-confidence.

Here are five ways to turn bad stress into good stress — which helps you manage stress and depression.

1. Visualization. Dr Gluckman advises that you create a vision of the best outcome you would love to make happen.  The best way to do this is to get a pile of old magazines, a project sheet, scissors and glue. Go to your favorite quiet spot.  Cut out pictures and words that depict the outcome you want to see happen. Glue these onto the project sheet so that they tell an inspiring story. Then plan how you can achieve this. This is an effective relaxation technique because it gives you a feeling of control and power.

2. Thought swapping.  Every time a negative thought comes up in your mind, say to yourself ‘No!’ and consciously replace that thought with thoughts about the inspirational vision you created. This helps you manage stress and depression because it teaches you to think positively.

3. Exercise. Moving your body is a great relaxation technique! Choose the kind of exercise you like best – preferably something aerobic, which releases endorphins (feel-good hormones). If you’re at the office, find a creative way to take 10 minutes away from your desk to do some form of exercise. You might find Easy Office Workout Tips helpful.

4. Talk to someone you trust, but don’t focus on the negatives. Tell the story and then immediately move to sharing your vision for the best outcome and brainstorm the best options for making your desired outcome a reality.  Dr Gluckman advises not choosing someone to speak to who will nurture your bad feelings and encourage you to tell and retell the negative aspects of the story. To turn bad stress into good stress, stop focusing on the negatives.

5. Choose an intellectual activity that helps you become involved in something other than yourself.  Reading, writing, crossword puzzles, and work projects can help you manage stress and depression simply by diverting your attention. Plus, it’s good for your brain!

For more stress management tips, read The Best Way to Cope With Stress – Flip It Upside Down!

If you have any thoughts on these ways to manage stress and depression, please comment below…

Visit The Gluckman Group, Inc for more info about Dr Gluckman.

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