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Stress Strategy: 10 Stress Hacks to Boost Productivity and Creativity

Stress sucks!  

But it is an inevitable part of being human and learning to work with stress will change your life.

The western educational systems do not broach the subject of dealing with stress, but it is a fundamental skill that will determine our success and happiness in life.

We are going to look at proven ways to make stress work for you.

First, let’s clarify what we mean by stress.

Stress can be thought of as any physical or mental tension, literally any negative experience.

There is no way to cure anxiety.

It’s learning how to manage, mitigate and channel stress into a productive outlet that is the key.

We can take steps to control and limit its effects and magnitude.

We’ll be looking at the most effective and practical actions you can control and manage the effects of stress in your life.

There are two categories to counteracting stress; the first is prevention, reducing and controlling stressful situations and environments.

The second is training our reaction to stress and recovering from stressful incidents.

Soothe the Nervous System

Let’s dive into the quickest steps you can take to reduce stress now.

Our bodies manifest stress and tension and need to be soothed.

We can dissect this by taking a look at what can be done to relax our physical systems.

And to do this, we take inspirations from one of the safest places we have ever known, where our consciousness was born….

The womb and recreating a womb-like an experience is one of the most effective ways to immediately reduce stress levels.

I recommend going through each sense and making sure the sensory stimulus is designed to be stress busting.

1. Touch and the Nerve Cells

A weighted blanket like this one gives a sense of security and is proven to make us feel safe and secure, reducing our understanding of stress.

Weighted Blanket

Combine this with a hammock and a vibrating cushion for the ultimate soothing cocoon.

2. Sound and Hearing

A pair of noise-cancelling headphones playing a soothing tone of around 40hz reverberates around our body and helps to quell our chattering mind.

This is especially useful if your stress is manifesting itself in cyclical thought patterns.

Specific isochronic tones are proven to reduce stress and even reverse the onset of dementia. I also recommend humming to match the sound in the earphones.

3. Eye Mask for Complete Darkness

So the song goes “Hello – darkness my old friend…”

So, can eye masks bring calm and peace?

Shutting out all intrusive and stressful light allows us to focus inwards and sleeping in a properly darkened room has been scientifically proven to increase happiness levels.

I say get this eye mask and indulge in darkness

4. Essential Oils for Scent

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A calming scent of lavender is an excellent immediate remedy for reducing stress. Using a diffuser to instil the room you are in with a lovely fragrance will have stress levels back to a baseline in no time at all.

5. Chewing Gum for Taste

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It has been shown in scientific studies that the act of chewing naturally calms our systems.

I’d also recommend a healthy menthol gum which actively distracts you from whatever the stresses you are experiencing are.

6. Bring It All Together

Combine all of these sensory management methods, and you have your little isolation chamber, it is comparable to being back in the womb and will.

The safest place we have ever known and where our first concepts of reality were formed. This is an immediate remedy for a post stressful situation.

While in this exclusion zone, I recommend meditation, simple mindfulness meditation is a great place to start.

7. Prevent Stress by Taking Control and Increasing Predictability

Taking an active and direct approach to solving the causes of our stress is one of the best pro-active and best preventative measures we can take towards combating stress.

I recommend researching game theory and reassuring yourself that while can never make the best decision all of the time, you can always select the best strategy that will give you the best opportunity.

I found this book particularly useful in taking the stress out of making decisions.

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I also suggest introducing structure and planning into your life wherever possible. I implement a Scrum framework to make sure I know what I am doing when I’m doing it and why I’m doing it.

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And as the title of the book says. Do twice the work in the half the time. Is a sure fire way to increase your ability to deal with stressful situations.

8. Express Yourself

Finding out why you are stressed and acknowledging it is a significant step forward in working out what you can do to improve your enjoyment of life.

To articulate what it is that getting you down, you can try journaling.

This bullet journal is great for keeping track of your thoughts. And I recommend starting with some stream of consciousness to uncover deeply held limiting and stressful beliefs.

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9. Train Patience and Self-Control

Train your reaction to stress with work on your inner game. A great way to manage your stress responses is to train your impulse control.

You can start with just a couple of minutes a day and work your way up to a ten-day silent meditation retreat.

Conclusion

Don’t fight stress, learn how to deal with stressful situations, then take pro-active actions to prepare to reduce the number of stressful situations you encounter.

And finally, know how to alleviate your stress responses after an incident that triggers your stress.

Combining these methods will help you enjoy and succeed in life.

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