Create Your Reduce Stress Plan

Creating a reduce stress plan may seem like a lot of work.
It is worth it?

Some people don't need a stress management plan. They just read about different ways to relieve stress and apply one or two that seem appropriate.

For other people a stress management plan is really helpful.

So here are some suggestions and tools you can use.
Keep your plan simple, and implement it gradually.
Then you will see your stress levels come down and your levels of peace, heath and happiness go up.

This is a 6 step process to create your Reduce Stress Plan. Try not to take too long making the plan. It is often more useful to get started simply than to try and get it “perfect” the first time.

Step 1 - Evaluate Your Current Situation

Is stress mounting in your life? Has it reached uncomfortable levels? When stress levels are too high our health is at risk.

Sometimes people use a Life Events Inventory to help them evaluate their stress levels.
This article from Wikipedia allows you to
take the Holmes Rahe Stress Scale Test.
(It will open in a new window.)

Sometimes people simply do a self assessment of their current feelings and symptoms. Some common symptoms which may indicate high levels of stress include insomnia, indigestion, worry, anxiety, depression, fatigue, aches, pains, high blood pressure, skin rashes and an increase in colds, flu or infections.

Sometimes it is best to seek the advice of a trained health care professional. Consult with a qualified health care professional regarding any serious physical or emotional challenges.

Step 2 - Visualize What You Really Want

How would you like your life to look and feel?
How will you know when you have reached it?
Write it down.
Visualizing the goal and then writing it down, helps to enliven the possibility and make it more likely to occur.

Step 4 - Create Your Personalized Reduce Stress Plan

Learn About Stress Relief Techniques.
These stress relief tips are classified in 4 categories:
physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.

As you read about them, make a note –
which ones seem most appropriate for your stress management plan?

Physical Emotional Mental Spiritual
stress relief exercises EFT visualization of goals mindfulness based stress reduction
sleep as stress relief humorous stress relief reading inspiring literature using a meditation labyrinth
gentle breathing
for stress relief
aromatherapy stress relief clutter control prayer for stress relief
stress relief food developing forgiveness keeping a journal participation in 12 step programs
drinking pure water communicating to reduce stress studying with a mentor use personal core values
like kindness
stress relief massage beautiful music finding your life purpose
herbal stress relief HeartMath

Create a balanced reduce stress plan to implement one or more suggestions from each of the categories on a weekly planning tool or calendar.

(See sample stress management plans below for examples and a blank form to work with.)

Make sure you can organize the reduce stress plan into small doable parts. Be patient. Sometimes slow and steady wins the race. It is often best to introduce only 1 or at most 2 new habits per month.

Step 4 - Start Implementing Your Plan

Be systematic and develop patience and the stress relief will come. Bodies and habits take time to adjust.

If you don’t meet your goals one day or one week, don’t completely give up. Stay committed but be gentle with yourself. Take it one day at a time. It does not work to force things. Gradually incorporate additional approaches as the first approaches your try become easy and habitual.

Get a commitment partner or cheerleader if possible. This is someone who cares about you and can encourage you in your new habits.

Step 5 - Do Weekly Evaluations of Your Progress

Modify your stress management plan as needed.

Keep the plan realistic.

If one method you try doesn’t seem practical for you explore another.

Eventually you will find a mix of approaches that work well in your life.

Step 6 - Celebrate Progress While You Enjoy the Journey

Stress relief is not an end in itself.
Stress relief is a way to help you fulfill your life purpose goals and dreams.
So give thanks for life’s blessings and go for it.

3 Sample Reduce Stress Plans to Guide You

A beginning plan -

A beginning plan is often best kept very simple. It takes time to build new habits.

A sample beginning Reduce Stress Plan might have a person add just one new behavior or stress relief method each month. After a month, when the new habit is well established, then add another complimentary approach.

We can not force stress relief. The results build cumulatively over time.
It might look like this:

Month
Action
1
Sleep at least 8 hours per night
2
Meditate or pray daily
3
Simplify your life with time management principles
4
Practice forgiveness daily
5
Eliminate sugar and sodas. Replace with pure water and fresh fruit.
6
Take a weekly exercise or yoga class
7
Visualize health and peace at least 5 minutes daily
8
Be grateful for everything
9
Consciously take 10 slow gentle breaths 4 times daily (before meals and bed)
10
Take herbal adaptogens twice daily
11
Remember to laugh frequently
12
Do at least 3 rounds of EFT per day on whatever is bothering me

An intermediate plan -

Another person's stress management plan might look like this:


Physical
Emotional
Mental
Spiritual
Action
Stop eating sugar and sodas
Laugh at least 2x per day and read jokes if necessary Visualize your goals as already accomplished 5 minutes per day Do at least one act of simple kindness per day

A more advanced plan -

After awhile of building healthy habits a reduce stress plan might look like this:

Physical


Emotional


Mental


Spiritual


Exercise at least 30 minutes, 6 times per week


Do at least 3 rounds of EFT per day on whatever is bothering me

Visualize health peace and happiness at least 5 minutes per day.
Ask for and write God’s guidance to me each day

Consciously take 3 slow gentle breaths at least 4 times per day - before each meal and bedtime

Give and receive at least one good hug or massage per day

Read or listen to something inspiring each day.

Meditate daily

Take herbal adaptogens twice daily

Remember to laugh

Evaluate progress toward goals once per week

Be grateful for everything

Sleep at least 7 hours per night. Get to bed by 11pm
Practice forgiveness

Research solutions to challenges as needed


Be kind to all creatures including myself

Eat simple natural nourishing meals

Listen to beautiful music


Pray morning and evening

For a blank PDF form to help you create your own stress relief plan click here.

A Few Additional Perspectives to Consider:

Some people will be naturally oriented more toward the approaches in the physical column or the spiritual column or the mental column That's OK. What you do in one column will naturally also benefit the others.

But since life includes all these levels, to make optimum progress it is good to do at least something in each column and address each level of life specifically.

The mental tends to be more linear and logical. The spiritual is more subjective and experiential based on a level of awareness. The emotional has to do with energy flows and blockages and various kinds of associated feelings. The physical is, well it's physical. It deals with the world of tangible form and function. They are all part of life.

If you would like to make good progress in your reduce stress plan, having a list of daily stress relief activities may be helpful. Keep a record at the end of the day, what you actually did.

Once per week we suggest taking a look at the results of the plan. Then you can evaluate, modify and revise your stress management plan for the coming week, and start again.

Of course, it’s possible to be less focused on it and still make progress.

There is not single right way to do this. Relax, experiment, give it time and you will find what works best for you.

If all of this seems way too much for you to deal with by yourself, consider the benefits of Online Counseling

Or visit Gentle Stress Relief home page