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Under pressure? Four Tips To Help With Stress

Tuesday, September 02, 2014


Photo Credit: Sander van der Wel via Compfight cc

How to ‘cope with stress’ is a much bandied about term that gets lots of airtime today. The usual methods identified to combat stress include meditation, nature walks, regular breaks at work and weekend getaways. 

The problem with this advice is that most of us are more likely to deploy these tactics when we are not under stress rather than when we are. Stress has a tendency to paralyze many people – myself included.  Meditating can turn your brain into a record that is stuck on the groove of whatever problem you’re ruminating over at the time. 

Get away for a weekend? Not likely to happen if your stress is financial in nature. Regular breaks at work? Unlikely if your stress is about a micro-managing boss looking to fire slackers. Much about stress lies within a problem one cannot solve, or a solution one cannot find. One size does not fit all when it comes to shaving the edges of stress off the corners of your fast-paced life. 

Here are four stress reduction techniques for different types of people with different learning styles.


Let’s start with me. I’m a kinesthetic type. Movement is what burns up my corticosteroids, better known as those death- knell anxiety hormones hoping to create sticky plaque in the lining of our arteries. Moving fast through exercise, walking, or jumping up and down helps me take a mini-vacation and creates a safe space between me and irritable people, snarling traffic, and vexing problems with elusive solutions. 

Nothing spells relief for me better than a swim that exhausts me, a jump in the river for muscle taxing laps, a run up and down my block, or a few miles on the treadmill. It is during these physically active moments that I have moments of clarity, intuitions pop into my head, and solutions to my overwhelming problems come to me out of thin air. 

Personally, when I have pent up stress and anxiety, trying to meditate is like caging an agitated bear. For kinesthetic learners, it is important that we get out of our own way, preferably through movement so we can allow our inner knowing to surface. 


For those who are reflective and linear thinkers, an effective way to rise above the columns of stress clouds steaming out of their ears, might be making a list of possible solutions or strategies for vexing problems offering the visual clarity they seek. Nothing spells calm like a resolute solution on paper for these visual learners. 

Visual learners find respite in lists in black and white. 

Lists also serve as a template to brainstorm more ideas and solutions. Just getting the jumbled up emotional riff out of their heads and on paper is calming in itself.


Auditory learners will want to crank up the tunes to escape the quagmire of anxiety, and sway to the lyrics of their favorite band. Listening to music staves off the death rattle of anxiety. 

Many people believe that music brings them to a spiritual space. Sounds have scientifically been proven to be a catalyst for healing and self-transformation. Sound healers and sound therapy are sought after treatments for energy healing, calming anxiety, and getting centered. Listen to what moves you. 


What if you are a combination of all three learning types? Cool. Strap your iPod on your bicep, plug in your ear buds, go for a run, and when you get back take a journal and start a stream- of- consciousness list of thoughts. And, when you are refreshed and calm after the run and writing and jiving to the tunes, that meditation tactic might just be the tonic that rounds the edges off the stressful day. 

Diane Dennis is a life transition coach, publicist, professional writer, author and media personality. She was recently featured in Marlo Thomas’s latest book It Ain’t Over...Til It’s Over, for her reinvention story. Diane is writing her book Driving Miss Crazy. Follow her progress, read her blogs, and sign up for personal coaching at http://www.Diane-Dennis.com

Photo Credit: Sander van der Wel via Compfight cc


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