Asserting yourself is a direct way of clearly expressing your feelings and needs without hurting the other person's feelings or minimizing what you want to say.
To assert yourself, remember the mnemonic:
A Assess your problems, feelings, goals
S Set a convenient time and place to meet
S State the problem clearly
E Express feelings using "I" sentences
R Request for what you want.
T Tell them the consequences
E.g. "I don't want to be late for work again. I feel stressed when you delay me in the morning. I would like you to be ready by 7.00am. If you are not ready on time, I will have to leave without you."
Abdominal breathing is a very simple but effective relaxation technique. It involves taking a deep breath through your nose until you feel your abdomen rising and then exhaling completely until you feel your abdomen falling. Repeat several times and you will begin to feel relaxed as it slows your racing heart and calms your raging emotions.
It is discrete and can be done anywhere. Breathe deeply in traffic jams, at the office, in the middle of an argument or when you need to think clearly and perform efficiently under pressure.
I believe that part of the reason that exercising and crying and laughing help people who are stressed feel better is because they all involve deep abdominal breathing therefore take deep breaths whenever stress strikes.
COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS
An attitude of gratitude helps in reducing stress. It reminds you of the great things that God has done for you in the past and this serves as proof that He is still able to do other great things for you in your present and future for He is still the same great God.
Count your blessings instead of counting your hassles. Each day write down 3 things that you are grateful for. When the going gets tough, read your gratitude lists for encouragement. Go the extra step and carry His wonderful works etched in your heart like David did. When he faced Goliath, he declared before all that The Lord, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine. (1 Samuel 17:37) and this enabled him to fight fearlessly.
DRINK HERBAL TEAS
Herbal teas are the perfect drinks to sip when you are stressed as they can help you relax without intoxicating you.
You can drink store bought herbal teas with soothing herbs such as chamomile and passionflower to help you calm down after a stressful day. You can also make your own herbal teas at home.
If you need a drink to melt tension, steep chamomile flowers in boiled water for 15 minutes and then drink it warm.
When you need a drink to fight fatigue or raise low spirits, boil peeled, grated ginger and cinnamon in water for 15 minutes and then sip it when warm. Both teas can be sweetened with honey.
ESTABLISH SOCIAL SUPPORT
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10)
Establish your social support system. This is a group of people whose company you enjoy and who support you through the tough times encouraging and advising you in addition to celebrating the good times with you. They should be people who uplift you and not people who bring you down.
They can be members of your family, your local church, social club or workmates. Do not allow your work or your stressful situation to isolate you for strong social support networks have been found to be vital in maintaining good mental health.
FORMULATE REALISTIC GOALS
Set realistic goals as unattainable ambitions are a great source of stress. Do not put unnecessary pressures on yourself to acquire things that are totally out of your reach.
Set short term, medium term and long tern goals that are attainable with your available resources and you will be less stressed.
You will be more relaxed as you set out to reach these rational goals and you will achieve them will less angst.
GUARD YOUR HEART
Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life. (Proverbs 4:23)
Guard your mind, your thoughts, your emotions, your entire inner self for this is the source of your outer life. Protect it by carefully choosing what you meditate on, what you read, what you watch and what you listen to because all these influence your speech, behaviour and habits.
If you watch violent movies, read books on violence, listen to music that exalts violence and play violent video games, you will begin to display violent tendencies and you may eventually become brutal.
Meticulously watch over what you put into your body, the suggestions, the sights, the sounds and the sustenance for you will get out of it exactly what you put into it.
HAVE COMPLEMENTARY HOBBIES
You will cope better with your stressors if you engage in an enjoyable hobby at least once a week. Identify a relaxing leisure pursuit that complements your job so as to compensate for the stress in the other areas of your life.
If your job entails mental concentration with minimal physical activity, engage in physically challenging activities such as rugby. If your job involves mindless repetition at a factory line, engage in mentally stimulating activities like chess.
If you work with machines and computers with minimal human interaction, engage in group activities such as football. If you respond to people's demands at customer service, engage in solitary activities such as reading.