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Top 8 Introspective Stress Relievers That Address The Cause of Stress

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Updated May 27, 2012

There are many great stress relievers out there, but perhaps the most useful ways to relieve stress are the ones that help you explore the cause of stress that you're feeling so you can work through your feelings and perhaps prevent future stress. Here's a list of great introspective ways to relieve stress and explore the cause of stress at the same time.

1. Journaling

Introspective stress relievers can help you explore the cause of stress you're feeling.
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Journaling has many benefits, including improvement in cognitive functioning, health benefits, and the gift of introspection. The act of writing about feelings of stress, as well as exploring potential solutions to these problems, can soothe you and help you process difficult feelings and also take proactive steps against future stress.

2. Meditation

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There are many ways to meditate, but whichever you choose, the practice of meditation can greatly reduce stressful feelings that you're experiencing, and counteract some of the negative effects of stress. Meditation can also be a tool for introspection; you can meditate on the cause of stress that you're experiencing, and as you relax, answers may come to you with ease and clarity.

3. Self-hypnosis

Self hypnosis is much like meditation, in that it involves your unconscious mind and carries many of the same benefits. However, you can also use self hypnosis to address the root cause of stress that you experience by working on changing habits that may be causing you stress, such as negative thought patterns or disorganization, while relieving current stress.

4. Talk It Out with a Friend

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Utilizing social support is another great way to relieve stress and get to the root of its cause at the same time. Talking things out with a friend can diffuse your feelings of tension and help you feel that you're not alone in your problems, and friends may ask probing questions to get you thinking about your situation in a different way.

5. Artwork

Elizabeth Scott
Exploring your creative side can be a great stress reliever as well. Drawing a picture provides distraction from stress, provides the restorative experience of "flow", and can help you explore your inner world on a nonverbal level. Keeping an art journal can give you a beautiful keepsake while it helps you cut down on current stress and become aware of the cause of stress so you can work on it.

6. Affirmations

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Negative self talk can cause more stress than most people are aware of. I'm referring to that little voice in your head that evaluates things positively or negatively, and tells you about things you're experiencing and about yourself. One great way to change negative self talk is to practice positive affirmations. It may take a little self exploration to decide which affirmations to choose, but the results can be stress relief and growth.

7. Learn to Say No

If you're feeling overscheduled and overstressed, it's definitely time to learn how to say no to people's demands on your time. You'll feel powerful as you do so, and you can prevent the overly busy lifestyle that keeps the cycle of stress going. You can look within yourself to see why you may say 'yes' too often, and take steps to feel better right away.

8. Re-assess Areas of Self Sabotage

How often do you get so stressed that you lash out at people without meaning to? (Check out this poll to vote and see how often other people do, too.) If it's a regular event, you may be suffering from self-sabotaging thought patterns that cause additional mental and emotional stress. You can look within and change these patterns, reducing future stress in yourself--and those around you!
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