Everyone manages stress differently… and frankly, many people don’t manage stress well. There are several things that every person should know and keep in the back of their head for when they get into a situation that appears to be spiraling out of control. Whether it’s anger, frustration and just plan over all can’t put your finger on it stress… one of these is sure to break the cycle and get you back on track.
- Exercise. Silly but true, there is nothing on the planet that will help you
relax like a bit of quick vigorous exercise. A brisk walk… jog, tennis, spin class…
- Meditate. Many people shrug at this suggestion because they feel like they can’t “clear their mind” and I say, just like anything it requires practice. Take a few minutes each day and sit and concentrate on your breathing… when thoughts come in, acknowledge them… then say, “ok, I’ll think about that later, right now it’s all about my breathing” and go back to thinking about your breathing. (I have found that Deepak Chopra has a very nice voice and some great free guided meditations on youtube)
- Breathe deeply. This is a well known fact that just taking a few deep breaths and concentrating on your breath coming in…. then going out… is an immediate stress reliever… it’s almost as if your mind gets answers delivered with the extra air and says, “OK, no problem I got this”
- Focus on something else. Fighting stress or anxiety may require that you take a moment to temporarily shift your attention. I’m sure we’ve all had problems or puzzles that we had to “put down” or “walk away from” in order to return with a clear head. Anxiety and Stress can be like that, so instead of constantly going over the situation in your head… think of something else for a while and if you HAVE to revisit it… do it when you are more relaxed. (many times we revisit thoughts and situations more then is required… keep that in mind)
- Talk to others. Personal connections with friend or family members is important, you should share your anxieties because sometimes a different point of view will help you put it in perspective or give you better insight and in the very least you will have the feeling of support.
- Work out a plan. Many times you may feel stressed because there is so much going on in your mind, it simply seems overwhelming. Many people have different levels of organization, but almost everyone will get overwhelmed when they can only see how far and how much ground they need to cover… clear out your mind and work on that first step. Take that first step towards your goal and work out the next couple of steps then concentrate on them.
- Learn to let go of control. Give yourself a break and just slow down if you’re feeling stressed out. Getting yourself worked up to rush around won’t help, so slow down, take a break and let yourself relax. Count to 10. Silly but true… counting to 10 will give you the time you need to get situated and back on track. AND… Even the most carefully planned events in life can take unexpected turns… you can either realize this is a possibility and prepare yourself mentally… or let someone be in charge of the event or situation, but ultimately, you must realize that at a certain point you have let the chips fall.. there is only so much control any of us really have over any situation.
- Don’t work yourself up. You are what you think. It’s plain and simple… if you are constantly thinking about how overwhelmed you are… you will be … overwhelmed. Instead, be brave and tell yourself, “I got this”. When you are worried about something it’s so easy to let that take over your mind… but instead, focus. Stop getting yourself all worked up and in a tizzy about this and that… and look at things rationally and get on with your life.
- Let the past go. This is a biggy for me since it seems like my big mouth always seems to say something before my mind can check it…. I am the poster child for laying in bed thinking about things I’ve said to people or near people that they heard and I think… “If I could have just not said that…” Guess what. I had to learn to realize that I made a mistake. Try not to do it again, and that there is nothing I can do to change those mistakes and … move one. I have to let it go. You can too.
- Be optimistic. Don’t focus on what could go wrong, but rather, focus on everything that is going right! Don’t focus on the weaknesses of a situation or person or yourself… focus on the strengths, stay positive and encouraging to other people and yourself and you will find that you will be surrounded by positive and encouraging atmosphere Avoid toxic conversations and be the goody goody always looks on the bright side person… and your life will be filled with more sunshine!