Often I hear people talk about how stressed they are. No one likes that feeling of being stressed. A look on their faces always express their feelings. Of course they don’t like it- they know it. Is there anyone alive that really likes to feel stressed? The problem is that high stress has become so common place, we’ve learned to live with it and not think twice about how we should really be living in a lower stress world.
According to Hans Selye; “Its not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.Every stress leaves an indelible scar, and the organism pays for its survival after a stressful situation by becoming a little older”.
Stress is a normal part of our lives though, we can’t escape that. How we deal with that stress makes all the difference in the world in how it will affect the quality of our lives and health.
In today’s fast paced world, everything from work pressures to love-life, can be a major cause of stress in our lives. In fact, living with constant stress has become the norm for most People.
We’ve all had those moments where we have felt overwhelmed and burnt out. It is a feeling no one likes to feel.
Stress, whether large and small, is a fact of life. At one point or another, we may face different stresses like financial stress, the stresses of aging (our own or our parents’), loneliness, health concerns, or worries about getting our desires met or achieving our goals. You may have too much to do in too little time or face stressful conflicts in your personal relationships or parenting role. You may have gone through a breakup or lost somebody close to you. On a daily basis, you may face traffic, a messy house, long hours at work etc.
Again, according to Hans Selye ; “Adopting the right attitude can convert a negative stress into a positive one.
Whatever your stress, it can be dealt with. We all need coping tools. Below are some of the proven ways to reduce stress or recover more quickly.
According to William James “The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.”
Studies have found that people who consciously focus on cultivating gratitude have reduced stress and greater emotional stability in their lives than those who do not. Take the time now and again to make a list of all the things you are grateful for – and remember what a powerful force an attitude of gratitude can be.
A little bit of stress can be a healthy motivating force in our lives, but too much stress can be debilitating. Taking a little bit of time every day to practice one of the above stress relieving techniques could completely change your life.
Slow Things Down
“Within you, there is a stillness and a sanctuary to which you can retreat at any time and be yourself”–Hermann Hesse
Our brains and bodies were designed to face acute stress and then have a period of recovery to relax, eat, sleeps, or procreate before facing the next one. Today we often don’t get that period of rest and recovery. The next best thing is to take 5- or 10-minute mental breaks throughout the day to check in with yourself and notice any signs of tension in your body or of worry in your mind. Take some deep breaths and ask yourself what you need or what is the wisest thing to do right now, and then move forward more mindfully. This is an easy and quick way to bring mindfulness into your life.
Studies show that aerobic exercise (like walking or running) has many stress-relieving benefits. It can improve your mood, help you sleep better, improve your focus and mental alertness, and make you feel fitter and more confident. Exercise and sweat immediately relieve feelings of anxiety, depression, and stress, and will help regulate your sleeping patterns. Take a short jog, hit the gym, or do anything that makes your heart pump and notice if anything has shifted afterwards.
A recent study showed that smiling—even if they’re fake smiles—can help your body resist stress. Laughter is, as they say, is the best medicine. A good laugh can be deeply relieving and has the power to rejuvenate your entire day. Take a moment to watch a funny YouTube video, talk to a friend who makes you giggle, or even force yourself to fake it – yes, even fake laughter has been proven to have it’s benefits on your health.
When you realize how perfect everything is you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky.” —Buddha
Take Time To Breathe
“Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.” —Thích Nhất Hạnh
Take a few moments away from any distraction. Close your eyes and focus on your breathing for a few minutes, letting your thoughts arise, and then letting them float away. You’ll be shocked at how instantly your mind calms.
“Breath is the power behind all things…. I breathe in and know that good things will happen.” —Tao Porchon-Lynch
Surround yourself with the right people
You need people around you that will speak the truth to you in love. More importantly, you need people around you that will hold you accountable. Remembering that you aren’t the only one living with stress is an important part of controlling it. Reach out to friends, co-workers, or loved ones and let it out. Sometimes simply talking about your worries, problems, and concerns can go a long way.
Take a Break
Taking time out from your daily routine is an important part of maintaining your mental equilibrium. Full-blown vacations are always a good way to reset, but small getaways – such as taking a walk during lunch or planning a solo adventure – are just as important to fit into your schedule.
Taking a little bit of time every day to practice one of the above stress relieving techniques could completely change your life.