It is hard to cope with stressful situations, especially when they happen on a regular basis. Over the long term, stress can have devastating impacts to one’s overall health. This can in turn lead to heart disease, unhealthy levels of cholesterol, and high blood pressure. Finding ways that you can deal with stress so that it doesn’t knock you down is a smart, proactive step towards overall management of both your mental and physical wellbeing.
The tips that are offered below require some practice and dedication but if you stick with it, before long you will get the hang of it. Eventually, you will be enjoying a much more calm and peaceful daily life.
Tip #1: Slow Down and Step Back
Remind yourself to slow down and to either mentally or physically step away from the stressful situation in order to gather perspective and allow the situation to have a chance at naturally resolve itself. Do this by:
Gathering your thoughts
Talk to yourself or journal out your thoughts. This activity will open up perspective where in the heat of the moment you were unable to see it.
Allow yourself the benefit of time to think about the stressful situation. Ask yourself to view both the problem and potential solutions from all perspectives.
See the Big Picture
Put yourself in the position of a neutral third party and then ask that party how they see the situation. What comes up may surprise you.
How Important Is This?
We cannot afford the time, money or energy to be invested in everything that give us discomfort. Ask yourself if this is really the issue that you want to be engaged in. Will this issue matter in a day from now, a week from now, a month from now, a year from now? Ten years from now, will it matter at all? Probably not worth getting stressed out about.
Tip #2: Breathe Deep and Relax
Breath is such an important contributor to reducing stress. This is because when you breathe deeply, you are sending a message to your brain to calm down and relax. Your brain then sends this same message to your body and as a result, your muscles start to relax, and your overall tension reduces. My favourite way to breathe deeply is to inhale for the count of 6, hold for the count of 6 and exhale for the count of 6.
Tip #3: Walk Away
If you feel that your stress is triggering anger that involves anyone else, end the conversation and take some time and space. Stay way until you are mentally strong enough to deal with it or until the situation naturally works itself out. Realize that stressful situations can lead to your constantly re-thinking and re-playing things over and over. Mentally walking away means that you put an end the that rumination as well.
Tips #4: Concentration on Something Else
Stress can consume your thoughts. It can be helpful to kick it out of your mind and replace it with something more positive, calming and fruitful. Go for a walk, read a book, meet up for a coffee with a friend, catch a movie, etc. The idea is to give your mind a break and to think about something other than what is stressing you.
Tip #5: Burn Off Energy
When your body sends out a stress response, it thinks you have something to physically respond to. Often, we don’t have anything that needs running away from like a charging animal or anything of that sort. Still, your body needs to respond to burn off this extra energy. Physical activity can be a great way to relieve stress. Go for a walk, take a jog or hit the gym, whatever you feel up to.
Tip #6: Talk It Out
One of the most important things to do in a stressful situation that involves another person is to communicate effectively. This involves clearly expressing what you think, how you feel and what you want without demanding that you must have things your way. The basic message is “we both matter so let’s work this out.”
I hope you find these tips interesting and helpful in managing your day to day stress. If you are interested in how coaching can help you manage stress and ward off anxiousness, go to my website and request a complimentary consultation.
To our Health and Wellbeing,