Stress. We’ve all felt it, and we all face multiple situations every day that have the potential to create it for us. During our move/house hunt these past few months, my husband and I were, I’m sorry to say, textbook examples of stressed out people. We were actually stressing about being stressed. “I’m so tense, it’s terrible!” We’d say to one another. “I can’t sleep I’m so worried; how will I get through tomorrow?!”
Instead of finding healthy and helpful ways to deal with our stressed-out selves, we were allowing ourselves to become even more worried about the toll stress was taking on our lives. Stress can not only cause a negative cycle of worry and anger; it can actually physically harm us, causing or exacerbating problems ranging from headaches and breakouts to more serious issues like complications with our cardiovascular, neurological and immune systems.That is definitely something to make anyone worry, but worrying is the opposite direction we want be heading if we are going to relieve ourselves and start coping with stress.
Coping With Stress – Finding Relief
I decided I needed to come up with a list – two lists actually – of quick and easy steps I can take to help relax and release tension. Two lists because, like most people, I don’t always have ten minutes to sit down and consciously relax every part of my body, one at a time (an item on list number two).
While making time for yourself is a big stress reliever, sometimes we all need stress relievers that work while we’re doing other things, which is where list number one comes in – singing along to a loud, fast CD while driving to release energy, or choosing bright, happy music to bounce along to while doing chores.
Taking ten slow, deep breaths, in through my nose and out through my mouth. Stretching my neck and rolling my shoulders.List number two includes ideas I can turn to when I have a little more time (but just a little!) Sitting and mindfully enjoying a cup of tea. Taking a hot bath. Going for a walk in the fresh air.
How Are Your Coping With Stress?
Everyone stresses for different reasons, and everyone will have different things to add to their stress-relief lists. Pay attention to how your body feels when you are stressed out. If you notice that you tense your shoulders, or tighten your jaw, remind yourself to relax your head, shoulders and neck. If you notice that certain songs help lift your mood, make sure you have them cued up to play or close at hand during stressful situations.
A quick jog works wonders for some; for others, a catnap leaves them feeling renewed. If you know a situation might have the potential to stress you out, keep your mental lists ready so you can figure out what will defuse the situation. Walk home from a job interview if exercise brings you release. Call a friend in advance and ask if they’ll be around later to talk, when you know you will need support.
If you have a set of coping with stress ideas ready and waiting, it will become easier to actually put them to use. And of course, we can always work on our third lists to help turn our energy positive – things to do when we actually have the time to do them, like dinner with friends, a romantic evening or even a great vacation. Sometimes looking forward to or even day dreaming about these events can help relax us.
What will be on your coping with stress lists?
Rachel contribute to the site because, with all the negativity and fear being broadcast these days, everyone could use a reminder of the wonder and joy that is always around us, if we only take the time and make the effort to see it.