How To Stress (A Little) Less
It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it!
We’ve all been there… stressed to the level that taps away at our happiness. Especially going back to work after the hectic New Year festivities and chocolate indulgences of Christmas! Sometimes heading back to the office with hundreds of emails feels like a big fat UNDO of all the zen tactics from your days off.
Fortunately, there are simple hacks to bring this ‘all too common’ feeling back to balanced calm. And although I can be the QUEEN of stress at times, in this post I’ll share a few things that get me normalized sooner rather than later.
NOTE: This post won’t help you much if you’re in a clinical state. If you’re really feeling overwhelmed by stress and need help from a mental health professional, click here.
Your Body Is Responding To Threat
Whenever we sense any danger, whether real or imagined, stress is our body’s way to activate its defense system. While stress is harmless in small doses, experiencing it constantly can have its toll on your mind and body.
As the owner of a wellness retreat, I’ve worked with many go-getter women who’ve slowly ditched fitness and self-care as their priority. This takes huge stress on both, body and spirit. Yes, with small steps towards managing stress (in the right way), they’ve been able to upgrade their life to be happier and more wholesome.
- Get some exercise – even walking for 10 minutes will help.
- Remember to drink water. Make a conscious effort to stay hydrated.
- Try to honor at least 7 hours in bed at night, even if you can’t sleep.
- Speak to people who love you about what’s bugging or overwhelming you.
- Don’t beat yourself up about it – life would be boring without a bit of stress!
- Pick your battles. Ask yourself if this is really going to matter in 3 hours… 3 days etc.
- Breathe! Pause for 10 seconds and exhale all the way out.
Check in with Yourself
Sometimes, headaches kick in when we’re stressed or burnt out. We’re prone to insomnia and back pains when in stress. We might be in need of some stress management if we are feeling low energy, muscle aches or a stomach that’s acting up.
Our behavior also tells a lot about how stressed we might be.
For example, if we are suddenly feeling too hungry or have lost all appetite, it might be linked with the level of stress we have. Not able to stop chewing nails from fingertips? Yeah! That too is a sign of stress.
A friend of mine had a stressful ride of her own when she moved to a different house. What seemed like an exciting adventure ended up being anything but that! The responsibility of moving to another house was a little too stressful for her and not being able to vent it out was just making matters worse.
Thankfully, she soon realized that she needed some stress management and had to share her feelings with her beau and with him helping out with the home chores, things got back to normal.
Stress is an ignorant state. It believes that everything is an emergency. Nothing is that important.
You Don’t Have To Join Every Stress Party That You’re Invited To
Nobody has the perfect day or life without having the right attitude – and perception of what they’ll allow into their space. Annoyance and stress should only be allowed in when you invite it. And what’s cool is that we get to choose when it’s invited!
It’s a work in progress, but through practice, these days I’m able to transform most of my stress into constructive energy! I never would’ve been able to do that five years ago. We never stop learning and growing, thank goodness. It makes life so much better as we learn to manage our emotional states with maturity and grace.