Stress is one of those things – it creeps up when we least expect it, but also when we don’t need it, too.
As with many things in life, it’s not usually just one thing that leads us to feeling stressed, when stress hits, it’s usually an accumulation of small things, that all club together and work against us.
What is worse, is that sometimes it can become difficult to openly talk about the things that are bothering us as we worry that we will face judgement from others, or we simply don’t want to burden somebody else when they have their own problems to deal with.
Bad stress can be both physically and mentally harmful to the body and should never be dismissed or ignored, but you can manage this yourself, and you can do so very effectively.
1. The first thing is acknowledging you are actually stressed- It is very easy to ignore the first warning sign of stress. Maybe you are feeling more irritable than usual, or perhaps you aren’t sleeping very well. Your appetite may have dwindled, or it may have gone the opposite way and increased. The most important thing when it comes to stress is noticing the first warning signs, as long periods of stress can lead to depression.
Nobody is exempt from depression, and it does not discriminate.
By acknowledging your stress at the first signs, you can then begin to do things to combat it and make yourself feel better.
2. Erase those Irrational thoughts- Irrational thoughts stem from feeling vulnerable about a situation, and instead of having a logical thought process, the mind jumps into survival mode and thinks of all the scenarios that could go wrong. These thoughts are illusions, and instead of helping, they bring on anxiety and stress. These kinds of thought processes can trigger depression in the long run.
3. Stop making excuses – Sometimes you are your own worst enemy.
I have sat down with many clients over my career and quite often, they have an excuse for everything. It is very important to take ownership and if you can’t get to that point, you won’t be able to move on from your current state of thinking.
You can’t do the same things time and time again and expect different results – you have to change habits and attitude.
A common excuse is “I don’t have time.”
The answer to that is make time. We can always spare an hour for ourselves, at the absolute least.
4. Write it down and then dump it – Journaling is a very effective way of letting go of the things that have left you feeling emotionally unbalanced. Sometimes, we find it hard to admit when something has impacted us, but if you find yourself reliving a situation, then chances are it has impacted you.
A good way of mentally letting go of this situation is by writing it down and being specific about how it made you feel. Be honest and don’t dismiss any emotion that you feel – it’s all important.
Here’s the best bit – once you’re done, rip it up and put it in the bin.
You’ve just let it go.
5. Exercise- don’t just think of the gym! Exercise is something that can be carried out in a number of ways, whether that be walking your dog or having a dance. It is important to find a plan that you enjoy and that works for you, as the moment this becomes a chore, it stops becoming a release.
6. Quietening the mind through meditation – Meditation has the ability to reduce anxiety, stress and help to find your inner calm. Quietening the mind stops racing thoughts and you can do this at any time of the day, as many times as you need to.
Meditation isn’t a quick fix, and it requires practice in order to really feel how powerful it is, but it will start to restore a sense of balance that will boost and support your wellbeing overall.
7. Switch up your routine – Changing the patterns of the way that you do things is a great way to refresh your daily routine and your mind. Whether it’s something simple like changing your normal route to work, or changing what you have your dinner, just swap from the mundane to something different. There are so many things that we can effortlessly change yet they can make a big difference.
8. Talk to someone – Understanding that you are never alone is crucial – there is always somebody that you can talk to and it is important to do this. Open up about what is going on internally, or you will find yourself asking questions and coming up with your own answers, which aren’t always right.
Assuming and thinking the worst is a natural, default human emotion, and we all do it, which is why a different standpoint is crucial. Other people can help to open up the rational part of the brain, but it is important to choose carefully.
Stress is hard, but the fact is, it is a part of daily life, and we don’t always have to view it with the utmost of negativity; Instead, we can see the good stresses that help us to boost our performance and manage the bad stresses with effective techniques.