We all have stress in our lives, no matter who we are. While some people suffer from more acute stress and anxiety than others, it’s still important for everyone to know how to deal with stress when in the midst of it. Not only that, discovering ways to prevent stress down the road will lead to a more positive well-being. Who doesn’t want that?
In the spirit of Stress Awareness Month, I am sharing some ways that can help you relieve stress.
Focus on Your Breathing
Simply focusing on your breath can help you calm down and think more clearly when in a frenzy. Try breathing deeply by slowly inhaling through your nose, holding your breath for a few seconds, and then slowly exhaling through your mouth. As you do this, it might also be helpful to imagine a place that makes you happy and focus on those positive feelings. Remember that it’s okay to let go of your stressful thoughts for a moment.
If you’re feeling stressed and frustrated, stand up and walk around your house. Even better, go outside and walk around the block. Go for a run or do any form of exercise. Yoga is a great form of exercise that combines meditation, controlled breathing, and movement. Any physical activity will help take your mind off things and increase your feel-good hormones. Being exposed to the sun also boosts your serotonin levels and is a natural source of vitamin D.
Eat Whole Foods
It is not a secret that the brain and gut are connected. What you put in your body affects your mood, stress levels, and mental health. That’s why it is important to eat as many whole foods as you can including fruits, vegetables, and nuts. Avoid highly processed foods as well as excess caffeine and alcohol. While making this lifestyle change can be challenging in today’s world, any move in the right direction will help.
Remember to Make Time for Fun
If you’re working all the time, no wonder you’re stressed! Don’t forget to reserve time in your schedule for relaxation and fun. Talk to your friends, read a book, listen to music, or watch a TV show. If you don’t give yourself time to rejuvenate, you’ll get burnt out. Letting yourself occasionally unwind can even help you be more productive when you need to be!
Express Your Gratitude
Reduce your stress levels over time by regularly noting the things you’re grateful for. These can include even the smallest details in your day such as the sound of wildlife outside or how comfortable your bed is in the morning. Make a daily habit of writing in a journal three things you’re grateful for. Be specific rather than general. If done consistently, you can retrain your brain to think more positively and focus less on what stresses you out.
Identify and Examine Your Fears
The root of a lot of stress and anxiety is fear. Many fears, however, are not grounded in reality and are often related to limiting beliefs you may have developed over time. In order to truly conquer a fear, you must put it into perspective. Write down and name your fear. Bring it out into the open. Identify which limiting beliefs are associated with this fear and try to look at them objectively. How true are they really? Revealing and examining your fear in this way can help you take back control. Fears are just thoughts in our heads and we shouldn’t give them so much power.
I hope these tips are helpful in relieving some of the stress you face. Understand that while stress is an inevitable part of life, it doesn’t need to be all-consuming. We all have the power to deal with and prevent stress in a healthy way. If you need help figuring out what works for you, I am offering in-person appointments as well as HIPAA-compliant virtual options. Contact me, today.