Disconnecting Stress in Your Life
Who in the world has stress today? Raise your hands. I would be fibbing if I told you – Not me. Managing stress is really all about stress management and it is important for everyone in our hectic world these days. Take a moment to notice if you, like me, have days where you are feeling anxious. If you are, accept it. Don’t try to push it away, fight it, or deny your feelings. Accept the feelings, it’s okay to acknowledge that you are stressed. It sometimes causes more stress to deny than to accept.
Myself and others try to shift the negative thinking to another positive topic. Think about something that you want to accomplish or perhaps make a plan to have a relaxing day to yourself, doing all of your favorite things like playing ball with your dog. It will help you regain control of those anxious feelings and get past stress. It’s okay to feel stressed and anxious. But it’s not okay or helpful to replay the stress and anxiety over and over again in your head.
Shifting your mind is a good way to keep from over-thinking stressful situations. I’ve learned that it’s not something that you will be able to do 100% of the time successfully. But the more you implement this way of dealing with stress, the better you will be able to deal with it. You will actually retrain your brain to react to stress in a less impactful way. Our aim is to reduce stress, not eliminate it. Keeping stress under control can help prevent a whole myriad of health issues and it just may make you live longer and happier.
Some Relaxation Tips to Try:
I’ve talked to a lot of people and I’ve read a lot of articles to help tamper down stress feelings in my own life. Probably the #1 tactic is deep breathing – when we are stressed, we tend to breathe shallowly, meaning we don’t really breathe deeply. This is where just breathing and getting oxygen into our bodies can help greatly. When practicing deep breathing, put your right hand on your chest and your left hand on your belly, right below your rib cage. As you take a breath, try not to move the hand on your chest as you inhale. Your left hand on your belly should rise as you inhale. Then exhale slowly, and let the air out until it feels like your abdomen touches your spine. Do this three – four times and you will find it will help you become more relaxed.
Next try visualization – imagine a peaceful meadow complete with flowers, white puffy clouds and a meandering stream. The idea here is just to refocus your mind on things that are peaceful and make you happy.
A Nice Warm Bath – There’s nothing like a warm comfortable bath with a ½ cup of Epsom Salts and essential oils like lavender. This is a very inexpensive way to relieve tons of stress.
Music, music, music – for me music can really shift my mood. If I’m feeling a bit stressed, I pop on my headphones and listen to music. I’ve learned to even do this while I am cooking dinner. Sometimes I will even dance around a bit and stress just evaporates.
Singing to music – we all have turned up the radio in our car, listening to a favorite song that we know most of the words to, and before you know it, we are singing our troubles and cares away.
Dancing – you may not work your way up to Dancing with the Stars, but if you have a floor in your home, and I’m sure you do, turn up the music and dance, dance, dance. It’s even more fun if you’re dancing with your significant other. Oh, and I forgot to mention Yoga. It’s a great way to relieve stress and keeps your body in motion.
Mediation – meditation is one of those things that is hard to start, but once you do you will feel free of stress. You can meditate right on your bed or chair for 10-20 minutes per session. There are many apps that have meditations or my favorite place to try different meditations is YouTube.
Just about anything you can do that requires you to focus and concentrate on a task, even cleaning your house can reduce stress. Also try painting, reading, cooking, or anything where you have to become totally absorbed. I would be curious to know what you do to reduce stress.
There’s no sure fire way to get rid of stress completely and all the time. Psychologists tell us it’s built into our brain as a protective device. You want to respond to stress when it happens, in a positive way that makes you feel in charge.
“Make stress your friend, not your enemy. Then you will invite more joy in your life.”
Inci Jones Artist
If you like this post, you may want to tune into our Thought Row podcast. It’s a wonderful way to nurture and develop your creativity & motivation in a somewhat noisy world. Stay well my friends ~ Inci