Every adult deals with stress each day, be it good or bad stress. Even happy events, like a wedding or birth of a baby can be stressful. You aren’t going to be able to avoid stress. You have to learn to deal with it. Instead of letting your emotions get the best of you, find healthy and positive ways to manage your tension. Here are some ways to de-stress that we have found to be successful:
You Have Control Over Your Emotions
The way you deal with stress is a choice. Someone may make you feel guilty, but you have complete control whether or not to accept that guilt. You are only responsible for your reactions, not for the actions of others. When you’re under stress ask yourself, “is this something I can change?” If you can, great. Look for ways to make the situation better. If not, accept the situation. Cope with it. Don’t avoid your emotions, but recognize that you can’t change things.
Change Your Attitude
When you’re frustrated, look for something positive. If you’re stuck in traffic, enjoy the time you have to listen to music. Make a list of things that are good in your life, even if it’s just a mental list. Gratitude is a powerful philosophy. You may not be able to change the situation, but you can change how you face it.
Breathe, Relax and Center Yourself
Did you know that your body has a natural response to stress? Deep breathing is relaxing. Researchers have shown that deep breathing affects your heart, your brain, your immune system and your digestion. The extra boost of oxygen your body gets helps relieve tension. You can sit at your desk, close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Here are some other great ways to reduce stress.
- Take a walk. Spend time in nature to reflect on the world around you.
- Visualize yourself in a comfortable or positive setting. Picture a scene that will relax you. This can help you find your center.
- Eat a healthy snack like a handful of nuts, a hard-boiled egg or half an avocado. Practice mindful eating. Focus on the food. Think about how it smells, tastes and feels. Your brain will appreciate the boost of energy. Your mind will appreciate the meditation time.
- Turn on music. Preferably something soothing that will flood your brain with feel-good chemicals.
- Turn off your cell phone for 15 minutes. Do something you enjoy. Read a book. Work a puzzle. Don’t answer calls, emails, or texts. Practice not responding to people immediately when you are stressed.
Imagine the Bigger Picture of the Situation
When you’re stressed, think about the bigger picture. If you are focusing on the here and now too much, you may begin feeling anxious. Ask yourself these two questions to help channel any stress and anxiety: Will this thing you’re worried about actually matter in a year? Is it really worth your time and energy? You may never again see the driver who cuts you off. Don’t spend your time worrying about him or her. Breathe. Keep driving. Be safe. Remember what’s really important. Like, getting to your destination safely. Don’t be afraid to tell yourself to relax and de-stress. It will help you get through the issue at hand.
If you need additional help on how to de-stress, contact Mazzitti & Sullivan to learn more about our mental health services for adults.