I really try to keep my life as stress free as possible but there are times when the amount of things on my to-do list can become unmanageable and then the stress begins to creep in. And it is during those moments that I really have to remind myself to remain calm and get through whatever the stressor is. But, easier said than done, right?!
We all know that stress has many negative implications but just as a reminder here are a few ways stress messes with us:
· Body: Headaches, fatigue, insomnia
· Mood: Anxiety, lack of motivation, irritability
· Behavior: Social withdrawal, overeating (or undereating), outbursts
Stress can have some serious negative implications in three core areas of our lives which is why it is of the utmost importance that we know how to effectively manage our stressors. I think that living a stress free life is almost impossible because there will always be things that stress us out but I also think that there absolutely are ways we can minimize the amount of stress in our lives and in turn see less and less of it. But do I think we can get rid of all stress? No, I don’t think so.
The following six ways are things I do to help me manage those crazy and stressful days:
Think about the good
This is probably my most used method of managing stress. I do my very best at always being aware of the good things and good people I have in my life. Keeping that top of mind really helps me drive home the fact that not everything will be easy and perfect all of the time and that sometimes we really do need to meet challenges along the ways in order for us to mentally grow and evolve as human beings. In other words – always look for the silver lining. It may not always be apparent but there always is one.
Turn up the music
Music definitely helps me get through stressful days. Pick a genre, an artist or a station that energizes you. I really like playing the Odesza station on Pandora when I need some energy and feel good music. With so much of the same music playing ALL THE TIME on the radio I really like to try to listen to music that I will not necessarily hear on mainstream radio in order to break things up a bit, but that’s just me. Turn up whatever floats your boat and puts a smile on your face.
It’s amazing how much better I feel when I am well hydrated. It is such a simple thing to do that is so effective yet the thing that most people forget to do. Take a moment and enjoy a glass of refreshing water. It will instantly boost your mood and give you energy all at the same time. Not to mention all of the great benefits of drinking water.
You know that saying, “The best things on life are free”? Well it’s very true and it is amazing what breathing in some fresh air can do to you. But I really mean breathing in the fresh air – you need to let it fill your lungs, exhale out and repeat as many times as you need. Breathing in fresh air will give you some clarity, a sense of calmness and will allow you to ground yourself in a way to realize that whatever is causing you stress will pass.
If ever I am stressed out AND my place is looking disorganized I make it a point to tidy up. On those crazy busy days I will set my timer on for 15-20 minutes put on some energizing music and get to it. I’ll put away any shoes and coats that have accumulated throughout the week at my doorstep or on my couch, I’ll take a walk through and wipe down any surfaces, if I hadn’t already made my bed I’ll also do that. Doing a quick clean up, even if it is just at the surface level really, really helps me reduce stress because a messy place has never helped anyone have a clear mindset.
How do you manage your stress? Please share any tips and tricks you have learned along the way!