We all have days that are considerably more challenging and stressful than others. Unfortunately, stress is hard on both the mind and body.
If stress passes pretty quickly, we normally recuperate fine. When the high stress days are lining up, then they really start to take its toll. And what’s worse, you could even become so used to being in this “high state of alert” that you start to feel like it’s normal! Don’t let this happen to you.
Maybe you are at this point that you know you need to take some action to control your stress. Although you certainly need some tools to figure out the root cause of your stress and deal with it, sometimes it is good to have some techniques that can help you relax and strengthen your self-soothing abilities.
When you’re struggling to stay calm, relaxed, and focused, try some of these strategies:
- Breathe deeply. Breathe in for 5 seconds and hold it for 5 seconds. While inhaling your belly should go out, which is called abdominal breathing and involves your maximum lung capacity. Now exhale for 5 seconds. Do this 10 times and focus only on your breathing, forgetting your problems around you. Oxygenating your brain can do wonders to get your emotions under control. Just don´t try so hard that you will tense up.
- Take a walk. Practice your deep breathing during your walk, focusing on your breathing, walking, and surroundings. Look what you can observe in nature around you so that you can take off your thoughts from your problems more easily.
- Get some good exercise. Any time of day is a good time to exercise. Comfortably tired is what you’re looking for. Work out your frustrations by going for a run or swim. Hit the weights and show them who is boss. Any exercise will do as long as there is some intensity involved. Shuffleboard isn’t going to cut it.
- Sit outside. A little time at the beach or park can work wonders. Find a relaxing spot with pleasant scenery. Pay attention to what’s going on around you, enjoy some warm rays of the sun and keep your mind off your challenges. Even 10 to 15 minutes can greatly reduce your stress.
- Take a day off. Everyone needs a break once in a while. Actually, in order to be productive, you need a weekly day of rest. However, on your day off, it’s important to avoid just sitting around and brooding about all of your current difficulties. Take your mind off of your world to something that lifts you up. Do some activities that you enjoy. Visit a friend. Volunteer at a homeless shelter. Helping others in their problems could make you realize that your problems are not that big after all.
- Read. Find something engrossing to read. The ideal book would be able to take your mind off of your world for a few hours. Ask your friends for some recommendations, or if you’re like most people, you probably have a couple of books on the shelf that you’ve never gotten around to. Now is the perfect time to read it.
- Listen to music. In order to go to sleep at night, you probably want some really relaxing music. At other moments of the day, it can be a bit more involving. Classical music is excellent in order to involve your mind, but other styles can do if you prefer. Avoid though aggressive beats, since they are able to increase your stress levels.
- Disconnect. No phone and no computer. Turn off everything that connects you to the outside world. Then you can really relax. Enjoy your day without distractions and find some other activities that are fulfilling to you.
- Take a nap. There’s no better way to start over than to take a nap. When you wake up, it feels like another chance to start your day over. What happened before your nap is in the past! Now you are energized to deal with your problems and move on.
- Get out with people that are fun. Get your buddies together and go for a walk. Or have dinner with the friend that always makes you laugh. It’s easy to get caught up in our own little world. Being with others can jolt you out of that perspective, and having a healthy social network is key to good stress control.
Don’t let high stress get you down. The key is to actively do something about it. Some people develop a habit of being paralyzed when things start going sideways, but this does nothing to make you feel better or solve your stressful issues.
Actively relax so you’ll be better able to tackle your challenges. Use these tips to minimize the pressure and anxiety you’re feeling and take control of yourself and the situation. Dealing with your challenges effectively is crucial to living the peaceful and fulfilling life you deserve.
Do you need a guide to help you understand how to cope with Stress in an all inclusive approach? Learn how to combat stress, mentally, physically, emotionally and strategically in your life.
Martin Neumann was trained for Lifestyle Interventions in 1998 at Wildwood Lifestyle Center & Hospital. Since then he has lectured in different parts of the world about a healthy lifestyle and natural remedies. He is the founder of the Abundant Health website.