Stress directly impacts various parts of your body and, in an effort to keep those disruptions at bay, it is important to learn how to relax by identifying when you are experiencing stress and what you can do to combat it.
Just like managing other chronic illnesses, getting your stress in check before it affects other aspects of your health is imperative. Unlike managing other diseases, like using an A1C test kit to help manage your diabetes, managing stress can be done by several different approaches.
The biggest mistake you can make when it comes to stress is assuming it will pass naturally. Stress doesn’t magically disappear. You need to learn relaxation exercises to alleviate stress when you recognize it manifesting. The simplest way to combat overwhelming anxiety is to breathe through it. All you need is a quiet space and yourself. Get comfortable by either sitting or laying down on your bed or floor. Place your hand on your stomach and breathe in deeply for a count of 3. Exhale in the same, slow and controlled manner. Repeat this breathing technique 5 times or as many as you need to feel relaxed.
The main focus of meditation and yoga is controlling your movements and breathing. Being mindful of your body and mind, as well as maintaining control over your breathing work in unison to calm you and help you to refocus your energy.
With everything that is pulling you in different directions at any given moment, it is important to remember to be kind to yourself. You experience stress largely because of your thoughts and emotions regarding a specific feeling or situation. Getting a handle on how you think and speak to yourself can help keep stress and anxiety at bay.
Instead of beating yourself up and berating yourself over things you think you could’ve handled differently, change your negative self-talk to positive. Focus on the positive aspects of a situation. Remind yourself that you are gaining life experience and next time you are faced with a similar situation you will be better prepared.
Along a similar train of thought, learn how to think in a more positive way about everything you deal with. While it’s true that it is always easier to see negativity and where things went wrong, retrain your thinking to focus on what went right and the overall bright side of things. If you can retrain your perception, when potentially stressful situations arise, they will be manageable because you’ve taught yourself how to deal with the adversity of things not going to plan.
In order to correct divisive behavior, you have to be able to identify it. Take some time to realize what your particular drawback is that you can improve upon. Maybe you obsessively overthink potential problems so you think you will be better prepared to deal with them should they arise. In reality, you can’t be prepared for every possible eventuality, so driving yourself crazy thinking about non-problems that may arise is doing nothing but wasting your energy and focus.
Educate yourself on ways to alleviate stress and figure out which ones work best for you. Once you know what is effective for you, incorporate these changes into your daily life. If you can learn how to live a more stress-free life you can get ahead of potential stressors and prevent the negative side effects of life’s toxicities.
There are many ways to manage your daily stress: take time to journal your thoughts; learn how to meditate and breathe effectively; maintain healthy social relationships and recognize if these methods aren’t sufficient, there is nothing wrong with seeking the help of a mental health professional.