I bet you know that feeling when your heart begins to beat faster and you constantly worry about something or you keep forgetting things. Yes, stress is a very common thing to all of us. Sometimes you get used to it and you can’t see how much it’s affecting you.
I used to be a really stressful person. Every time I’m calling John and he’s not answering I immediately think that something bad happened. Whenever my boss calls me at some random time of the day I start trembling. Sometimes I couldn’t even sleep at night, because of the thoughts I had for the next day. Even when something good was about to happen I was thinking “What if something goes wrong?”
A few months ago, I decided that this needs to stop. I’ve been trying to eliminate stress from my life because I just couldn’t take it anymore. I haven’t completely overcome it, but I found some really easy ways to reduce it and somehow control it.
Acknowledge the Symptoms
First of all, you have to understand what stress is, and what are the effects on you. There are several symptoms that can be different from one person to another. These can be either Physical (Headaches, dizziness, chest pain, heart beating faster) or Psychological (feeling overwhelmed, depression, anger, seeing only the negative, lack of concentration or memory problems). Whatever it is you have to find it. You have to acknowledge that “stress is causing it” or “Right now I’m feeling stressed”.
It’s really important to understand how your body and mind works, and how stress is affecting you. Because it’s like decluttering your feelings. When you know the symptoms and how exactly you feel it’s easier to work on them.
1. Take a hot relaxing bath
When you jump into a hot bath, the hot water increases your body’s temperature, relaxes your muscles and your blood starts flowing better. You can also add a few drops of essential oils (the options are so many on this, just decide which one you like better), close your eyes and relax. Try to focus on your breathing. It feels like stopping the time for a few minutes, and it’s just you and your body. Also, you know that you’re doing something good for yourself and this will instantly boost your mood.
That’s an obvious one. I kept reading about it but I never thought it could actually help me. Not until I tried it. Whenever I felt somehow stressed I grabbed my dumbells and tried to do some squats. Or some wall-sits. What makes a real difference on “working your stress out” is that you have to focus on your body while doing this. So you just forget about everything else and focus on how your body feels. After a few seconds of wall-sit, I would feel my legs burning, so it was a distraction from my stressful thoughts.
The more I’ve been thinking about stressful things the more I pushed myself. At some point, I started to feel good about it, because I was actually helping my body while worrying. I can’t totally explain this feeling to you, you just have to try it and see the results by yourself. It’s like the stressful thoughts aren’t stressing anymore. They become just thoughts.
3. Focus on your Senses
Now, this can be a little bit tricky. There are things that happen to our lives and involve our senses that instantly makes us feel good. Like when you smell a scented candle burning or petting your dog. You will have to find those things that make you happy and make a list of all the 5 senses. Here are a few of the things that are on my list:
-Hearing: Listening to calming sounds of nature, Listen to some uplifting music, Sing along your favorite song.
-Taste: Eat some of your favorite fruit, Have some dark chocolate, Drink a big cup of coffee/tea/cocoa.
-Sight: Close your eyes and go to your happy place (a relaxing and peaceful place), Appreciate the beauty of nature, Surround yourself with colors that make you feel happy.
-Touch: Pet your dog/cat, Cuddle under your favorite warm blanket, Wear clothes that feel soft on your skin.
-Smell: Smell a flower that you love, Light up a scented candle, Enjoy the fresh air, Put on your favorite fragrance.
Of course, there can be much more things on this list, just add whatever you like and whatever works best for you. Every time you will start feeling stressed just say STOP to yourself, and immediately do something from the above. You will have to focus on your sense and you’ll see, you will start feeling a lot better.
4. Listen to Podcasts / Watch Motivational Videos
I’m not really into podcasts but I’ve seen many people listening to them and it works for them. I’m more of a visual person so, whenever I feel stressed I will to go to Youtube and find some motivational video that will require all of my attention. That it will drag me into it.
I will just watch as many videos as I need to start feeling good about myself (and ready to take over the world!) This one is actually my favorite and I always start with this:
You have to remember one thing. It’s impossible to totally eliminate stress. But you can stop it from controlling your life. It won’t happen overnight. I have a lot of moments that I just “break” and I feel that everything sucks, I have so many complicated feelings and I’m almost having panic attacks. It’s okay. All you have to do is to acknowledge your feelings and what caused them. And next time that you will have one of these moments you’ll be more prepared.
You are your own best friend. You have to listen to your body, listen to your feelings and try to work with them. Not work on them. You’re a human being and stress is just part of the game!
I’d really love to hear your thoughts on this one. What do you think about stress? Are you struggling with it? What are your ways to de-stress?