A little stress never hurt anybody. In fact, the right amount might just be the kick you need to get to work every day. Your hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis and your limbic system which is your brain’s emotional center is the most affected by chronic stress. To keep your neurotic tendencies and emotions at bay you must find effective ways to control your stress.
Acknowledge your problems and take control of the situation. This will help solve your problems better. In order to manage your stress, you need to be emotionally strong, in control of your environment and be supported by your social circle. Here are some tips to help you get ahead of your stress:
1.Accepting is the First Step
The initial step to tackle stress is to accept it. Admit to yourself that you are stressed and overwhelmed. This tiny step can make you feel more in control of your emotions. Passive thinking is dangerous. You must believe that if you do everything you can possibly do in a complicated situation, it will be enough. Stress is usually experienced when you feel you are not in control. Try learning to accept that some things are beyond your control. One of the best ways to tackle stress is to nip it in the bud right at the start. This can be done only at the beginning of your stress cycle. This is why acceptance is important. Feeling in control rather than spiraling can empower your emotions and mind.
If you are one of those people who spend long nights in the office and tend to bring work home; you are forgetting one very important job. Taking care of yourself. Yes, that’s something you need to do too. Your body and mind do not have an autopilot mode. You have to manually ensure its protection, stimulation, and health. It is vital to spend time with yourself. Read a book, take a long bath with bubbles, prepare a meal for yourself, go for a walk etc, whatever calms you. Give yourself a little pampering, you deserve it.
I know it can either be hard to eat when you are stressed. Or, the opposite it might be hard to stop yourself from stress eating a whole box of chocolates. But there is a high chance that you are unusually stressed just because you are hungry. Your blood sugar levels dropping can cause you to be in a bad mood. And just a few bites of some food can make you feel much better, and make your breakdown seem silly. Just have some chocolates with you to munch on, but remember not to binge. That will just become a whole other problem and just add to your stress.
This one may be the most difficult. How can one possibly do this, right? Technology is everywhere. Try avoiding the internet at least for a little bit every day. Switch your phones and laptops off for a few hours every day. Do anything else, read, dance around, walk your dog or go out and grab a bit. The constant beeps and notifications can make you feel more stressed. Disconnecting from your stressors for a few hours every day might just be the break you need.
5.Write it Down
Set some time aside every day to write. You could either write down your thoughts regarding what stresses you or just all the things you have to do. This will really help you feel less tensed and anxious. Simplify and prioritize your lists. Do only what you can do in a day and if the delegation of duties is possible, do not avoid it.You can either make To-Do lists or have a journal. This will help you be more organized and even help you more efficiently find solutions or at least get more insight.
6.Get some sleep
Have you ever woken up feeling refreshed and relaxed after a good sleep? You can be that bright and energized version of yourself every day if you just get your required 8 hours. 7-9 hours of sleep is mandatory for everyone. Your body requires this time to recharge. Think of sleep as a metaphor for your phone being charged. Just like your phone batteries need to be recharged, so does your brain. So make sure you go to bed in time to get some solid hours. This will undeniably ensure that you are more awake and have better coping abilities to handle your stress.
Exercise won’t exactly make you stress-free but it will help you cope with it better. It will make your stressful situation seem less intense. It’s a great way to manage your stress and quite a pocket-friendly way too. You don’t have to go all out and get a gym membership or anything in that manner. Just a jog around a park, a game of badminton or even taking dance classes is a great way to relieve you of your stress.Your body releases norepinephrine and serotonin upon exercising. This increases your heart rate and state of euphoria. What exercise does is, it tricks your brain into thinking that it is in a stressful scenario and chemicals required to fight it are released. Thus your body is in a better state to tackle stress
Sometimes the stressful situation can be made bearable by just talking about it with someone. It is important to connect with people whether they are friends or family. They will help put things in perspective and prioritize your life. When we spend time with people we talk, laugh and do activities that serve as a great distraction. They might just help us find solutions. You feel like you are part of something and that there are people who care about you. This gives you a purpose and might just be all the stress relief you really need.
9.DE-clutter and Organize
Your mind tends to be cluttered when in an unorganized setting. Stress can merely be caused by the environment we are in. A great way to control your stress is to go on a little cleaning spree. Clean your work desk, your laptop, your cupboards, kitchen cabinets, drawers; your handbags and makeup kits and reorganize it all. This will help you feel accomplished and give you the confidence to handle your stressors head on. Remember mess equals stress.
10.Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
Do not let little things get to you. Prioritize and decide whether things are really worth spending time stressing out over. It can help to think on a global level. Think about all the people in Somalia and Syria and how tumultuous their lives are. It really gives you a better perspective and makes you realize how tiny some of your problems are. Be grateful for where you are and who you have in your life. Thank them. This will help both you and your dear ones feel good.
Music is an extremely powerful tool which can help you manage your stress. It has a very unique and distinct link with our minds. It provides a relaxing effect. It can greatly affect our physiological functioning. It helps lower our heart and pulse rates and stress hormones level. It serves as a great distraction as well as a tool for us to become more in tune with our emotions. It helps aid meditation and increases our focus levels.
You are not a superhero. This may be disappointing to hear, but unfortunately, it is the truth. You don’t have more than two hands or the ability to be in more than one place at a time. You don’t have to say yes to everything. You are human and have the same number of hours in a day as everybody else. Try not to take on more than you can handle. Delegation is not a crime. It is crucial that you set boundaries as soon as possible. This means that you set a designated place and time for each activity and do not let them overlap. Try not to use your computer when you are not at work or on weekends. Your mind will thank you for it. It too needs to unwind just like your body.
Meditation can really help you reduce your stress levels. Breathe deeply in and out when you feel really stressed. You don’t have to wear yoga pants and sit cross-legged on the ground to meditate. It is an excellent way to relax and be more centered. It’s not too difficult either. Just take deep breaths and focus on your breathing rather than your stressors. You will be distracted enough to get some time to think before making your decision on what to do.
Standing up straighter and the use of more powerful body language can help you feel more empowered and strong. People who do so are more confident than others. There are classes conducted specifically for this. It’s popularly called ‘power posing’ and focuses on letting people understand your confidence and authority through your body language.
15.Some Quick Fixes
You might be looking for simple quick fixes to relieve you of your momentary stresses as well. Try counting till 10 in a different language or trying to remember the alphabet backwards. These two exercises can be a great distraction from your stressors. It gives you a little time and prevents you from losing control or making rash decisions.
Being stressed out doesn’t mean you have to indulge in any sort of bad habits such as smoking or drinking. You shouldn’t have to live with the stress either. Try any of the stress buster tips given to you and let us know what worked best for you