Stress is unavoidable. Whether it’s work, at home, or on the road, it’s natural to become frustrated and fed-up with life’s everyday obstacles.
Too much stress can keep you from feeling and acting like your best self, balancing life’s responsibilities with mental, physical, and emotional discomfort. Therefore, managing stress is imperative to your well-being.
Try these three simple techniques to help you manage overwhelming amounts of stress.
Don’t lie – you talk to yourself. Don’t worry, we do it too.
Self-talk isn’t the trait of a crazy person (usually), and can be a positive influence against stress – like telling yourself “I can do this” or “everything will be okay”. Positive self-talk like this can keep you calm, and help you control stress. For example, you can reverse any negative thoughts with positive reinforcement:
- “I can’t do this.” —> “I’ll do the best I can. I’ve got this.”
- “Everything is going wrong.” —> “I can handle this if I take one step at a time.”
- “I hate it when this happens.” —> “I know how to deal with this; I’ve done it before.”
10 Emergency Stress-Stoppers
Emergency stress stoppers are actions to help you defuse stress in the moment.
Different stress stoppers are more apt for different situations, and sometimes it helps to employ a few of them. Here are some ideas, courtesy the American Heart Association:
- Count to 10 before you speak or react.
- Take a few slow, deep breaths until you feel your body un-clench a bit.
- Go for a walk, even if it’s just to the restroom and back. It can help break the tension and give you a chance to think things through.
- Try a quick meditation or prayer to get some perspective.
- If it’s not urgent, sleep on it and respond tomorrow. This works especially well for stressful emails and social media trolls.
- Walk away from the situation for a while, and handle it later once things have calmed down.
- Break down big problems into smaller parts. Take one step at a time, instead of trying to tackle everything at once.
- Turn on some chill music or an inspirational podcast to help you deal with road rage.
- Take a break to pet the dog, hug a loved one or do something to help someone else.
- Work out or do something active!
Stuff to Bust Stress
There’s perhaps no better way to alleviate stress than simply doing what makes you happy. Finding pleasure in simple things can give you a lift when you’re down.
When stress makes you feel bad, do something that makes you feel good, even if it’s for 10 or 15 minutes. Experiment with some of these activities!
- Make art — draw, color, paint, or play a musical instrument.
- Read a book, short story or magazine.
- Meet a friend for coffee or a meal.
- Play your favorite sport like golf, tennis, or basketball.
- Pick up a hobby like sewing, knitting, or making jewelry.
- Play with your kids or pets – outdoors if possible.
- Listen to music or watch an inspiring performance.
- Take a walk in nature.
- Meditate or practice yoga.
- Work in the garden or do a home DIY project.
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