Stress is a normal part of life and mild stress can actually be helpful. But for millions of people, stress can seem insurmountable. If it is not handled and dealt with properly, it can cause much more serious ailments like panic attacks, anxiety and depression. There are many causes of stress and each one of us handles it differently. Financial worries, loss of a loved one, a demanding job and much more can cause varying degrees of stress.
Below are some ideas for relieving stress and getting back on the road to health:
- Breathe: This may seem simplistic, but it does work. Close your eyes and slow your breathing. Take deep breaths in and exhale through your mouth. Think calming thoughts and picture yourself in your favourite spot on the beach or in the middle of a forest surrounded by nature. By focusing on your breathing, your heart rate slows and helps quiet your mind. Do this as long as necessary until you feel calm and relaxed.
- Yoga: This is a known stress reliever and will leave you feeling relaxed and refreshed. Yoga can help you learn to breathe and give you the inner strength you need when life becomes challenging.
- Exercise: Keeping up with an exercise routine at least three times a week will relieve stress and release endorphins which are known to increase your mood. If you exercise outside by going for a walk you’ll also benefit from extra vitamin D via the sun. It is hard to feel stressed on a warm, sunny day.
- Journal: Keep a journal of your daily activities and how you feel about your life. What would your perfect day look like? How would you like to change things? You will find as you write down your thoughts and questions, you will begin to write down some answers as well.
- Keep your distance: Are certain people stressing you out? Your boss? Your mother? You may need to keep your distance from whoever is causing you stress, although this is not always possible. If your job is causing problems, it may be time to look for a new one. No amount of pay is worth having a miserable life for.
- Change your thinking: Sometimes you just need to change your perspective on things. If your boss yells at you, be thankful that you have a job that allows you to pay your bills. If your kids are whining and complaining, remember that there are millions of people in this world that would love to have children but can’t. Chances are there are people out there that are worse off then you are. Be thankful for what you have.
- Keep healthy eating habits: Eating overly processed foods have been linked to stress and depression. Opt for healthy fruits and vegetables instead. Choose whole grains and foods that are rich in antioxidants and omega 3 fatty acids.
The next time you feel overwhelmed by a stressful situation or you feel like you just can’t take your life a moment longer, stop what you are doing and try one of the above exercises. Give yourself a time out and concentrate on getting calm again. You may have to try more than one technique to find one that works best for you. Don’t give up; remind yourself that you have the inner strength to overcome whatever it is that is challenging you.