Stress is an inevitable part of our daily lives, we can encounter them daily and they range from minor to downright exhausting. The different types of stressors are financial, relationships, school, family and career stress.
The first and most important step to taking control over these stressors is to pay attention to how your body responds in a crisis situation. The fight or flight notion comes into play, this is when the brain sends warning signals to the body telling the person is in danger. Let’s say you are afraid of dogs and suddenly a big dog starts to chase you down the street. The flight response will make run and try to escape the dog, some of the symptoms you may experience are sweating, increased heartbeat or high blood pressure. Other common stress symptoms are tension headaches, muscle spasms, insomnia and the list goes on. A little bit of stress is healthy, but if it begins to affect you psychologically and physically, you need to figure out a way to control these feelings. The mind is the most powerful thing when it is used wisely and when people apply positive thinking and cognitive-behavioral therapy. Cognitive-behavioral therapy focuses on how people think and being aware of your own thoughts and feelings. Trying to control your behavior on your own and applying positive self-talk requires an immense amount of willpower, but it is effective in some circumstances.
Today I want to focus on recommending tips to anyone who is stressed out and wants to figure out a way to distress. However, if you are in a situation where your condition is beyond your control, I recommend to seek a professional help. There are things you can do on your own, but these tips I’ll be listing may not be appropriate for certain psychological issues.
I became interested in meditation and Buddhism about a year ago, the teachings of the Buddhist religion are inspiring. Meditation is all about teaching your mind to focus on the here and now, instead of thinking about the past or future. The past is over, the future is unknown and the future depends on how you act in the here and now. We seem to become caught up in this fast paced world and forget how to enjoy life. Our minds are constantly racing with million thoughts about many things that are sometimes beyond our control. Meditation allows an individual to focus on the their breathing techniques and on their inner world. Bringing peace to the mind and enjoying the tasks at hand without rushing. When was the last time you sat down at the dinner table and actually enjoyed your meal, without hurrying to finish and run off to do something else. I love meditation because it clears your mind and relaxes your body!
Music is like food for the soul, I cannot go on a day without listening to music! It is something I crave daily, when I go through rough moments in life, music has always been my security blanket. You can find any music to suit your mood and emotions, it takes you away from your troubles and you become embraced by its melody. I usually zone out whenever I listen to music, that’s why if you run into me on the bus, I probably won’t notice you because I am in my own little world. Listen to something upbeat or an inspirational song, will uplift your spirits, plus you take a mental break from your stressors.
I love reading books, when I read books I feel like I am taken on a fictional journey! I have a very active imagination, so when I read I also imagine the setting, the appearance of the characters and their tone of voice. It’s exciting to read a book that has an interesting plot and keeps you on the edge of your seat. For a second you forget everything around you, if you don’t like reading, then watching movies is a good option too.
Exercise is one big way to get your happy endorphins, since I started working out I felt more energized and content. Releasing all of that sweat and really pushing yourself is satisfying because you can say “Hey I just finished this hard workout and I didn’t think I could do it”. Exercising helps to improve sleep (trust me, I sleep so much better now), boosts your self-esteem and it makes you physically fit. Try it out, you’ve got nothing to lose!
Yoga is a bit similar to exercise, but it is also different because it is not as intense as weight training or cardio. Yoga focuses on precise movements that will help increase your flexibility and relax your muscles. Yoga also incorporates meditation because if you want to do these intricate moves, your mind needs to focus on the here and now. I’ve been doing yoga for one year now and I love it, it helps detox my mind from any negative stress.
If you are a creative person, use your talents to your advantage! Sitting down and creating something is a great feeling, this is how I feel whenever I write my posts or create a video project. It is a therapeutic process that allows you to completely focus on a task that you enjoy. For myself, I enjoy creating DIY projects, creating videos and learning choreography! When you focus on something else besides your problems, you will notice that you forget about them and they begin to seem trivial.
It doesn’t matter how many friends you have, as long as you have one loyal friend, that’s all that matters. Sometimes we may be in a situation that makes us feel stressed out, so remove yourself from the toxic environment and interact with people. Sharing your troubles with friends or family is a good thing because you don’t keep all of the negativity bottled up inside. Also friends can always put a smile on your face, I’m lucky to have such friends (you know who you are 🙂 ).
8. Go out for walks.
Taking a stroll around the park or neighborhood is healthy! Whenever I feel like I need to get away, I go out for a long walk and explore the different parks in my area. You can always bring a book or your MP3 player to enjoy your walk. Become one with nature and enjoy the outdoors, nature is the best!
9. Spa Nights.
When was the last time you pampered yourself? Having a relaxing evening is healthy, all you need is some aromatherapy oils, candles and a relaxing music. I started doing this about a year ago and it is a lot of fun, I usually bring my book or my tablet (careful not to drop it in the water). It is a perfect thing to do after a long day at work, it is lovely.
10. Seek professional help!
I’m leaving the most important point for last, I cannot stress enough how important it is to talk to someone when you are stressed out. Keeping your feelings to yourself and not talking can be hazardous to your health. It can lead to depression or anxiety, if you think being strong is not showing weakness, then you are wrong. We are all human and we can’t be strong 24\7, there is always something that will make us feel sad. Seeking help and talking about it is necessary, there is a big stigma around mental health and many people refuse to share their deep troubles. Don’t be afraid! Building up the courage to talk to someone is a sign of bravely and your willpower to get better. Since I’m a counselor, I highly encourage people to talk to a professional when all of the above tips prove to be ineffective. I am also available if anyone needs advice, you can find me on Tumblr and send me a message (there is an anonymous option), you can find the link on the menu bar. I would be happy to help, sometimes we need someone to reach out to us when we need it.
That concludes today’s post, I really hope you find it helpful! Remember, it is ok to have our tough moments, but get up and push forward!
See you soon!