The stress ! We are all familiar with this scourge. Whether at work, with family, with our friends, facing a heart problem or simply during a difficult financial situation, stress is there. Sometimes moderate stress can help. It promotes physical and mental growth. However, excessive and chronic stress is certainly dangerous. Indeed, it may cause headaches and undermine your health, affecting your professional or school capacities and even your relationships. Instead of letting this scourge plague your life, try some techniques instead that will help you prevent and control it to stay healthy.
Part 1 of 5: Rethinking Stressful Ideas
Step 1. Realize that stress results from our perceptions
You react very well to danger. Thus, you instinctively jump to the side to avoid being run over by a car and thus save your life. This reaction causes your heart rate and pulse to speed up and your muscles to tighten. But you can also react in this way unconsciously in much less serious situations, for example while driving your car, at work to meet imperative deadlines or in your family relations. Whatever the situation, you must know how to control your reactions, in order to be able to slow them down to give your body time to recover.
Step 2. Identify stressful ideas
You might be worried about your unnecessary and unproductive ideas. In this case, your body will release stress hormones. Your reaction is correct, if you are stressed because you have encountered a bear on your way. However, it would be completely irrelevant if you might be late for work due to a traffic jam. Here are some common stressful ideas.
- A statement with the verb should. Suppose you have a number of things that you should, should, or shouldn't do. Stress takes hold of you as soon as you fail to follow this rule.
- The panic. You always consider the worst-case scenario or exaggerate any situation. Even a trivial problem becomes horrible or catastrophic.
- Extreme ideas. You perceive the world either all in black or all in white. In other words, instead of recognizing the complexity or the gray areas of the human being, you believe that things are either completely good or completely bad and that between the two there is not a moderate position.
- The fear. You always think about situations you are afraid of, such as "what should I do if my child is injured?" ".
Step 3. Revise your ideas
Often the difficulty of a situation depends on the point of view. Pessimism, for example, is a good illustration of stress that can be avoided with a little effort. Instead of only seeing the issues that are causing you concern, focus on the positives.
- A negative thought creates a negative mood and the reverse is true, as constructive ideas promote a good mood. When you are depressed, pay attention to your ideas. What are you thinking in a whisper? Strive to transform a demoralizing idea into a rewarding one.
- For example, you say to yourself "I will never be able to finish my job". Modify this idea and phrase it like this: "If I work regularly with breaks, I will be able to complete this task in __ hours".
- By changing your perspective, you will completely change the intensity of your stress. Strive to be optimistic and not give in to cynicism.
Step 4. Challenge your negative thoughts
Another way to fight stressful ideas is to doubt their validity. Examining your ideas in depth can help you perceive them objectively instead of taking them for established truths.
Step 5. Evaluate your problem by weighing the pros and cons
Draw a column in which you will write the reasons for and another for the reasons against. Or, if you don't have paper or time, do this exercise mentally.
Write each argument in the appropriate column. So if you're shot because you've been late and think you'll be kicked out, the argument for might sound like, "I was late twice last week and my boss wasn't going." not tolerate further delay”. The argument against is to say to yourself "my boss admits that I have to drop my daughter off at school before I go to work" or "we have an attendance policy that allows a limited number of delays. Fortunately, I am still far from the mark”, etc
Step 6. Keep a journal
It may seem strange or tedious to you, but writing down your thoughts on a regular basis can help you break free from your constraints. When you are in a stressful emotional or mental situation, consider writing a few lines about your concerns. This gesture will bring you great relief.
- Write clearly and confidently. Your journal is private and no one needs to read it or know the reasons for your stress. It is a safe space where you can express all your problems, emotions, ideas and feelings. Once your thoughts have been exteriorized, they won't take up much space in your head.
- This activity can help you see clearly and know the source of your stress.
- Organize your thoughts by writing down your problems. When your ideas are loose, you cannot think clearly and that is the reason why you are confused and stressed. If you have a problem and are hesitating between two solutions, draw two columns, for example on a sheet of paper. Write the advantages in one column and the disadvantages in the other, to assess two possible answers to your problem.
Part 2 of 5: Avoid unnecessary stress
Step 1. Accept the idea that stress is inevitable
It is advisable to take action to manage and reduce your stress, but know that you will never get rid of it completely. Stress forms an adequate response to threats and trying stimuli and you will need to deal with it in an appropriate way.
- Must-have stressors include studying and exams, busy days, having a newborn baby, getting married or moving. Some of these agents are good, but they will always be a source of stress in your life.
- If you learn to manage your stress in a healthy way, it will be easier for you to defuse the alarm signals it causes, so that you are no longer constantly on your toes.
Step 2. Avoid stressful situations as much as possible
It's obvious, isn't it? Sometimes it is not easy to avoid unproductive situations. If you know a specific person or activity that is causing your stress, try to get rid of it or at least limit your involvement. There are at least seven responsible for unnecessary stress. Therefore, be careful not to fall into the clutches of one of them.
- Worrying about your expenses, especially if they are superfluous purchases in department stores or loans to family or friends, etc.
- Having a messy house or office.
- Be pessimistic.
- To be late.
- Focus on evaluating your life against that of others on social media.
- Doing work at the last minute.
- Go over past events.
Step 3. Organize better
Often times, you are stressed because you are overwhelmed. Have a calendar to keep track of your to-do list. Clean up your desk and visit "Pinterest" to manage your documents and household chores. Being organized and knowing your priorities will help you define simple tasks and focus on the points that matter to you.
Step 4. Know how to say no
You cannot agree to do everything that is asked of you. Above all, do not pretend otherwise. In fact, the more you promise without keeping your promises, the less credible you will be in the eyes of others. To avoid this situation, try to be sure of yourself and learn to say no politely but firmly. Monitor your schedule closely to see if you are running out of time or money to take on new tasks.
- To defend themselves, a confident person maintains eye contact, speaks in a clear voice, and not in a threatening tone. If you know your schedule is full, say so. It is allowed to refuse on condition that you respect others.
- Some people are afraid of missing out on interesting and exciting opportunities. But, their performance will be below normal because they are trying to do multiple jobs simultaneously. Weigh the pros and cons before accepting a new obligation. Thus, you will be able to make an informed decision, taking into account your commitments.
Step 5. Learn to delegate
By wanting to do everything and never delegating anything, you demonstrate your willingness to control everything on your own as well as your reluctance to believe that others can do a job as well as you. Learn to reduce your tension by trusting others. Theoretically, giving up some work can be difficult to bear, but this will give you more free time, which you can devote to relaxing activities. Find reliable people to whom you can delegate to perform stressful or difficult-to-manage tasks.
Part 3 of 5: change environment
Step 1. Do some housecleaning
Even the bravest person will hesitate in a messy place. Your mental state will definitely be affected, if your house, office, car or workspace is uncluttered or dirty. Take a few minutes to tidy up where it's needed. So your mind will breathe a sigh of relief. Here are a few tips for remedying the mess.
- Get rid of unnecessary things instead of piling them all over the place.
- Form a team, such as your spouse, family members or classmates, to clean up together. Teamwork makes things a lot easier and allows you to work while having fun.
- Sort your papers and mail. Classify or dispose of old correspondence, if necessary. Develop a schedule to do this work regularly to prevent the accumulation of your documents.
- Provide space for storing frequently used items. So you will find them more easily when needed.
- Tidy up your workplace after every session to prevent clutter from setting in.
Step 2. Take a few minutes to prepare
It's hard to be on time if you haven't made your arrangements on time. Each morning, take a few minutes to prepare for the day's events. Stay in the shower a little longer than usual, put on your best suit, and start your day ready for any task.
Step 3. Listen to some music
It is accepted that music has a profound effect on mood and mental state. Relax while listening to your favorite soft music. Even if you prefer “heavy metal” or “rap” music, try listening to something quieter and slower for the best effect. To subconsciously control your stress, work with background sound either by studying or by going about your daily tasks.
Research has established that music can alter the way the brain works like drugs. So, listening to music regularly can really help cure stress and anxiety
Step 4. Try aromatherapy
Believe it or not, but what you feel can really affect the intensity of your stress. Research has shown that the scent of lavender and orange reduces worry and stress. Use a lavender air freshener in your home, office, or car. You can also spray some essential oil on your hair and skin before going out in the morning or massage your temples to relieve a headache caused by stress.
Step 5. Change the environment in which you operate
If, despite your best efforts, you are still depressed, try moving to another location for a while. If you have trouble studying or working at home, go to a cafe or a park. A change of location will help you get rid of your worries and give you a chance to breathe and regain your composure.
Step 6. Meet new people
It is possible that the people you hang out with are causing your stress. Don't avoid them entirely, but try to meet different people. These can broaden your horizons and give you new ideas about things you never thought of. You can also indulge in appropriate activities to relax you.
Part 4 of 5: engaging in relaxing activities
Step 1. Take a bath
Some people take a bath while others prefer the shower. However, it's hard to deny the comfort of a hot bubble bath with a nice drink and a good book. If you are stressed, try to rest in your tub. The heat will relax your muscles and soothe your stress.
Step 2. Practice your favorite hobby
When you're stressed and anxious, it's easy to forget about your leisure activities and focus on your priorities. However, neglecting to take care of yourself will make your stress worse. Take up an old hobby like playing your favorite sport, reading an art magazine or going for a hike. This is because if you do something you love, you will be better able to deal with the causes of your stress.
Step 3. Try a new activity
If you don't have an old hobby or if you don't yet have a hobby activity, try doing one that interests you. It's never too late to learn a new profession. Enroll in an auditing course at a local university or find other courses in your area. Better yet, learn a new discipline, such as a foreign language or methods that will help you improve. By learning a new activity, you will clear your mind of stressors and relax more easily.
Step 4. Get out
Sunlight is beneficial for fighting depression caused by anxiety and stress. If you can't get in the sun, take advantage of the great outdoors offered by nature. Take a walk in a park, hike in the mountains or go fishing in the sea. In short, indulge in an occupation that interests you. It is difficult to succumb to stress when you contemplate the beauty of nature while exercising.
Step 5. Laugh
They say laughter is the best medicine. It may seem difficult to laugh if you are tense and worried, but making laughing part of your routine will change your life. Watch your favorite TV series or funny videos on "YouTube". You can also have fun with your best friends. Smiling and laughing release hormones in your brain, which relieve stress by quickly making you feel good.
Step 6. Have a cup of tea
Tea drinkers are less stressed over time than tea drinkers. Thus, drinking tea becomes an interesting activity to reduce stress. Drink a cup of black tea for best results, but any tea will do. A cup of hot tea will help you relax while enjoying the sweet flavor of this drink.
Step 7. Take a massage
Massages aren't just great for your body. They also release feel-good hormones in your brain. The next time you're stressed out, call your favorite masseuse and schedule a date. By releasing the tension from your muscles, you will eliminate the tension that tires your mind. Do you want better? Get someone you love to give you a massage. A massage given by your partner or your spouse will cause the release of additional hormones that will overcome most of your stress.
Step 8. Do yoga regularly
To relieve your stress, you can practice all the different forms of yoga. Try “Hatha yoga,” which combines stretching, breathing and meditation exercises. This technique calms your mind, airs your thoughts, tones your muscles, and helps you create a new awareness of yourself.
You can make the benefits of yoga last if you practice it regularly. It's best to exercise early in the morning, but you can do it anytime you're stressed too. If you're in a rush, combine your exercises with others, such as warm-up or cool-down
Step 9. Do guided meditation
This type of meditation helps reduce stress in a remarkable way. Various models of meditation can help you relax and calm your mind. Regardless of your religious beliefs, you can practice a meditation technique like Tibetan Buddhist meditation or Transcendental Meditation to help you focus better and think more clearly.
If you are starting this activity, it is better to seek expert assistance. You can also get books and videos on the subject to practice regularly
Part 5 of 5: Adopt a Stress-Free Lifestyle
Step 1. Eat healthy foods
Some would be surprised to hear that stress relief is one of the many benefits of eating healthy. Don't let junk food and sugary candy weigh you down and increase your release of anxiety-promoting hormones. Instead, consider incorporating healthy grains, fruits and vegetables into your daily diet. This will help your body create more hormones to combat stress.
Step 2. Exercise daily
The infamous “runner's euphoria” isn't just a runner's phenomenon. Exercise produces endorphins that make you happy. In other words, if you are stressed out, you can congratulate yourself and throw your anxiety out the window by working your heart a little harder. Take a bike ride or a little swim. You can also exercise dumbbells or practice your favorite movements to improve your physical and mental health.
Step 3. Pay attention to your sleep
When someone is stressed and overwhelmed with several things to do at the same time, they often tend to sacrifice their sleep. However, know that this is one of the biggest mistakes you can make when it comes to your health. Getting enough sleep allows your body to recover and relax before starting the next day.
If you don't get enough sleep, your body won't be able to get rid of excess hormones and toxins that cause stress. Thus, you risk falling into an endless cycle of stress. So strive for seven to nine hours of sleep per night
Step 4. Cuddle more often
If you're on good terms with your partner, try to have frequent physical relationships. Studies have shown that regular physical contact, kissing, and sex cause the release of oxytocin. It is a hormone that promotes joy and reduces stress. It is true that some of your favorite activities improve your mental health. Engage in these activities regularly to keep hormone secretion high and thus reduce the risk of stress.
Step 5. Take care of your spirituality
One of the main reasons some people participate in religious practices is to relieve their stress and anxiety. If you are already part of a religious community, try to turn to it more often to find peace and serenity when you are in distress. It is likely that your religious community will help you establish your faith and strengthen your spirituality.
If you suffer from chronic stress, consider joining a religious community to see the kind of guidance and inner comfort it can offer you
Step 6. Maintain good relationships.
It is easy to succumb to stress when you are surrounded by unhealthy or intrusive people. Instead of having bad relationships with people who annoy you or cause your anxiety, instead start cultivating supportive relationships that make you feel better. You will benefit in the long run, even if it is difficult to immediately find and maintain happy and fulfilling friendships.
- Be aware that not all stress-reducing activities are right for everyone. Try out the different techniques until you find the ones that work for you.
- Think about the positive aspects of your life and talk about a specific moment that you experienced during the day. Do this daily.
- When you're stressed, read a good book.
- Get help right away if you're having suicidal thoughts or if you are at risk of hurting yourself! Call the emergency number of the local suicide prevention center or the emergency number of the psychiatric department of the nearest hospital. If you do not know where to call, the local police department can help you.
- Contact a therapist for recurring mental fatigue, just as you would for a physical disorder. A therapist is a person trained to solve problems and who will use all their knowledge to offer you choices that you never thought of.
- Your doctor may prescribe medication to cure anxiety and depression.