In January we looked at how to manage stress – now let’s take that a step further as we learn to acknowledge and deal with it before it really becomes a problem.
If we aim to deal with stress as it comes up, we keep our general stress levels low. Whereas if we allow it to build up, there’s a good chance it’s soon going to feel completely overwhelming. Try one, or some of these stress banishing tricks:
Change your thoughts
The more we focus on what’s bothering us, the more stressed we get. That’s not to say it’s a good idea to stick your head in the sand, but do what you can about the situation, then move on. Think of something that makes you feel good and focus on that instead. You could also try listing all the things that are going right in your life, or that you’re grateful for, to help balance out your perspective.
Our primitive brain and body are designed to go into fight or flight mode when we’re stressed, which has a whole bunch of effects on our body. These are designed to give us a rush of energy to use while we’re running or fighting our way out of danger or unpleasant situations. Since we mostly don’t get the opportunity to do that anymore, the after-effects of that response linger in our body. Regularly work them off by doing some vigorous exercise of your choice. Even if you simply run up the stairs, do star jumps or kick a punch bag, you’ll feel better afterwards.
Spend lots of time in natural spaces
Spending time in nature is one of the best ways to relax, partly because the colour green is extremely calming. Plants also give off oxygen and as you start to relax, you’ll naturally find yourself breathing more deeply, which boosts the oxygen flow in your body. Time spent on a beach (or near any water) can also be incredibly uplifting, as the movement of the water has an electromagnetic effect which helps us to feel good.
There are many ways to tackle stress and the key is to find the ones that work for you. Keep experimenting until you know what helps you find your way back to calm within a few minutes. Then do those things often.