These days feeling stressed is something of the norm. We’re concerned about politics, our health and safety, work, family issues, all of which occupy our mind during days that seem not to have enough hours. All of it together is enough to make us, well, stressed.
There’s plenty of research that indicates stress undermines our general wellness and is a contributing factor in many health conditions. Many people, unfortunately, try to overcome their life stressors with minimal success. For every individual, it is important to find ways to minimize stress.
Here are three stress busters that may be utilized whenever you begin to feel tense:
Change your mindset to focus on the good
It’s easy to focus on the negative things in life. How about the “good things”? To reduce stress we should reflect upon things that make us feel grateful. Instead of harping on the bad, flip a switch in your mind and think about what’s right in your life at this very moment. Despite the negative, there should always be something, perhaps small, about which you can express gratitude. Here’s an example: Since I live in New Jersey I often suffer through terrible traffic. It used to make me feel stressed but now I think about how lucky I am to own a car, to be warm (in winter) and cooled by air conditioning (in summer), and how much I enjoy the music and podcasts that I listen to.
Think about what is causing the stress
What is causing your stress? Is it something you can change or modify somewhat? Many people allow themselves to be stressed by circumstances that are entirely in their control. Stressed about getting to work late? Wake up and leave your home earlier. Stressed about your fight with a loved one? Address it directly. If your situation is causing you long-term stress, the only person who can change the situation immediately is you. The good news is that sometimes taking the smallest of actions will help to ease the tension and feeling of helplessness.
Take a walk, meditate, and get a change of perspective
While exercise is shown to help eliminate stress, it isn’t always possible to hit the stair master or weights. An effective alternative to the gym is to take a walk and remove yourself from the stress-inducing situation. If leaving the environment isn’t possible, take a few minutes to meditate. There are many meditation apps that make this an easy and effective stress buster. The key is to clear your mind and put your stress into perspective.
Stress can have serious consequences. If you find that your stress is impossible to control regardless of what you do it might be time to be more aggressive about getting help and seeing your way clear to a more stress-free life.
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