By Sarah Wylde
Ten Things to do in Stressful Times:
There is no way around it. Stress is part of everyday life, and it is our bodies natural response to a real or perceived threat. Everyone experiences stress differently, but there can be a racing heart, tense muscles, sweating, and slight tightening of the chest. But too much can be damaging to our body and lead to anxiety and depression.
Believe it or not, there is good and bad stress. Good stress can be managed, and it can help you achieve what you need to get done like writing an essay for school or working on a deadline. The bad stress is what you need to keep an eye on. You can feel like you are out of control, and your body reacts to that. Your heart beats fast, shakes, cold sweat, and the feeling of about to be sick. But there are things you can do to help, below are ten tips to help you manage your stress.
- Meditate: Find a quiet place where you feel comfortable and sit. I find it helpful to have my eyes closed while I focus on my breathing and being in the present moment. Meditation brings calmness, peace, balance, and emotional well-being. Pay attention to what is around you. What do you hear? What can you smell? Questions like that.
- Be present: anchor yourself to the present moment to get rid of negative thinking. By being in the moment, you stop the mind from looking too much in the future and dwelling on things that have not even happened yet.
- Listen to music: have a playlist filled with music that calms you and crank it up. You can listen to it or if you want to dance around and sing along. Put on something that makes you feel good and get lost in the song.
- Light a candle: burning a scented candle can help reduce stress. There are a lot of soothing scents that promote calmness. Those include lavender, vetiver, bergamot, sandalwood, roman chamomile, geranium, and more.
- Write: keeping a journal can be a proper release for pent-up emotions. It doesn’t have to be your best writing, and no one ever has to read it, don’t even think about what you are writing, let it flow organically and honestly. Write it all out.
- Deep breathing: take long, slow, deep breaths. When you are practicing your breathing techniques, your mind begins to wander from distracting thoughts. There are many kinds of mindful breathing available, including, 6-3-6, tense and release, breath counting, and calm breathing. This can be done in private or in public, I have done them at a concert, convention, and on a plane travelling when I feel overwhelmed. Do this for at least two or five minutes.
- Take a walk: exercise is a great stress reliever. Take a little walk around the block or office, get in a different mind frame and change of scenery. Even walking to get tea or taking your dog out for a walk can be helpful. Exercise is an essential factor in better health and can combat stress.
- Cuddle with a furry friend: petting an animal reduces stress, it increases your levels of serotonin and dopamine, neurotransmitters that have calming properties. Interacting with pets may help with the release of oxytocin that promotes positive moods. If you do not have a pet, you can always go to a friend or volunteer at your local animal shelter.
- Yoga and tai chi: they combine rhythmic breathing and posture flowing movements. Yoga and tai chi offer mental focus, enhance flexibility, and balance. These are popular methods among various age groups.
- Laugh: laughter can make you feel better. When you laugh, it creates a positive physical change. I turn on the gag reel and laugh away, by the time I am done watching my mood has improved. Laughter is the best medicine.
I hope this helps you keep your stress level down. What do you do when stress becomes too much? Let us know in the comments below or on social media.
Until next time!