While we enjoy the ‘ups’ of life, inevitably we also have to endure the ‘downs’. Whether we think it’s fair or not, everyone goes through tough times as part of our life path. Sometimes stress is something that just creeps up on us and other times you can see it coming but have nowhere to hide.
Whatever the cause of your stress, when it controls how you respond to life, it stops you from being your best self. You may be left feeling broken, weak and unsure of yourself. The toll that chronic stress (ongoing prolonged stress) has on your body can leave you feeling like an empty joyless shell and disrupt the healthy function of your body (causing illness!). Some stresses and crises are unavoidable but we can support ourselves and our wellbeing in healthy ways.
Jot down these questions and your response.
- What is the source of my stress?
- Tune in and consider what impact this stress is having on my body and wellbeing? E.g. can’t sleep, lack of appetite, tired, sore neck etc.
- What is important to me and why? Is it logical to stress about this or a reasonable thing to ask of someone else?
- Check-in with yourself. Is this stress worth the affect it has on me?
- Is there another way of achieving the same goal/outcome? E.g. study part-time instead of full-time.
When doing this activity, consider your current perspective. Challenge this. Think of ways you could make changes to your life that would reduce your stress. Even write down ideas that you currently reject, fear or seem far fetched.
Imagine what you want your life to be like. How do you want to feel and look? Know that you deserve to look and feel amazing! Start taking steps toward a life that is less stressful to lead you out of crisis mode gradually. Whatever you can manage, no matter how small, will become building blocks that prop you up and help increase your strength and ability to move through the stress or crisis. Unfortunately, there is no easy way out – you can’t skip a step or go around the problem. You just have to go through it and come out the other side. And after you’ve gone through it or found coping strategies, you can begin to feel better, love your life and find the joy again.
Some healthy ideas for coping with stress:
- Talk to someone you trust. Release some of the pent up stress and give yourself a voice.
- Contact a support agency that specialises in your crisis. Reach out; the help is there.
- Be open to new possibilities and ways of perceiving the situation.
- Try something new. This could inspire new ways of how to break out of your problem.
- Exercise. Don’t think about it, just do it! Buy yourself a new pair of Nikes and motivate yourself.
- Yoga helps you check in with how your body is feeling and gives you some reflection time through movement.
- Meditation and mindfulness activities build your ability to manage thoughts. If you find your mind going around in circles, repeated practice can help you ‘reprogram’ your brain and clear your head (even if for a short moment at first).
- Have a cup of tea.
- Notice places you feel stressed and try clearing the stressful energy, e.g. remove the old to bring in the new, open the windows/curtains, clean up, change the vibe, limit the time you spend there, diffuse an uplifting oil blend in the area.
- Try using lavender or peppermint oils to relax and invigorate.
- Allow yourself to feel what you feel and give yourself time to think. You’re allowed! You’ll likely get sick of feeling terrible so you’ll gain the determination to find a way to break out of the stress.
- Do something you find enjoyable. Don’t be a slave to your stress.
- Go outside and connect with nature. Take your shoes off and feel the grass beneath your feet. Touch the leaves. Breathe.
- Who doesn’t love a nice, warm bath with some rock salts?
- Turn up the music and dance around the house like no one is watching. Laugh out loud at what a fun-loving goof you can be!
- Go for a massage or acupuncture to release tension.
- Try to stick to healthy, nutrient-dense ‘real’ foods that give your body the support it needs to function under pressure. Impossible sometimes when at points of crisis, so just do what you can.
- Take a holiday or short trip to have a break from it all and recharge.
- Remember to be kind to yourself. Self-care is important. You have to live with your body your entire life.
Please share a comment below about what you do to bust stress.