Stress is something we will all experience at some point in our lives, but if we frequently experience high levels of stress, it can take a toll on us both mentally and physically. Whether the pressure is coming from school, work, or personal issues, dealing with stress adequately is essential to our well-being. Here’s a list of mindsets and activities that will help you cope with your more delicate challenges as well as relax your mind.
One of the most important things to keep in mind is that it is normal to feel overwhelmed at times. Rather than letting yourself get frustrated, or even embarrassed by the way you’re feeling, learn to embrace your challenges and shortcomings as a means of potential improvement. Accept things that you have no control over and know to take a second and breath before charging head-on at the things you don’t have the power to change.
As a matter of fact, a healthy level of stress can be a useful incentive to push ourselves out of our comfort zones! So, by taking in your emotions and calculating the ramifications one by one, you’re completing the first step to dealing with stress in a healthy way. Stress is very normal and often necessary to make a great accomplishment. Once you’ve made peace with it, the next few activities will help you deal with a moderate amount of stress.
Running is a great way to get out there and to feel liberated. Rather than wasting brain power by sitting in your bedroom, or staring at the computer screen or a stack of paper, give the rest of your body some attention and get outdoors. Breathe in some fresh air and enjoy the view to take your mind off of your troubles. It doesn’t have to be a strenuous workout; a simple, delightful jog can do wonders to elevate your mood.
Yoga is one of the most relaxing ways in which you can make peace with your mind. It’s important to strip away the sentiments and to just be every now and then. Doing yoga when you’re stressed will help you to release the negative energy inside of you and bring you, as one would say, to your “happy place”. Having done some yoga myself, I can assure you that being in such a peaceful environment relieved me of a lot of my stress. Yoga is especially effective if you’re totally free of distractions, so don’t bring your phone with you!
Music can be a great source of comfort. In fact, research has proven that classical music can lower your blood pressure and slow your heart rate. Finding songs with lyrics that you can relate to can be even more helpful. So if you need to unwind for a while, put on a pair of headphones and take some time to detach yourself from the rest of the world. Or, if you’re interested in a different approach, you can also sing or play an instrument to release stress. Creating music can be very cathartic, and who knows? Composing something original when you’re experiencing a powerful emotion might lead to something incredible―think Mozart and the Requiem!
Watching a TV show and getting a good laugh out of it can definitely lighten your mood! Even forcing a smile has been proven to have physiological benefits. Call up some of your friends and watch a funny movie together, or, if you’ve got several hours to spare, binge-watch all ten seasons of Friends online. With popcorns in your lap, take a detour to a momentary illusion and relax.
Expressing your emotions with words can help you not only understand your feelings, but also to let them go as well. By locating the source of your anger and writing about it freely on a piece of paper, you can reduce the level of stress and learn to live in the moment. Better yet, you can tear the paper apart and throw it away afterwards as a means of moving on. You will be able to clarify your thoughts and feelings when you approach your emotions in different ways. Your journal might even serve as a future guide when you come across obstacles and challenges later on as well.
Take a break! When your mind is exhausted, and your body is worn-out, sometimes the best solution is to just rest. Sleep-deprivation will leave you more prone to irrational thoughts and decisions, so take a power nap to boost your energy, forget your troubles, and recharge your batteries.
There are times when the levels of stress you’re experiencing can be too much to handle on your own. When you find yourself feeling consistently depressed, drained of energy, and unwilling to participate in activities that you would normally engage in, talk to someone about it. Seek emotional support from people you trust, whether it be your family, friends, or counselors. You shouldn’t feel ashamed of the way you’re feeling; everyone has their down days, and while it can be hard to open up, letting all that negative energy churn inside of you can be very unhealthy. Don’t worry: it may seem like no one understands what you are going through, but you’ll find that many people care for you if you’re just willing to open up. Your true friends won't judge or criticize you, nor will their opinions of you change just because you’re dealing with stress.
Keep in mind as well that extreme levels of stress can lead to serious problems for some, so handling it properly is crucial. No matter how much emotional turbulence you may be feeling, help is always out there. By utilizing the activities mentioned above and adopting a more open-minded, optimistic perspective, you can turn the feeling of stress into a positive force that will propel you to success!