Stress is a natural occurrence in life. We deal with it at work, at home, with finances and in relationships. Somehow it seems to creep up on us without us even realizing what is going on until someone mentions that we have not been “ourselves” lately.
Strangely enough, stress is not part of our natural state and it is created, not by outside circumstances, but from within our own minds. We create internal worries, fear and anxieties and place too high of priorities on everything else. We run out of time, run low on money, feel pressure from others and it is all based on the stories that we tell ourselves about the urgency and demands of people and situations. Everything suddenly becomes an Emergency! We are truly our own worst enemy in this sense.
Regardless of how the stress comes or why, it is crucial that we learn to take care of ourselves until we can get back to a calm and centered state of mind. When we are under stress, we are living in survival mode and we usually end up making poor choices and saying things that we end up regretting or doing. So how can we best take care of ourselves? Here are five tips to get you through the stress:
1. Do some deep breathing.
When we are in a stressful state, our breathing becomes shallow and quick. We are not getting enough oxygen and it keeps us in that panicked state. According to the American Institute of Stress, Abdominal breathing for 20 to 30 minutes each day will reduce anxiety and reduce stress. Deep breathing increases the supply of oxygen to your brain and stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which promotes a state of calmness. Breathing techniques help you feel connected to your body—it brings your awareness away from the worries in your head and quiets your mind.
2. Take a bath with Epsom Salt.
Soak in a warm bath with 1 cup of Epsom salt (It is actually not a salt but a mineral – largely magnesium). Stress drains the body of its magnesium and increases levels of adrenaline. When dissolved in warm water, Epsom salt is absorbed through the skin and replenishes the level of magnesium in the body. The magnesium helps to produce serotonin, a mood-elevating chemical within the brain that creates a feeling of calm and relaxation. Research shows that magnesium also increases energy and stamina by encouraging the production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the energy packets made in the cells.
3. Say “no” more often.
Most of us become stressed because we have a tendency to take on more than we can handle. We accept extra job assignments, take on extra kid activities, join too many groups, make too many social commitments, and spend too much money trying to keep the kids happy. Start saying “no”. No is a complete sentence and when you start to honor yourself by saying no to commitments, you can start reducing the amount of stress in your life. Think of every obligation commitment you make as a different cord of energy attached to your body and sucking energy out of you. It is no wonder we get tapped out. It has always amazed me about parents that have their kids involved in multiple activities. It is not just stressful for the parents but look at what we are teaching our kids, and how it affects the kids and family dynamics. Cut some of those cords and feel the release of tension. Ahhh….
4. De-clutter your life and your workspace.
Some of us work in areas that are completely cluttered; we live in homes (and garages) that are messy and unorganized and wonder why we feel stressed and overwhelmed. Our minds are aware and affected by our surroundings. Clutter has a demotivating effect on your peace of mind and saps your mental energy. A cluttered workspace shows yourself and others that you are not in control of the details and unorganized. When you have papers piled on your desk it is like having stacks of unopened mail. Some part of your mental energy is going to be distracted by the nagging worry that there is something in the pile you are missing or forgetting. Most people don’t realize how much stress they are under until the feelings dissipate, so try to remember how good it felt the last time you had a clean and uncluttered home or workspace.
5. Carve out more time for fun.
When we get so consumed with life, work and being serious, we can’t help but become stressed out and uptight. While the term of being “Stressed Out” may be overused these days, it is critical to make time to do things that are fun and relaxing physical, mentally and emotionally. Many of us are stuck in our mundane routine lifestyles and don’t divert from the ordinary much, if at all. Take the time to do something fun and exciting for yourself, with you partner and with family. It doesn’t have to cost money and it can be right in your home. Play a game, feed the ducks, treat yourself to a milkshake, go to a sporting event or comedy show, play tag at the park with your kids. Any of these activities can boost your happy hormone and ease the stress. Sometimes we deserve to act like a kid and have a little fun too!
What about you? If you’re trying to change a certain script in your life, start small and experience some success. Build from there. What has been stopping you from moving forward with change? What rituals (or habits) do you want to change in your life? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.
Published by: Invigorated Solutions. Bob and Tracy Wallace are Co-Founders of Invigorated Solutions. Tracy is a certified Life Coach specializing in life transition coaching, career changes, major life changes and family matters. Both can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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About Invigorated Solutions
Passionate about life, learning, love and sharing their experiences of life, Bob & Tracy Wallace enjoy sharing their invigorated (energizing) solutions / advice and useful life tips for living life to the fullest on their popular life development blog, “Invigorated Solutions”. Click HERE to visit our website for more valuable information.