We live in a world that glamorizes being stressed. It’s like a badge of honor, and it begins early in life. My 11 year old niece said to me recently, “Aunt Sam – can I call you back? I’m really stressed out right now.” 😂
While adorable and amusing, it’s also rather alarming. Let’s start glamorizing preventing stress. And allowing ourselves to pause! Who’s with me?
What would you rate your current stress level at on a scale of 1-10?
What is currently causing you the most stress?
Money? Work? Relationships? The global pandemic?
Depending on your values, thinking patterns, and coping skills, some parts of your life will cause you more stress than others, even without realizing it.
Stress builds up in the mind and body and manifests in different ways, a weak digestive system or withdrawing from socializing. Over time, chronic stress can lead to life-threatening issues such as decreased immunity.
According to the American Institute of stress:
With lots of things happening outside of our control, such as bad traffic, the weather, or global pandemics, we all must take control of our stress levels and learn stress management tools.
When stressed, I encourage you to implement one of the following tips:
If you feel stuck, exhausted, or overwhelmed by stress, incorporate laughter into your daily routine.
Research shows that if you sit and laugh for a long time, you will stimulate endorphins, which minimizes or ultimately gets rid of pain because the brain is active, aka in healing mode. Your brain doesn’t function in a negative state of emotion; it needs nutrients, oxygen, and healthy emotions to propel it forward to be productive in thinking and solve the problems that are causing you stress.
Actionable tip: Make a list of the things that make you laugh. This might be a movie, a comedian, a friend, or even a funny story from last week. Then, refer to this list whenever you need some good stress-releasing laughter.
You can also ask others to share stories to make you laugh, which leads to the next tip:
Connection, comfort, and support can make a massive difference in our ability to cope with stress. Just having someone to listen to our worries or offer advice or a warm hug helps calm our minds for a moment.
Whether you are more comfortable speaking to a professional or with a friend, talking to someone you trust can help you relieve some stress.
Actionable tip: reach out to someone you feel comfortable with and open up about what’s on your mind. You can do this over the phone, in person, or even during an activity.
The most important piece here is choosing someone you feel safe with, so I suggest making a list of 2-5 people.
When we feel stressed, we tend to take shorter, faster breaths, making our brains think we are in danger, making our breathing quicker; it’s an unhelpful cycle. Incorporating a breathing practice into your daily routine is an easy stress management tool you can start today. You can play around with different breathing techniques, such as box breathing or the Wim hof method, but even something as simple as counting back from ten can give you a much-needed moment of mindfulness.
Actionable tip: Take ten slow deep breaths, counting back from 10 to slow your heart rate and clear your mind.
By practicing a little bit of stress management every day, your coping skills will improve leading to a clearer mind that focuses on finding more joy in your day.
I hope these three tips help you feel more in control of your stress and mental health!
Which tip are you going to try first? Let me know either in the comments below or send me an email.
You don’t have to get through this alone. So whether you’re feeling anxious, stressed, or overwhelmed… I’m here. To listen. To provide support and resources. We’ll figure it out together.
Schedule a call to set up your individual, customized plan.