3 SUPER EASY WAYS TO DEAL WITH STRESS.
Today I want to talk about stress. We all get stressed from time to time but some people are far better at managing stress than others.
So, why do some people always seem to stay calm and collected whilst others seem to get really easily rattled and overwhelmed?
How you react to stress is dependent on a number of different factors. The world is experienced through our five senses; however, our individual experiences of the world differs from person to person.
Your interpretation of reality is a different version of reality to that of someone else. Your appraisal of the situation, that is, how well you think you can handle this situation, determines your stress production.
Stress results from initially doubting that your individual resources, skills and coping mechanisms will actually work, and hence, the situation is interpreted as stressful.
This means that you can change your interpretation of the world, and manage your mental state in order to feel good and decrease stressful events. So how do we do this?
Let’s focus on this line of thinking …
You can change your interpretation of the world in a few different ways.
By changing one of the following, you can decrease your experience of stress.
What you focus on.
How you speak to yourself (your inner dialogue and that negative self-talk fairy that keeps saying unhelpful and unhealthy things to you, she’s there, chipping away at your psyche)
How you use your body (your body language ) so you can decrease your ‘experience of stress’ by changing what you focus on.
For example, if you find it difficult to fall asleep at night, (I’m using this example because I’ve struggled with insomnia for years), because you’ve got shed loads of shit whirling around your head, your mind is so full of thoughts and you start to focus on how little sleep you’ll get . Well instead of doing that, write down your thoughts instead.
Writing down your thoughts helps you move your focus from what’s inside your head onto the piece of paper, and you will find that it’s easier to relax once you’ve written that down what’s troubling you. Another way of changing your focus is to count sheep – you will move your focus from the lack of sleep you’re gonna get to woolly sheep. (and how cute are they?)
The third way is to relax one part of your body a time, (like in a guided meditation that starts from the crown of your head, and in turn, begins relaxing you all the way down to your toes)
This exercise changes your focus and increases your ability to relax, which then helps you with falling asleep.
Start to change your inner dialogue. Your inner dialogue is a constant presence, and it’s been estimated that you have around 60000 thoughts a day. Don’t be afraid to question this ‘inner dialogue’, (or mind chatter or monkey mind) as to why you have certain thoughts, and in what way these thoughts are helpful.
Your own thoughts can make you stressed, and by questioning your thoughts, you learn to see things from a different perspective.
For example, if you’ve been having thoughts such as
“I will never be able to finish everything that needs to be done today” you can question this.
“Who says I won’t be able to finish everything that needs to be done today?”
And just by thinking that, it makes it less of an issue.
As you learn to do this more often, you’ll learn to formulate better questions for what your inner self-talk is saying to you, and you’ll be able to focus on a more positive type of question and have better focus.
Also, if you constantly think about all the things you need to do, there’s an added risk of tensing up your body. Your body will then communicate ‘stress’ – Instead, if you stand up, stretch out, breathe in deeply, and expand your chest, this will send signals of energy and strength to your brain, which will make you feel less stressed and help you focus on what needs to be done.
The same strategy works if you feel a bit blue.
If you’re feeling blue or fed up, there is a risk of you lowering your head, collapsing your back, and focusing on your thoughts about ‘what’s wrong’ rather than trying to think of positive thoughts.
If this is how you feel, change your posture, stand up, and straighten your back.
This will break your thought pattern and make you feel stronger.
One of the best ways to change how you feel is to engage in a ‘physical activity’.
Think about how you feel after a workout session after a long day at work.
You may feel physically exhausted, but you no longer feel stressed, you feel more alert, and your thoughts and more focused on solutions and opportunities.
Do this exercise to become better at changing your mental thought processes by utilising the previously described strategies
Change your focus
Change your inner dialogue
Change your body language when experiencing daily stress
Notice and register changes to what you feel and experience. What happens in your body? What happens in your breathing? And what happens to the tension in your shoulders?
What works and what doesn’t what work for you?
Over time, you will notice, that you will become better at handling stress and that it will become easier to reduce your stress by applying the above strategies
So, change your focus and inner dialogue and body language.
If you do this exercise once a week for a couple of months, you’ll be creating a less stressful life yourself.
YOU have the ability to change how YOU react to stressful situations
This might not happen overnight, but if you practice changing your focus, you can become better at handling your reactions to your ‘perceived reality’.
There are a number of ways that this can be done as I have suggested in the three different tips and exercises.
So to summarise ~
Change your focus
Change your inner dialogue
Change your body language
I hope you find this useful if you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed. And one more, really quick way, is to take some deep breaths, send your energy down to the ground out through the soles of your feet into the Earth (grounding) and thereby grounding your energy whilst you keep taking some slow deep breaths.