I believe that, by now, you would agree with me that the adverse effects of stress are so severe that we should take conscious actions to eliminate it.
Question: what can you do TODAY to eliminate your daily stress levels?
Don’t be surprised! Whether you are a working mother, a working father, or a student, life for you is probably a roller-coaster. You are always trying to juggle family, work, hobbies, and whatever else you have on your plate. So, here is my number one recommendation for a less stressful life (and trust me, it works):
Have a good day-end
Weekends are not enough to eliminate stress. Think about it this way: you, maybe unwillingly, force your body and mind to complete several challenging tasks during the day. Therefore, you should also dedicate some time during the day to allow your body and mind to simply be. The only thing you really need after a long day of running errands is to have 15-minutes or so for yourself. You can choose to do ABSOLUTELY nothing on your day-end. This will definitely clear your mind. When I say nothing, this includes not scrolling down social media pages on your phone.
You might be like me. You don’t know how to spend time doing nothing. You, more often than not, prefer to work on something. You know that if you don’t have ”structured relaxation time,” your mind will be wandering off to thinking about that presentation you are to give in tomorrow’s meeting. The day-end sheet below will help you relax while still doing something:
Listening to calming music is another right way to end the day. The point I would like to make is that you shouldn’t wait till the weekend to recharge. Especially, nowadays, most of us run errands during weekends as well. 15-minutes every night is not a lot of time, but it will make all the difference in your life. Try it, and I really would love to hear how it worked for you in the comments section below.
You just woke up. As a matter of fact, you have been woken up. It is here again. The shortness of breath. The heartbeats are so fast. You think to yourself,” I definitely will need hospitalization this time.”
The following day at work, a colleague of yours shares what happened to her the night before. She had just gotten into her car after a lovely family gathering, when a young man dressed in black opened the driver’s door, pointed a gun to her head and asked her to step out of the car. Your colleague previously believed that she had no problem knocking an attacker down. This time, however, she experienced a new sensation. Her heart was racing, she could hardly breathe, and her palm was sweating. She literally froze. She could neither attack nor get out of the car and run. Luckily for her, there was a police car nearby were two policemen who saw the incident and arrested the carjacker.
Both you and your colleague experienced similar physiological symptoms. The only difference is your colleague can relax after the stressful; the hazardous event has passed. On the other hand, you are experiencing those intensive physiological symptoms as if you are being carjacked when you don’t even own a car.
This is just one of the symptoms of GAD (General Anxiety Disorder). You are tired of it. Now you are anxious about being anxious. It is a vicious cycle that doesn’t seem to ever end. Your close ones may not understand the intensity of your anxiety. This is because the majority panic only when they are put in a situation when panicking will actually do more help than harm.
The number one question that you are probably thinking right now is,” will this ever end?” The answer is YES! Make now your turning point.
It may not come as a surprise that anxiety is the second most common mental disorder following depression. While anxiety doesn’t directly lead to death, its effects are devastating (more about the effects of anxiety on Healthline). Below are my top tips for dealing with anxiety:
- Get Moving: If you are lying in bed, and you get a panic attack, get out of bed immediately and start walking around the house. By doing so, you reassure your brain that everything is alright, and there is no danger. Additionally, you distract it from panicking.
- Schedule Anxiety Time: You can’t think straight or get on with your daily activities because your anxious 24/7, and the thoughts just keep coming. You need to literally STOP your thoughts and schedule anxiety time. What this means is that you will dedicate 15 minutes a day or a week (depending on how anxious you are) for negative thoughts to ventilate.
- Relaxation Techniques: These tools are essential if you are suffering from anxiety. You need to learn relaxation techniques. Believe me, they do wonders. One of the most straightforward relaxation techniques to do is breathing one. The picture below illustrates how you can breathe in a way that would restore your body to a state of calmness:
You have more control over your body than you think you do! You just need to know-how.
Picture obtained from https://asdresources.wordpress.com/strategies/relaxation-techniques-for-the-classroom/