Don’t be afraid of the stress monster
Last night, I was really stressed. Making the final edits for a work project, my laptop decided to crash. And then again! Twice while racing against the clock. What a horror story! How could this be? I freaked out. The plans to buy that new laptop may be pulled forward to this weekend!
During this fiasco, I remembered a few of my own stress-relieving methods. Everyone handles stress differently and here are my top 10 tips for beating stress:
- Go for a walk or do some exercise. Physical activity creates endorphins, the hormone which reduces pain and affects emotions.
- Count to 10. Or 100 or 1,000. It gives you some time and simultaneously distances yourself from the situation.
- Stop multi-tasking and focus on one thing only. It channels your energy and provides you with more clarity, enabling you to finish the task at hand quicker.
- Prioritise. If you’re overwhelmed with what needs to be done, write it all down and rank each task by their importance and urgency.
- Listen to some music and sing along. The University of Nevada at Reno discovered the different effects music has on our body and emotions. To release stress, they found slower music most effective.
- Ask for help. Whether at work or at home, reach out for additional support. It gives you the power to stay in control and reduces your to-do list.
- Meditate or practice yoga. Preparing your mind and body, meditation and yoga works as a mean to relax and feel calm. It allows you not only manage your stress but also get a stronger handle on worries or anxiety.
- Touch your pet. The American Red Cross gives a stuffed animal to people in crisis. The regular petting strokes even on a stuffed animal reduce stress levels. Imagine how good it feels touching a real pet!
- Call a friend. The personal interaction (forget Facebook and Twitter now) can reduce stress and put a smile on your face.
- My personal favourite: Hug a loved one. I love this one! Who doesn’t want to be close to their ones ones, feel cared for by being hug and getting a smile on their face?
Everyone goes through stressful times at some stage in their lives. Whether it’s the morning commute, the tight deadline or preparing a meal for your in-laws, stress can be on different levels and it’s unique to each person.
A big lesson I’ve learnt is to accept the things outside my control. There’s no point worrying or stressing about what I can’t influence. Trust me, it’s taken me some time and I still have relapses every so often.
Now, I’d like to know: What do you do to keep stress under control? I’m looking forward to hearing about what works for you. Just leave a comment below!
Until next time,