Handle Stress NOW! 5 Powerful Ways
When you are overwhelmed, tired, anxious and battling life you do not feel you can handle stress at all. You certainly don’t feel as if you have any power! Stress drains you of energy and you make poor judgment calls. So, how do you handle stress powerfully when you feel as weak as a kitten? Follow these five steps, in order, and you will find the capacity to handle stress, and even prevent it from returning.
We subconsciously often feel that stress is somehow our fault. We have brought it upon ourselves. Sometimes, that is the case but it is rarely something we do deliberately! Come on, nobody actually wants to feel tired, miserable and anxious. Your first step is to dump the blaming, the negativity and the self punishment. OK, so maybe you messed up and forgot to do something, be somewhere, get organised etc….. the resulting stress is tinged with guilt, but that is not going to help. So, forgive yourself, you are only human. Stop rehashing the circumstances that got you stressed and give yourself a break. You can handle stress if you give yourself permission to mess up occasionally. Now, you need to fix it, and you can. However, if you keep beating yourself up about it, your stress levels will continue to rise.
Whatever is stressing you, get out of the house, fast! Your four walls are not comfort right now, they can feel like they are closing in on you. That feeling of being trapped with your mistake, your crisis, can be very bad for your emotional health. Get outside, go to the park, find some greenery and breathe in that fresh air. It doesn’t matter if it is raining, snowing or brilliant sunshine. Walk away from the stress and let nature do its healing work. If you need to, find a quiet spot and yell, very loudly, let it all out, get it out of your system. If you have kids, take them with you if nobody else can mind them for you. They will happily run and shout and the very fact of them enjoying themselves will help you too. You know the phrase, “stop and smell the roses”? Well, do that, if you can find some flowers or blossom, take the time to stop, look, smell and drink in their beauty. No flowers? Look at the trees, really look at them; their shape, the way the leaves move, the etching on the bark. Looking very closely at nature requires focus and this will help you handle stress by pushing it out of your mind.
Now, I am not one to go for runs, or down to the gym for a workout, but I do love to dance! You don’t have to run a marathon to help you handle stress, just move your body…to music is even better. Find your favorite song, put it on loud, drown out that stress by singing and dancing. Nobody is watching you, so forget about being embarrassed, just get your energy back up with music and movement.
4. Handle stress by doing something you love
OK- so part of being stressed is a guilty feeling that somehow you don’t deserve to be happy. so, you try and handle stress by focusing on the stuff that needs doing and forget to nurture yourself. If you don’t top up your happy, you will fail to handle stress, in fact you will increase it. Now, I’m not suggesting a hedonistic weekend at the spa and Las Vegas! Do something that makes you happy- art, reading, a good movie, a concert…however small, find something that makes you smile. Laughter and smiles are great stress busters and even better when shared with somebody you love. You will come back refreshed and more able to face up to whatever is causing the stress.
Almonds are high in B2 and E vitamins- both stress busters! Asparagus raises your folic acid levels and helps fight off depression. Avocados are high in B vitamins and lower your blood pressure. Blueberries are high in antioxidants and vitamin C helping to repair our bodies. A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids helps keep cortisol and adrenaline from spiking when you’re feeling tense so try some salmon or other omega rich fish. Orange juice in the morning tops up your vitamin c levels giving you energy and supporting your immune system. Have oatmeal for breakfast- as coarse as possible so it takes longer to digest and releases serotonin which has a calming effect. Spinach helps regulate cortisol and stress levels. If you are a meat lover then choose turkey for that happy sleepy post Thanksgiving effect- it contains the amino acid Tryptophan which also releases serotonin.
Avoid caffeine, alcohol and nicotine- they will raise your stress levels.
Life does not have to be so hard- learn to handle stress with these five proven techniques and improve your overall health and well being.
More advice on handling stress can be found here…