5 Easy Steps to Take Control of Stress
Taking time for you may seem far from reality at times. Recognizing you need and deserve certain things in life will only bring you more peace. Stress and anxiety are familiar feelings that we all have a hard time controlling. Letting go and living in the moment will help center you, and allow you to let whatever needs to happen, happen.
Try not to let other people’s stressors become yours, and don’t allow them to project their insecurities on you. Here are a few tips I recommend to reduce stress:
- Just Breathe: Take in 5 deep strong breathes and let go when breathing out. Any time you feel your blood pressure rising, or your mouth clenching, just breathe and let go of those negative emotions. Breathe them out, and center yourself. Remember to not stress over the little things. It sounds too simple to be true, I know, but believe me, it really will help clear your mind.
- Meditate: Life can be overwhelming at times, and if you allow just about anything to get on your nerves, the stress will pile on. Go somewhere quiet and private to meditate and clear your mind of thoughts, to-do lists, responsibilities, and anything else that is spinning around in your head. Maybe this means getting out of the house where all your stressors seem to surround you, and go to a park or somewhere outdoors that is unfamiliar and peaceful. In order to relax we need to center ourselves in places where we are able to step out of our skin and feel closer to nature. Listen to the birds, feel the grass, remember this life is beautiful and you’re surrounded by beauty. Your light will glow and begin to shine through those worries that seemed to be overtaking you.
- Treat Yourself: Get a massage. Go do yoga or go to the gym. Do something you love, like painting. Get a manicure. Or maybe even go away for the weekend, alone or with your loved one. Treat yourself to something special. It seems like such a simple thing to do, but it will have such an impact on your happiness. The happier you feel, the more happiness you’ll spread, and the more people will want to be around you!
- Free Write: Free writing is a great way of clearing your mind. It’s a grounding and alternative way of thinking aloud. Immediately after you wake up in the morning jot down for about 10 minutes what ever may be on your mind. You don’t have to worry about making any corrections, just go with the flow! Don’t worry if your thoughts aren’t clear. You just woke up! Don’t censor yourself or make any judgments. Your pen and paper are there to soak in your thoughts and are your canvas to paint a picture of what’s going on in your head. Maybe you want to write down about what you dreamt last night, or concerns you may have about the day ahead, or a childhood memory. This is a relaxation and therapeutic exercise that allows you to explore new things about yourself, release inner tensions, and is fun and soothing. Embark on a self-discovering journey.
- Eat Healthy Fats: You may notice that every time you’re stressed you begin to crave sugary foods, like ice cream, cookies, chocolate, brownies, and just about everything else you can get your hands on. This is your body’s way of tricking you into thinking that you’ll feel better after eating these foods. We all know how we feel after that pint of ice cream though…not so good. Instead, take a handful of raw almonds, or any nuts you prefer. Eat a banana with peanut butter. Eat an avocado. These healthy fats aren’t processed, but whole foods rich in nutrients that help protect your body against stress. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce surges of the harmful stress hormone cortisol and boost levels of serotonin, which stimulate a feeling of calmness and happiness. Dark chocolate, and oatmeal also have the same effect.
- Drink Herbal Tea: Herbal teas like chamomile, mint, barley tea, passionflower, and valerian root are not only soothing but can also reduce stress-related insomnia anxiety or anger. These teas are natural herbal remedies and great options to try out before resorting to sleeping pills or other medications.
I’m someone who is prone to stress and living in a busy city adds to my stress sometimes, but I use all of these practices to help alleviate it affecting my everyday life. We are our own true healers, and the more we listen to our bodies and mind the deeper we will delve into our souls. I hope these tips will help you realize that you have control over your mood and life and when your journey becomes overwhelming remember to just breathe.