When you find that stress really takes a hold of you, it may feel like you can never let it go. However, there are some ways to get yourself back into a positive place again. If your problems persist and really hinder your lifestyle, definitely contact a professional. In the meantime, here are some tips to combat those ordinary stressors in your life.
1. Practice meditation.
Meditation is a great tool to keep your mind in the present, which will calm you down. Most stress involves thinking about the past or future, rather than the present. With meditation, you can train your mind to stay right in the present. Try looking up meditation videos that fit your situation to guide you through the process. Here are some links that can guide you through it: https://www.gaiam.com/blogs/discover/meditation-101-techniques-benefits-and-a-beginner-s-how-to
2. Try journaling.
Some people feel better when they can share their worries. By keeping a notebook handy, you can devote time to jotting down what gets you stressed. Make sure that you’re in a safe and comfortable place to let your emotions out. Putting your thoughts down in a book, closing the book, and putting it away gives you the feeling that you can put these worries aside for now. This is especially helpful at night right before sleep, as worries can come up more strongly during a relaxed state.
3. Avoid generalizations and what ifs.
Generalizations are thoughts that involve black and white thinking, which can be pessimistic and untrue. For example, if you find yourself being stressed at work, you might think something like this: “I am always stressed at work” or “What if work is a nightmare tomorrow?” With these thoughts, you’re setting an expectation for yourself to be stressed at work.By thinking that you are always stressed in this circumstance, you will be creating your own misery. Try to think of times when you were happy at work, such as when you talk to friends or enjoy your lunch. This disproves the idea that you are “always” stressed at work, so it is less likely to happen than you think. Disproving these generalized thoughts is the key to combating stress.
4. Give yourself enjoyable tasks.
When you’re feeling most stressed, it’s time to pour your energy into something productive. Whether you like crafts, video games, writing, or sports, you should use your stress energy and turn it into something positive. When you start obsessing over something that you can’t change, you need to remind yourself of the things that you love about life, such as your favorite hobby. Keeping your mind busy on productive and enjoyable tasks can help to silence your stressful thoughts. Here are some ideas to get you started:
5. Reward yourself just for getting through the day.
Each day can take a toll when your mind is running a million miles a minute. Stress can be incredibly exhausting, so, end your day with your favorite movie or healthy treat. This will give you the positive reinforcement that you need to take pressure off of yourself. Honestly, you need to become your own best friend and cheerleader to get through tough times.
6. Be patient.
Not everyone is the same, so not everyone can function in the world the same way. Don’t envy other people who can work three jobs, get married, or buy their first house. Life shouldn’t be a race, and we should live at our own pace. Achieving anything, while having anxiety, should be applauded because stress can easily take a hold of your life.Be proud of what you can do; it just proves that stress is not winning.
7. Accept the stress, but challenge it.
It may sound counterproductive, but some of the best relief from stress comes from accepting it. If you constantly avoid, ignore, or repress your anxieties, then they can just resurface in other aspects of your life. By facing your stressors, you can acknowledge that they have these effects on you, validate your feelings, and then find the strength to let them go. Find out what’s really bothering you so that when you do, you know where your stress is coming from.
8. Boost your confidence.
Given my personal experience, most anxiety stems from a lack of self-trust. The world is much scarier when you don’t trust your own mind to face it, so becoming confident can easily combat this. Reflect on your personal achievements and pat yourself on the back for all of them. Look around you and see how valued you are by everyone that you know. Just think of how other people see you or would describe you. Odds are, everyone would have pretty positive feedback. There’s nothing wrong with loving who you are because loving yourself is what will keep you happy.