Stress is something we all have had to combat in our lives and it's a sign that something in your life is causing a negative reaction within your body. It is actual defined in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as:
"...In a medical or biological context stress is a physical, mental, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension. Stresses can be external (from the environment, psychological, or social situations) or internal (illness, or from a medical procedure)."
Stress can be paralyzing and can lead to us not moving forward out of fear and anxiety of "what if x does happen". You may not even realize this is happening, but there are symptoms you may have that outwardly show this. They can be anything from a racing heart, sweaty palms, or your inability to concentrate. This list can go on, and every one reacts differently to stress. For me, I get sweaty palms and when it is really bad I get a horrible food anxiety towards peanuts, which is odd and weird all at the same time!
Recognizing you’re stressed is the first step in working through whatever blocks are happening in your life. Even if you do not have symptoms that manifest as a physical sign, there are still things that we all internally deal with. These can be the thoughts of:
- "I'm not good enough"
- "Ugh, do I really have to do this"
- "What the hell was I thinking"
- "Why is it that "insert persons name" can do this but I can't"
- "I don't really have enough time"
Any negative thought towards an action can induce stress, but what if I told you that you have a choice in how you handle it?
We are creatures of habit and when stress hits us, we normally make assumptions based on our past, and how we deal with it in the present. However, what you may not realize is, in that present moment you have the choice to change it.
If in the past you would shy away from doing something because of the stress and fear associated with it, what would it feel like for you if you choose to see the opportunity it could lead to instead of only seeing the problem?
If we had that mindset, I know we would be able to tackle our stress's head on and live our lives with a positive, can do attitude! There will be times though, when it gets the best of us and that is OK! There are ways to help you reduce stress that can take as little as a minute. Here are 5 ways you're able to reduce stress without taking up to much of our time:
- Write it Down - Putting the stress down on paper gives you perspective on what you're feeling and allows you to take a minute and visualize the bigger picture and what you can and can not change. Once you know what you can change, do it, and don't worry about what you can't.
- Try to Smile - This may sound simple, but we already do it when we’re relaxed and happy, so if we try it when we are stressed it can also make us feel relaxed and happy.
- Scale the Stress - Give it a number, on a scale from 1 to 10 with one being the least and 10 being the most, give the situation a number to see how it really is affecting you.
- Make a Mantra - This can be used all the time, and whenever you are stressed just repeat it over and over until you start to feel relief. Some example could be "I am worthy" "I am good enough" "Nothing can stop me"
- Be Proactive - When we start to feel victimized or conflicted in stressful situations, our normal reaction is to wallow or get angry. However, one quick way to adjust this is to be proactive. If your coffee order didn't turn out right, don't let it get to you, everyone can make a mistake, and no one will ever know the context of the why except the person who made it, just kindly ask the server if they wouldn't mind making it again. If your flight gets cancelled, instead of getting angry at the airline employee, help them help you figure out a new flight that would work!
While these are only 5 of many, they will be able to help you gain clarity on the stressor itself and allow you to go from a place of anger and resentment to seeing the opportunity in how this could work for you.
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