Stress is an evitable emotion and one that is healthy, too. Stress helps us cope with situations and work through problems. But too much stress can lead to distress. If stress rules your life, then it can become difficult to enjoy your life and your relationships. If you find yourself experiencing distress, these tips can help you manage stress.
When stress takes over our life it is hard to see what is around us. Thoughts are usually about the future and not the present. You can think in terms of action and not experience. Mindfulness can be the antidote to stress. Mindfulness seeks for us to live in the present and be aware of what we are experiencing.
If you are eating dinner, your focus is on dinner. Not on what needs to be done right after, certainly not on your phone, and not on all the other issues currently in your life. Instead, think about the taste and texture of what you are eating. Connect with how the food was prepared. If you are eating with someone else, focus on what they are saying and really listen. Try not to think about what you will say next, but be present and engaged.
Time after time the advice to be active is given as a way to manage stress. This advice is there because it works. You don’t need to hit the gym every night to be active. It can be as simple as taking a walk around the block. The fact is that the more active you are, the better your body functions. You are giving your mind the opportunity to focus solely on your body. You become aware of what you can accomplish.
Being active also allows your body to sort itself out. Digestion is improved and powerful chemicals are regulated. The hardest part of being active is often the initial part. But if you can get off the couch and put on some running shoes, the rest will be easier.
Sometimes, no matter what we try, it’s too hard to manage stress on our own. And this is when it’s time to ask for help. There’s no shame in asking for help. It doesn’t mean that you can’t do something. On the contrary; it means that you know you can do something as long as you have the support of someone else.
We would never admonish a baby for needing help to eat. Instead, we gladly step in and help them until they are able to properly grasp a spoon. We teach children the skills they need to help themselves, and the same exists for adults. So when stress overtakes your life, remember that there are so many people ready to help you take control back. Seek support from a family member or friend and if necessary, schedule an appointment with a regulated mental health therapist.