Do you find yourself wondering how to deal with stress? You’re definitely not alone. We all deal with stress in our everyday lives, and for some of us there is just no avoiding it. The only thing we can do is learn how to minimize it by developing good coping skills. The following are some ways to help reduce your stress levels:
• Practice positive self-talk every day. We all talk to ourselves (sometimes out loud, but usually in our heads). Make sure you turn negative self-talk into positive. Instead of saying “I hate it when this happens.”, instead say something like “I know how to deal with this; I’ve done it before.” Practice positive self-statements such as, “It will be ok.” or “We all make mistakes.”
• Many times things happen during our days that are stressful because of poor communication, too much work and everyday busy schedules. There are many things you can do to learn how to deal with stress in different situations, and sometimes you might need to combine them. Count to a certain number before you speak. Take several deep breaths. Walk away for a little while, and commit to resolving the issue later. Go for a walk. Stop and “smell the flowers.” Say “I’m sorry” if you make a mistake. These may seem like little things, but when you do them regularly, they will have a cumulative effect and help you to build a wall of defense against the stress in your life.
• When life gets stressful, do something that you find pleasurable. Read a good book, start a hobby or art project, listen to relaxing music, or watch a favorite movie, for instance. Sometimes distracting yourself from stress rather than dwelling on it can help to minimize its effect on you.
• Practice daily relaxation. Take at least 5-10 minutes every day and perform yoga, tai chi, or slow deep breathing. It’s good to practice these relaxation methods at the beginning or end of your day. If you’re not sure where to start, consider joining a class or try out several methods to find the one that’s a good fit for you.
How to Treat Anxiety
If your stress has severely impacted your life or prevents you from doing things you normally would, then you may need to spend some time learning how to treat anxiety. Anxiety is an uncomfortable feeling of nervousness or even panic that occurs when the stress in your life feels like it’s simply too much to handle. Wondering how to treat anxiety effectively? Try these strategies:
• Keep up your normal routine. When you’re trying to figure out how to treat anxiety, it can feel overwhelming. You may find yourself staying home more or avoiding normal activities. This is actually the worst thing you can do, even though it may feel so right! Make a commitment to keep up your normal routine and not let the anxiety lead to depression as well. Plus, staying in control of your life can help you reduce anxiety over time rather than letting it spiral out of control.
• Practice mini-meditations.
Anxiety has a way of creeping up on us at unexpected or inconvenient times. That’s why it’s important to practice mini-meditations that you can do anywhere, anytime. Simply closing your eyes for five seconds and taking a deep breathe in and out can have a transformative effect on your nerves. You can also choose a calming mantra to repeat quietly to yourself in order to produce a feeling of calm.
Whether you experience regular daily stress or you suffer from anxiety disorder, you can benefit from using all or some of the coping skills listed above. Practice them several times a day, and they are sure to become life-enhancing habits over time.