Stress Relief Strategies, Part 3
In this Blog Post you will see I shared a breathing exercise which I find very helpful in reducing my level of stress and anxiety.
This breathing exercise also brings your attention back into the present moment.
Stress and anxiety are rooted in the past (what happened) and in the future (what may happen). We have no control over the past or the future. We only have control over what we are thinking and doing in this present moment of now.
It takes practice to be in the present moment, to be aware of your thoughts and your feelings. We are running on auto-pilot the majority of the time, that we give very little thought to how we are actually feeling and what we are thinking.
Every time you become aware that you are delving into the past or worrying about the future, stop yourself and bring your attention immediately to the present moment of now. Be aware of what you are thinking and feeling right at that moment. It’s a really useful exercise to avoid the overthinking, which can create stress and anxiety.
Sometime is can be more helpful to redirect your thinking, instead of ruminating over what is creating your current stress.
So focus your attention elsewhere. Do something that takes you mind off the situation, even if for only a few hours. Even after a few hours you will be in a better headspace and have more energy to handle whatever is before you.
Remember to eat and drink.
It’s very easy to forget to look after ourselves when we are feeling stressed or anxious, which tends to worsen our state of mind.
Our brain uses a lot of energy and it becomes more difficult to think clearly or avoid negative thoughts when we are hungry and dehydrated.
I understand that you may not feel hungry, but set a timer on your phone for regular fluids and food to keep your energy levels balanced.
If you are feeling out of control or powerless, ask yourself what you can do right now to improve your situation today. Endlessly thinking about the same negative scenario will only make you feel worse and powerless.
So ask yourself:
What one small thing can I do to improve this situation today?
Personally, I find it really helpful to write the question down and then brainstorm some ideas. Then take action on one of the ideas I came up with, and when I’ve completed that action, then take another one which is on the list of ideas.
Moving forward like this will allow you to feel like you are regaining control over your life again, which will help you to feel a little more confident, which tends to reduce stress.
Sometimes an anxious feeling can feel icky and vague and it’s rarely obvious where the feeling is come from or what is causing it.
When this happens, allow and accept the feeling. One of the things I say to myself when it happens to me is
“I see you, I hear you, I feel you and now I’m letting you go”.
I say it over and over until the feeling dissipates.
It’s not about fighting the thoughts or feelings,
it’s about acknowledging it, but then not allowing it to envelope you. It’s like you are taking your power back. I highly recommend it.
I don’t think it’s a good idea to keep negatives thoughts and feelings to yourself, because when you do that the problem/issue always seems to magnify causing increased stress and anxiety. So, let it out.
Talk to some close to you about the situation. Sometimes just venting to someone who will listen can help you get a more grounded perspective.
If you feel you don’t want to talk to someone you know, then do seek out professional help. Perhaps a coach, therapist or doctor.
And, remember that tomorrow is a new day, when we can begin again, and that difficult situations are temporary.
We all have good days and not so good days, and it’s ok not to feel ok.
It’s just not ok to feel not ok all the time, and if you recognise your self here, then please do seek professional help.
Until next time,
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