If you’ve been stressed recently and don’t know how to budge that dark, grey cloud above your head, read on.
Why So Serious
There’s nothing like anxiety to annihilate your sense of humour. It would follow, then, that it’s impossible to feel stressed when you’re hunched over in a fit of giggles. Laughter not only relieves tension but actually improves immune function. Swap jokes with your friends. Rent a funny movie. Stop taking things so seriously!
Turn Up The Music
Slow or meditative music is a proven stress buster, so set your dial to a soothing station during your commute, or any music that calms you down. And, if you’re stuck in a traffic jam, sneak in this quick exercise: Grab your steering wheel and clench the muscles in your fingers, arms, shoulders and back. Do this until your muscles begin to tremble (about 45 seconds), then release. You’ll produce a wave of relief in your upper neck and arms all the way down to your fingers. For other good tips check out stillmind.org.
Talk Or Write Down What Is Bothering You
Writing or talking about the things that affect you – in a diary, with friends, in a support group or even a home computer file, helps you feel less alone and helpless.
Find At Least One Positive Every Day
It’s normal, we come home from work and start venting to your spouse or roommate about your day. But instead of creating a negative atmosphere the minute you walk in the door, try starting off the evening with your family or friends by exchanging good news. Something good happens every day, you just need to recognise it.
Prepare For Tomorrow
Nothing is more stressful than being unprepared. So get organised so you’re ready for the next day, taking a few minutes to make a to-do list and clean up before you leave. Knowing you’ve got everything covered means you’ll be less likely to worry about work in the evenings. When you come in the next morning, you’ll have the sense that you’re in control of the situation and can handle it. This sets a positive tone for the day, which can help you get more accomplished.
Worry About One Thing At A Time
Keep your anxiety focused on real, immediate issues, and tune out imagined ones or those over which you have zero control, and you’ll automatically reduce stress overload.
When you’re having a hell of a day, checking out for 10-15 minutes is revitalising. Find a place where you can be alone (and definitely ditch the cell phone) the attic, the bathroom, a quiet cafe, a big oak tree – and wipe the slate clean for a few minutes. Do whatever it is that relaxes you. Meditate, sing, read a novel or sip tea. It’s crucial to take just a few minutes every day to de-stress. It’s not about how much time you fit in, but being consistent that’s important.