Preface: This is an ongoing process, something that you get better at, and hopefully master, over time.
I recently someone asked about suggestions for overcoming stress and anxiety. It’s something most of us typically have dealt with once or twice. What’s unfortunate about it being so common among people is that it’s really not healthy. Stress causes all sorts of negative reactions in the body from inflammation to lowered immunity.
So I’ve come up with five things you can do anytime you’re feeling overwhelmed by stress or anxiety.
There’s a reason the apple watch has a breathing app. It’s becauseslowing downis really good for us. And breathing allows that to happen. When you focus on your breathe you can’t focus on whatever is causing the stress in your life. So you can just sit for a few minutes and focus on your breathing, try the Calm app on the app store, or try meditating with the focus on your breathing. Psychology Today outlines a practice I have been using for years called Nadi Shodhana – which you can read more about here.
Take a Break
Take a few moments to go for a walk, get a snack, call a friend, stop your mind from fixating on whatever is overwhelming by just stepping away from it for a moment. Set a timer if you need to, but allow yourself to totally tune into something else, especially something that you find relaxing.
Do Something Fun
Plan something fun! Plan a vacation, a staycation, mini golfing, hiking, anything that’s light hearted and fun. Doing something active will help because the endorphins will help raise your mind and get rid of that stress and anxiety!
Is there an action you can take that will alleviate the stress of anxiety? Sometimes creating a to-do list or a plan of action will allow you to move past the anxiety by accomplishing the task that was causing it in the first place!
Does It Matter
This is the most important thing to think about when feeling overwhelmed or stressed; does it really matter or will it matter in 6 months, 1 year, or five years? This is hard because I feel like if I’m worked up about something then it obviously matters, but if I’m honest with myself, some things don’t matter as much as I make them matter to me. In essence, in those cases I’m causing my own overwhelm! So I ask myself if it will matter in the long run, and usually that helps me get perspective.
What do you do to stop stress or anxiety in it’s tracks?