Just BREATHE!!!!!! I don’t know about you, but I have been told this by a number of well-meaning people while in stressful times. Doing breathing exercises is a helpful way to center yourself, and to slow down your heart rate, but it isn’t the only way to cope with stress. Here are some ways I have found helpful in coping with stress.
- Be in Nature. Go to a park or a walking trail and explore the beautiful scenery. Breathe in the fresh air, soak up the sunshine, notice the trees and flowers. It gets your mind off the stresses of the day.
- Exercise is a great reliever of stress. It gets your endorphins going which can help get you in a more relaxed frame of mind. It’s a great mood booster. Whether you run, walk, bike, etc. Your whole body will thank you.
- Socializing with good friends.
“Friends are those rare people who ask how we are and then wait to hear the answer.”
– Ed Cunningham
Having a shoulder to cry on, or an ear to listen to you, or someone to binge-watch Netflix and eat junk food with (occasionally) lol. Friends have a way of knowing what you need and helping you through life’s stress. My friends can tell just by looking at my face or hearing my voice when I’m struggling.
- Meditation or Prayer whatever your beliefs are taking the time to just BE present. To release all those stressful thoughts and feelings and be mindful. Find things in your day that you’re grateful for. I keep a journal and at the end of the day, I write in it things I am grateful for that day. Some days will be harder than others, but the idea is to refocus yourself on the positive aspects of your life.
- Music/Singing whatever the style there must be something to it because they have developed music therapy programs to help patients with memory care, relaxation, and a whole host of other things. I’ve been known to sing my heart out at karaoke, and also at church. Music is a way of expressing yourself and expressing your feelings.
- Taking a trip and removing yourself from the stress for some time can work wonders. I know financially this may be difficult, but even a day trip or a short weekend trip away from your major stress may help you gain a new perspective on your situation, or help to at the very least get your mind off your troubles for a bit and lower your blood pressure.
- Try taking a mental health day. A day away from your major stresses ie. Work etc. Getting away from the things that cause you the greatest stress, even if it’s just for a little while really helps your brain and body time to relax. Even a “Vacation” from social media and electronic devices 😱. The constant bombardment of messages, pictures and generally horrible news stress a person out.
If your stress is to the point where it is affecting your physical health, or it’s making your life unbearable please seek help from your doctor or therapist. You deserve peace and contentment in your life.
Karen is a great listener and a solid shoulder to lean on. She has a degree in History and English and a diploma in Counselling Skills. She struggles with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Depression. She understands the importance of having someone to talk to about your struggles. She loves singing, researching her genealogy, cheering for her favorite hockey teams, swimming, hiking and spending time with friends.
You can follow Karen on Twitter.