We all have our own experiences with stress and when it is present, it affects every area of our life.
Have you ever been around someone who is always stressed and/or causing stress? They’re no happy camper. We’ve had our share of bad days from overloaded schedules, pressure from work, unpaid bills piling up, health problems within the family and other stuff that can take a toll on us emotionally and physically.
Early on in our marriage, we got really good at using each other as emotional punching bags, which come to think of, is very counter productive. My hubby, my partner in life, the one person who has my back, I am absolutely destroying with my tone and choice of words all because I’m stressed out.
Here are some ideas on how we can soothe ourselves when stress comes knocking:
1. Inhale. Exhale.
Learn how to take a deep breath. Counting 1-10 are incredibly helpful when I feel stressed or anxious and it works immediately. I taught myself to count up to 10 before I react into something that triggers my monster inside. The advice “take a deep breath” may seem like a cliché, but it holds true when it comes to stress. For centuries, Buddhist monks have been conscious of deliberate breathing during meditation.Breathe in and out slowly and deeply, concentrating on your lungs as they expand fully in your chest. While shallow breathing causes stress, deep breathing oxygenates your blood, helps center your body, and clears your mind.
2. Get Rid Of Unnecessary Spending
Money. Money. Money. We all need money. Financial stress can lead to a lot of fear and anxiety, especially when you’re married. Get on a budget, stop over spending, and be money wise. My husband and I we’re still doing our best to save – we are bit tight on our budget these days BUT we are working on it. What about you?
3. Get Rid of Clutter
I clean our house whenever I am stressed. A messy home or office makes me feel irritated more.I usually start out with one area – bathroom and kitchen – are my favourite place to start with. Small victories are still victories.
Sleep deprivation is one of the biggest factors of stress. To make sure that we will have a good on time sleep we developed this routine of not using the phone whenever we are inside the room.We also bought comfortable pillows and blankets to have a relaxing sleep. A good 8-9 hours sleep makes us fresh the following morning.
5. Give Yourself Alone Time
Being married and being a mom of a toddler – “me time” becomes very elusive. But there should be no excuse for you or your husband not to indulge in the sacred ME time. It doesn’t have to be a whole day of pampering and relaxation (but why not… if both time and funds permit right?) – a good 15 minutes is still “me” time. You can drink your favourite wine or coffee or tea. Pray. Reflect.
6. Negative thoughts cause negative feelings.
Just because you feel a certain way, does not mean that it will happen. Know that your feelings are NOT facts. Through the years of being bitter and sad letting go of the past helped me a lot. Constantly going over negative events robs you of the present and makes you feel bad. Choose forgiveness.
7. Think Positive Thoughts
There’s always something good in every people and situation. Instead of dwelling on the negative stuff that you notice why not look into the bright side. Even if there are days that you have to look a little bit harder. Smile.
8. Find a hobby
Keeping your hands busy settles your mind.One of the many ways to get rid of stress is to keep yourself productive and distracted. Finding a hobby that can occupy your time will lessen your idle time. Bake a cake. Cook a meal. Paint a scene. Sing a song. Do yoga. Plant a tree. Hike. Bike. Swim. There are lots of options to choose from and aside from maximizing your time it is an avenue for self improvement too.
9.Choose your battles
In relation to numbers 1, 6 and 7 – there are times that we will get caught in situations where the force of a stressor is so strong. Do we have to face it head on? Not really. Sometime ignoring what make us stressed is a good thing…there are problems that we don’t have to pay attention to. Honestly, sometimes stress happens because we are too sensitive of what’s happening around us and as a result -more stress.
10. Take it easy.
Don’t pile up tasks, chores and goals. If you plan too many things to do you will probably feel stressed. Make a plan, but focus on one thing at a time. his tip, though simple, might not be easy to follow, but it is extremely useful. Try to look with a detached state of mind at the situation that is causing you stress. It is like taking a step back in your mind, and looking at the situation, your thoughts and feelings, as if from the outside, as though they have nothing to do with you and do not belong to you.
Cuddling, kissing, hugging and sex can all help relieve stress. Positive physical contact can help release oxytocin and lower cortisol. This can help lower blood pressure and heart rate, both of which are physical symptoms of stress.
Do you know that humans aren’t the only ones who cuddle for stress relief ?Chimpanzees also cuddle fellow chimps who are stressed :)
It’s good for your health, and there are a few ways it may help relieve stress.Laughter releases endorphins that improve mood and decrease levels of the stress-causing hormones cortisol and adrenaline. Laughing tricks your nervous system into making you happy.
13.Don’t try to control the uncontrollable.
Many things in life are beyond our control—particularly the behavior of other people. Rather than stressing out over them, focus on the things you can control such as the way you choose to react to problems.
14. Eat right.
We are all familiar of the term – stress eating. But that’s not what I am trying to say here.Stress levels and a proper diet are closely related. When we’re overwhelmed, we often forget to eat well and resort to junk food for comfort. Fruits and vegetables (of course) are always good, and fish with high levels of omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce the symptoms of stress.
15. Talk yourself out of it.
We all need a little encouragement every now and then. Use affirmations and give yourself a pep talk you deserve. It might sound or look crazy (if someone sees you) but who cares. Let go of numbing your feelings. Constantly reminds yourself that everything will be okay.
We can avoid stress. We can manage stress.
What’s your stress reliever?