Especially now that the holidays are around the corner, it’s easy to become bombarded by the stress of daily life. In some cases, we become completely mentally and emotionally exhausted, or feel like we’ve reached our boiling point. This is especially true for those whose stress is ingrained into their daily fabric, via scenarios like fast-paced, overworking jobs or prolonged personal issues to deal with on a daily basis. Each person is unique and there’s no magical way to wipe everyone’s mental slate clean to a brighter, simpler state of being. However, there are some simple daily steps we can take to help ease the pressure and set ourselves up to rise above stressful situations and people.
1. Walk Away for a Few Minutes
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, give yourself some time to mentally recoup. Immediately change your environment; go to the break room or take a walk around the block. Read a book or watch a segment of your favorite show. Have a quick stretch, do a breathing exercise, or have a meditation session. Heck, you can even just stare at the ceiling for a little while to clear out your brain. The key here is to take your mind off the stress culprit to gain perspective, making you better equipped to deal with it objectively.
2. Connect with Someone
Most of us have at least one person who we can turn to who understands and appreciates us. In some cases, this is that special person who knows just what to say when you need some support. Don’t be afraid to reach out to this person to talk it out and try and get a fresh set of eyes on things. Even if you don’t have a close network, or your chosen pals aren’t available at the exact moment you need them, go out of your comfort zone and try talking to someone you wouldn’t normally talk to. Even if you choose not to reveal the personal details, you might be surprised how relieving it is to have some quality human interaction during a tough time.
3. It’s Okay to Say “No”
Often, the cause of our stress is piling too much on our plates. This is often the result of being too generous or just overbooking ourselves. If you’re one of those people who feels guilty turning others down when they ask for help, try practicing a gentle “no” every once in a while. Try…“That doesn’t work today, but maybe another time.” Focus on looking at a situation as objectively as possible and identifying if it’s truly a “need” or simply a “want.” Don’t put yourself out by making sacrifices for others that compromise your own wellbeing. Remember: You’re entitled to take care of yourself!
4. Be Thankful for the Good Things
Believe it or not, there’s a heap of research showing that gratitude can improve your health – stronger immune systems, lower blood pressure, and alleviating symptoms of depression, just to name a few. People who regularly express gratitude tend to have a more positive outlook on life and act with more compassion and generosity.
Stop and make a list or keep a journal of all the wonderful things in your life, and about the people and circumstances that got you here. Extend the positivity by doing something nice for someone else. It can even be something as small as holding open a door or giving an extra tip to a frazzled server. Find little nuggets of optimism and pass them around – everyone wins.
5. Pump it Up to Let it Out
It seems like whenever we give our readers tips on improving their health in some way or another, we always advise you to work out. That’s because it works! In this case, working out is a great way to release your pent-up energy. It releases endorphins, which are known as the “feel good chemicals.” Mayo Clinic calls working out “meditation in motion,” because it allows you to get in the zone and momentarily forget about what’s stressing you out. On top of the immediate benefits, working out over time can give you a boost in confidence, which helps in virtually all aspects of life.
6. Laugh Like No One’s Watching
Research shows that laughter can relieve stress and improve your health too. (Don’t you just love science?) Laughter brings more fresh oxygen into your lungs, which stimulates your circulation and critical anatomy like your lungs, heart, and muscles. Like working out, laughter also releases endorphins. So treat yourself to a never-ending playlist of cat videos or BuzzFeed articles, tell some stupid jokes at the water cooler, and enjoy yourself for the sake of your health. We hope our tips help! If your stress has gotten the best of you and you’re feeling under the weather, don’t hesitate to walk-in to one of our four clinics or schedule an appointment in a clinic, via a virtual consultation, or in the comfort of your own home.