Do you feel stress when you are under pressure for a deadline or you find yourself with more on your plate than you planned? Do you find it hard to calm your nerves when you are in the middle of a stressful day? For the most part, these are very normal feelings.
However, they can become out of control. If you constantly feel under stress and you struggle to manage how you feel, it can start to affect your daily life and how you are able to function. Sometimes your anxiety can spiral out of control and cause you to feel worried about everything else in your life.
In fact, feeling stressed and anxious can run your life if you let it. The good news is that you have the choice to take control and not let yourself feel like this. You can seek out stress relief techniques and learn to thrive in situations that challenge you.
When you learn how to effectively deal with stress or anxiety, you feel empowered. And this new skill will benefit you in many ways. The relationships you have with others will feel better. You will be able to set some goals, allow yourself to dream, and then go after those dreams.
Your self-confidence will grow even if you still have some fear. That’s ok because as you develop the habit of effectively responding to situations that fear becomes smaller. We have four strategies that are simple, but can be powerful to help you cope with stress and anxiety. You may have seen these before. Maybe you have seen them many times before. But have you taken the time to implement them?
We encourage you to take the extra step of making them part of your life. Write them down. Schedule them in your phone if you look at your phone all day long. Put them where you will see them every day.
Deep breathing is one of the most effective ways to cope with stress and anxiety. You will get the oxygen you need to your brain and throughout your body and at the same time you will relaxe your muscles. The increased air to your body and mind helps you calm down when you would normally feel stressed.
It’s important that you pay attention to your breathing when you first notice you feel anxious, nervous, or stressed. It might take a few days to practice your deep breathing until you are able to do it instinctively.
Allow yourself to go to a quiet place, in a relaxed, private, comfortable environment where you’re not rushed, and practice your breathing. This time that you take now will benefit you for a long time going forward. Once you sit down and relax, without any other distractions, put your hand on your belly, and make your hand rise and fall with each breath. Be sure to take in a slow, full breath. Exhale slowly.
That’s all there is to it. It’s just a matter of taking the time NOW to practice this deep breathing exercise so that you are ready the very next time you are presented with a stressful situation. Now you are empowered and the next time the pressure is on, you just – breathe.
2. Eat healthy
Today we eat more for convenience than for health, and we often pay the price. If your body is not properly fueled for the challenges you face, you will struggle more than you should. It is important to drink plenty of water – water is the healthiest thing to drink. It doesn’t have too much sugar or too many calories or too much caffeine.
Eating a healthy breakfast with protein included (not high carb like many people eat to start their day) balances your blood sugar levels and sets your body up to feel energized for the day. Eating small meals, more often throughout the day, helps many people stay focused, alert and energized – feelings that handle stress and anxiety much better than the alternatives.
If you think food may be a trigger of stress for you, or prevents you from managing stress, keep track of what you eat so that you will be able to see any
potential problems with your diet and make the changes you need to eat healthier and feel better.
Some of us would not think of ending the day without exercise and some of us struggle to either find time, make time, or get motivated enough to exercise regularly. Even if you find it hard or undesirable to get physically active, you can’t ignore the fact that exercise has been proven to have lots of health benefits for you, including stress management.
Your body is made to move. If you sit at a desk all day, you may be more likely to worry and stress than someone who’s always on the move. Exercise is an outlet for frustration and also a definite boost to your overall self-confidence. Schedule in your exercise if you have to.
Allow yourself to take the time – for yourself – to exercise. You will benefit and everyone around you will benefit, so if it is a time issue that holds you back, explain to your family that they are going to have a lot less stressful you all to themselves AFTER your workout.
4. Get help.
Dont’ be afraid to ask for help if you are overwhelmed. Look at the situation, whether it is at home or at work and see if there isn’t some help you can seek out. Maybe it would be helpful to talk with someone like a friend or a family member – to help you look at a challenging issue and provide an objective idea. Or maybe it is a matter of making a plan and then getting the help you need to make it work.
Sometimes, the issues in your life that are causing you anxiety may require you to get help through counseling. If you try different things and aren’t getting results, someone who helps people manage stress for a living can provide a new perspective or at least a new listening ear.
When you formulate strategies that help you overcome your fears, nerves, stresses or anxious moments, you can begin to experience the confidence and success in your life that you deserve.