We’ve all had those moments when we thought the world has stopped spinning or only seeing clouds or a sunny day. We feel that way because of the stress and worry that we allow to infiltrate our minds. When you experience significant amounts of stress, you feel like you are in a hole that you just can’t escape. Well, it’s time to break up with stress, and regain control of your emotions, feelings, and your life. I know, you’re probably thinking, ‘easier said than done.’ I’m here to tell you that as an avid worrier, it’s easier done than what you think. Here is my advice to you!
Think, Do, and See Happy
What I mean by this silly little title is that when you do activities, or you surround yourself with happiness, stress will be kicked to the metaphorical curb. One of the best happy atmospheres I go to or participate in is playing ping pong. When I was little, I was never good at it because I didn’t focus my mind on the game. However, through the years of my mother beating me by staggering deficits, I learned that keeping focused on the ball and the person’s paddle is the key to winning the game.
Ping pong is an excellent game to play because it requires such attention. For me to overcome my stress, I need my mind to be fully distracted. Find an activity that can be your ping pong, keeping your mind off whatever stresses you until it passes.
Eat Good Food
When I used to get stress and really overwhelmed with worry, I would reach for my stockpile of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream (half baked flavor for the win). But, that’s not the food I should have been reaching for to help improve my stress level. To really counter the feelings caused by stress, you should consume food with a good amount of protein every two to three hours. Eating protein-based food can help you maintain a steady blood sugar that is vital in stabilizing your mood.
Breathe In, Breathe Out
One of the worst things I suffer from when I get stressed or worried about a situation is remembering to breathe. Sounds silly, but when you become anxious your body tenses and limits your breathing capabilities. When you notice that your breaths are becoming shallower, lengthen them. Breathe deeper into your belly, count to three and then slowly release the air. Meditation is also another great way to help you focus on your breathing and clearing your mind.
Have you ever seen someone who recently got bad news or is showing signs of being really overwhelmed? You can tell because they usually collapse into the hands, sheltering their face. This is action is called cocooning, and it’s actually a really helpful way to relax your body and calm your mind. The moment you start feeling overwhelmed by stress, place both of your palms on each side of your face, letting your fingers gently rest on your closed eyes. You’ll feel relief within seconds as it helps your mind quiet down. When you lift your head, you’ll be readier to tackle your issues and problems.
Talk To Yourself
Not all those who talk to themselves are crazy. Although seen as a strange and odd gesture, talking to yourself can help you calm down from stressful moments. Of course, it has to be positive talk; no negativity allowed. By telling yourself a self-affirming message, such as “it’s going to be OK” or “you’ll make it through this,” you can recover from a stressful situation faster. Whenever I get stressed or worried, I tell myself these affirmations, and I really do see a difference.
Let It Go
Queen Elsa from Frozen couldn’t have said it any better when she sang “let it go.” Sometimes the situation that causes us to have so much stress in our lives cannot be fixed or solved, leaving us with only one choice: letting it go. This is one of the hardest things for me to do, but it is one that I find to be necessary. Sometimes things go wrong and happen that are out of our control, worrying and stressing about it will not fix the situation. So, take a deep breath and say “I am not going to let this bother me. I’m letting it go.” You’ll be surprised at how great you’ll feel afterwards.
Stress doesn’t have to control your life anymore! It’s time to break up and break free of the worry shackles and let your mind return to its happy self once more.
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Allyson Miller is a bookworm, history nerd and outdoor enthusiast who loves writing creative and informational content for SBT in Rock Hill, SC. Depending on the day, you can find her with her nose in historical documents, shopping for trendy exercise outfits or trying new cooking recipes. Allyson dreams that one day, engineers will figure out a way to build roller coasters sans the incline, ridding her of coasterphobia.