If you’re like me, you will often be faced with various stressors throughout the week. That’s life. Right? As long as we’re alive and living on this side of Heaven, we will be faced with stressful moments. But the thing is, we don’t have to let it control us. We have options. And I want to share a few ways that help me when I’m dealing with stress.
Recognize and Re-adjust: It’s not easy when we are in that moment of stress to recognize what is happening to us and within is. What helps me, is to be mindful and take notice of my body language. My thought processes. The words I’m saying. And my feelings and emotions. Believe me, it’s my first sign of stress.
I tense up. My thoughts begin to control my actions and like a runaway train, nine times out of ten, I will either become tearful, angry or quiet. Emotions are good but not when they are out of control. So…in those regretful moments, a train wreck usually occurs.
I find it helpful to take notice of the warning signs to avoid that ugly, painful train wreck. What does my body look and feel like? What kind of thoughts are running through my head? Am I emotional? Do I like or dislike what I see and feel?
Once I answer these questions, I can usually calm myself down and have a more reasonable reaction.
Set Boundaries: Many times, when I’m stressed, I find it very helpful to turn off the noise. If you’ve ever gone through any type of depression, the noise level becomes so much louder. Even the slightest background noise can be excruciating. I’ve learned to turn it OFF.
Negativity from news, family, friends and neighbors-off.
It’s not the easiest thing to do but the most necessary, if you want to become less stressed. Placing healthy boundaries with the people, places and things that cause distraction or causing negativity is okay.
PRAY: Prayer may seem so out of reach when we’re stressed but for me, it’s a life changer. I can go from saying those silent breath prayers to the tear-filled, on my knees prayers and everything in-between…when I’m stressed. It’s such a release to know that God is only a prayer away anytime, anywhere in any place. He hears. He understands. He knows what I need.
BREATHE: Isn’t it funny how we sometimes need reminded to breathe? But, we do. Life can happen so quickly with all the ‘stuff’ that we can get distracted and overwhelmed and before we know it, we are consumed with more than we can handle. Our stress level is sky high; our bodies begin to feel the pain and we want to throw our hands up and say, I’m done! Before this happens, take a moment to do the 4-7-8 breathing technique. The 4-7-8 breathing technique, also known as “relaxing breath,” involves breathing in for 4 seconds, holding the breath for 7 seconds, and exhaling for 8 seconds.
I have found that when I do this, my anxiety level drops…I am more aware of my purpose…I can focus and my perspective changes…I feel more in control rather than the circumstances controlling me and I I have more clarity of what my next steps will be.
There are many ways to relieve or prevent stress. Some of my other go-to’s are walking, listening to music, dancing, journaling, reading, taking a drive, watching a good movie, playing with my dog, calling or texting a friend or just sitting on my porch listening to nature.
~The photo of the butterfly was taken a few years ago when I took my grandchildren to the local park. It landed on the slide as my youngest grandson was about to go down.
I hurried and pulled my iPhone from my back pocket and snapped the shot. I was surprised that I got it before it flew away. The butterfly can teach us so much about life. It doesn’t just all of a sudden become a butterfly. It takes so much time and patience for the beautiful transformation to happen. ~
Growth is a process.
I hope these few ideas help the next time you find yourself feeling the stress. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
What are some of your favorite stress relievers?