Everyone suffers from stress at some point. It’s almost unavoidable in today’s age and for me I get most of my stress from overthinking. I overthink every and all situations to the point where my stress levels reach an all time high. Stress can be caused by some many different things and everyone suffers and deals with stress differently. Today I want to talk about was to manage stress effectively.
Here are some tips on how best to tackle that stress beast sitting on your shoulder.
Manage Your Time
Time is usually a big stressor for a lot of people. If you are constantly behind or running around from place to place, feeling like you never have a chance to take a breath, you are definitely stressed. Create a schedule for yourself each day, know what you have to accomplish, and make sure you take time to breathe and take a break. I create schedules for each week and then break it all down day to day. This allows me to space everything out, meet deadlines without feeling too rushed (at least all the time), and it allows me to know when I have the ability to stop.
Exercise is so good for us, especially when it comes to effectively dealing with stress. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America says, “The physical benefits of exercise—improving physical condition and fighting disease—have long been established, and physicians always encourage staying physically active. Exercise is also considered vital for maintaining mental fitness, and it can reduce stress. Studies show that it is very effective at reducing fatigue, improving alertness and concentration, and at enhancing overall cognitive function. This can be especially helpful when stress has depleted your energy or ability to concentrate.
When stress affects the brain, with its many nerve connections, the rest of the body feels the impact as well. So it stands to reason that if your body feels better, so does your mind. Exercise and other physical activity produce endorphins—chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers—and also improve the ability to sleep, which in turn reduces stress. Meditation, acupuncture, massage therapy, even breathing deeply can cause your body to produce endorphins. And conventional wisdom holds that a workout of low to moderate intensity makes you feel energized and healthy.
Scientists have found that regular participation in aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, improve sleep, and improve self-esteem. Even five minutes of aerobic exercise can stimulate anti-anxiety effects.”
Look For The Silver Lining
Psychology Today says, “Mentally strong people don’t necessarily see the world through rose-colored glasses—they have a realistic outlook—but they do look for the silver lining in tough circumstances. They recognize that good things can come from stressful situations. Rather than allowing hardship to turn them into bitter people or helpless victims, they choose to use stressful circumstances to become stronger and better.” So, when you are stressed from a ‘bad’ situation, I want you to try to turn it around and think about how you can make the glass seem half full. For example, if you hate your job, just think about how so many people would love to have what you have. There are people out on the streets with no food or money, but you are at home, warm, with dinner. You can think about each bad scenario in this way.
As I was writing the paragraph about looking for a silver lining, I realized that not everything should stay the same. If you really hate your job, should you be forced to stay in that career just because you are lucky? I don’t think so. Point out your stressors and trying to eliminate them from your life. Maybe this means that you need to start job hunting, or join another small group. No matter what it is, make it happen for yourself because you should not ever let stress or negativity control your life and if that’s what is happening, you know you need to make some changes.
See A Therapist
Sometimes all you need is a therapist or a counselor – someone to listen to you and provide unbiased suggestions about how you can reduce your stress, or better your life, in general. Personally, I highly recommend Ray of Hope Counseling Services because they have seven locations all throughout the Georgia area. Ray of Hope Counseling Services provides individual, group therapy, family therapy, and couples counseling, as well. Each therapist at Ray of Hope Counseling Services not only holds their ‘normal’ license and education, but has also had additional training and/or certifications in their speciality area.
A great example of this is through the Clinical Director and Founder of Ray of Hope Counseling Services, Lynn Thompson Umstead. She is a trained mental health professional with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and a Masters of Science degree in Clinical Psychology. In addition, Lynn also holds many certifications and/or licenses such as a National Certified Counselor, Imago Relationship Therapist, an Anger Management Specialist, and she is registered by the state of Georgia as a civil and divorce mediator. While Lynn does treat clients in a private practice setting, she also supervises interns and therapists working towards their full licensure.
Sometimes you just need to talk with someone and if that is how you can effectively remove stress from your life, I highly recommend setting up an appointment today!