5 Ways To Instantly Manage Stress
It's a stressful world we live in.
It's often the perceived lack of time we have to make decisions and take actions that is the main antagonist with regards to it all.
So how can we find the time to try and manage it?
After all, if we had the time, wouldn't that reduce the stress to an extent?
Still, we need something that won't need much time. Something that can be done without too much struggle or effort.
1. Writing It Down
This comes down to rationalising your stresses.
Simply write down or type out what's causing your stress at any given moment.
Include every detail and resist the temptation to exaggerate.
Then read it back aloud. Often we find, that by writing it down, we remove the emotions attached to it.
Allowing us to see the situation for what it is at that time.
A challenge that we know we are fully capable of overcoming.
It can also help us to notice when we have fallen into the trap of convincing ourselves that a situation is far worse than what the reality of it portrays.
2. Count Your Breaths
Take 60 seconds and simply count how many times you inhale & exhale.
You can of course take it even further by introducing a level of control to the rate at which you breath, but even by simply counting the inhales & exhales, you'll be taking big steps to grounding yourself.
This can help to take your mind away from worrying or fearful thoughts about what lies ahead.
Start by setting a 60 second timer on your phone, and simply count.
The next step from this if you want to keep it going, is to control your breathing rate.
The "3-4-5" method is great for this.
Inhale for 3 seconds, hold it for 4 seconds, and exhale for 5 seconds.
Remember to breathe deeply into your stomach on the inhale, allowing it to fill and expand.
3. "What If'ing"
Whenever you find yourself worried or constantly overthinking a situation, try to give it a name and call yourself out when doing it.
"What If'ing" is an example I've found myself using in the past, when dealing with anxious thoughts.
For example, if you find yourself struggling to relax after a long day through constant worrying over
what might happen the following day, work on bringing awareness to the situation by labelling it.
Doing this helps you to instantly bring yourself out of the trap of overthinking.
As an added measure, and for a bit of fun, you can give this label a silly voice or tone. Something that'll help to alleviate the situation!
4. Think Challenge, Not Hard
A simple word swap that when practiced enough, can help you to see the benefits of a stressful scenario, especially in the workplace.
When thinking of something that is challenging, you can begin to see the benefits that lie at the other end.
Stress can become a Call To Action, rather than a Call To Dread.
When something is "hard", it can suggest that we are only struggling through, to maintain the status quo.
However, when we consider something challenging, we are helped to remember the reason why we're doing it.
Whether it's financial, a boost in reputation, or simply a lesson or experience gained, there will more often than not, always be something waiting for us at the other end of a stressful scenario.
Next time you find yourself up against it, try replacing the word "hard" with "challenging".
5. Talk It Out
Talking through something that you find stressful doesn't need to be seen as "offloading" or "venting".
It can help in a couple of ways.
Firstly, it can help you to rationalise your circumstances, providing you refrain from exaggerating any of the factors involved.
Secondly, in amongst all of the internal functions that occur when stressed, also included is an in-built defense against stress.
Oxytocin is a hormone that motivates us we feel.
The more we reach out, the more oxytocin we release, leading to more of the beneficial calming effects.
Whether it's a listening ear or a hug, reaching out to someone is a proven way to help manage stress.
Remember, if something is causing you to struggle against stress, then it is worth talking about.