A Sense Of Calm Offers Us Strength And Resilience Amid The Chaos Of Life
Life throws chaos at us on a regular basiswhether its our finances, our relationships, or our health. In the work world, around 50 percent of people are burned out in industries like health care, banking, and nonprofits, and employers spend $300 billion per year on workplace-related stress.
In response, we just keep on pushing through, surviving on adrenaline. We overschedule ourselves we drink another coffee we respond to one more email. If we stay amped up all the time, we think, well eventually be able to get things done.
But all that does is burn us out, drain our productivity, and lead to exhaustion.
Theres another waya calmer way. Cultivating a more restful, relaxed state of mind doesnt mean well drown under all our responsibilities. Instead, research suggests it will bring us greater attention, energy, and creativity to tackle them. And science also points to simple ways we can tap into that calm state of mind to be more resilient in our chaotic lives.
Help Yourself To A Little Honey
The amber elixir from our buzzy friends may help relieve anxiety, fight off depression, and even protect the brain Rahman MM, et al. . Neurological effects of honey: Current and future prospects. DOI: 10.1155/2014/958721 .
Fighting The Thoughts Brings Them Back Harder
There are many important things to realize about these unwanted thoughts. First and foremost, these thoughts mean nothing about who you are. Everyone has the occasional weird thought once in a while. The reason you have them more often is because your anxiety brings them back. Think of anxiety like a disease – it wants you to experience anxiety more, so it brings the thought back into your mind to cause you that anxiety. Anxiety also changes the way your brain works so that it’s harder to have positive thoughts, which also pushes these unwanted thoughts back into your mind.
Another important fact about these thoughts is that studies have shown time and time again that the more you try not to think about something, the more you think about it. It’s a phenomenon known as thought suppression. Your brain doesn’t want you to forget anything, so when you try to forget something it reminds you about it more than if you didn’t care about the thought at all. So every time you try not to have the thought, you actually increase the likelihood of having it again.
Finally, compulsions also make these unwanted thoughts worse. Behaviors that you do to stop the thoughts end up reinforcing them, because it acknowledges that they’re something that causes fear. That’s why it’s so important that you try to break the compulsions in addition to the obsessions.
You May Like: How Do I Stop Stressing About Everything
Move More Eat Well Sleeeeep
Its pretty well-known that exercise lowers stress, reduces anxiety and improves mood. And the good news is: you dont need to run a marathon to get the benefits. It takes just 30 minutes of exercise a day to make a difference. Weve got some tips on how to exercise when you’re not motivated.
Diet and sleep are also really important for your wellbeing. A healthy diet will make you feel healthier and stronger and better able to handle stress, while enough sleep positively affects your mood and stress levels.
Chomp Some Chewing Gum
Maybe youre stuck in annoying traffic, frantically cleaning the house before your in-laws show, or hammering out that final term paper. Chewing gum is an easy way to keep the stress monster at bay while potentially boosting your mood and productivity Allen AP, et al. . Chewing gum: Cognitive performance, mood, well-being, and associated physiology. DOI: 10.1155/2015/654806 .
Also Check: Does Stress Affect Your Blood Sugar
Read / Watch Motivational Material
This method will work differently from soothing music in that it will not calm you down. Instead, it will enlighten or remind you of your ability to deal with the situation.
At this point, you need to differentiate between two terms which many use interchangeably though they are not the same in meaning. The words are inspiration and motivation. Inspiration is something that comes from within you while motivation comes from external sources.
You can rarely get stressed by doing something you are inspired to do because you will be enjoying it all the way and when you get tired, you will be at ease to have some rest and continue later.
With inspiration, it is always about getting the fulfillment that comes with completing the task.
Motivation works differently though. When you have something to work on, dont feel like doing it but have no choice, you need motivation. It is not always in abundant supply and that is why you can easily get stressed.
In most cases, upon starting a task, you are sure of your ability to finish it well and on time.
However, due to distractions of different kinds, you end up either finishing late or not finishing it at all.
Still, you know for sure that you have the ability to do it. Reading or watching motivational material gets you back to the point of realizing you can still do it.
The below video is a great motivational material which you can use to remind yourself that you have what it takes. The only other thing you need is to stay focused.
Autoregulation Exercise And Stress Relief
Regular physical activity keeps you healthy as it reduces stress. But another special sort of exercise known as autoregulation exercises can also reduce stress.
Stress comes in many forms and produces many symptoms. Mental symptoms range from worry and irritability to restlessness and insomnia, anger and hostility, or sensations of dread, foreboding, and even panic.
Mental stress can also produce physical symptoms. Muscles are tense, resulting in fidgetiness, taut facial expressions, headaches, or neck and back pain. The mouth is dry, producing unquenchable thirst or perhaps the sensation of a lump in the throat that makes swallowing difficult. Clenched jaw muscles can produce jaw pain and headaches. The skin can be pale, sweaty, and clammy. Intestinal symptoms range from “butterflies” to heartburn, cramps, or diarrhea. Frequent urination may be a bother. A pounding pulse is common, as is chest tightness. Rapid breathing is also typical, and may be accompanied by sighing or repetitive coughing. In extreme cases, hyperventilation can lead to tingling of the face and fingers, muscle cramps, lightheadedness, and even fainting.
The physical symptoms of stress are themselves distressing. In fact, the body’s response to stress can feel so bad that it produces additional mental stress. During the stress response, then, mind and body can amplify each other’s distress signals, creating a vicious cycle of tension and anxiety.
Recommended Reading: Can Stress Cause Parkinson’s Disease
How To Clear Your Mind From Stress And Anxiety
Do you lay awake at night nervous about the next day or rethinking yesterday? Perhaps you can not focus on the task at hand, because your mind is racing about other stressors in your life. It is not easy, but you can learn how to clear your mind from stress and anxiety to stay present and calm.
A little know technique that can work wonders can be one of the best ways to clear your mind from stress and anxiety in just minutes. Try this positive affirmation and get started right now.
If you are one of the many who suffer from anxiety, sometimes feeling like you are under constant pressure, even when there is no apparent threat present, then youll be happy to know that there are ways to relieve this stress naturally.
The 15 minute Audio Guided Mediation for Anxiety Relief MP3 It Comes and Goes will help you to relieve anxiety naturally using meditation and other relaxation techniques.
Get Your Head Below Your Heart
Put your head between your knees, or stand and hang your head and arms toward your toes. Getting your noggin below your heart has restorative effects on the autonomic nervous system , lessening your reactivity to the fight-or-flight response Papp ME, et al. . Increased heart rate variability but no effect on blood pressure from 8 weeks of hatha yoga a pilot study. DOI: 10.1186/1756-0500-6-59 .
Don’t Miss: What To Do To Relieve Stress And Anger
Quick Somatic Stress Exercises
Bob Soulliere, Oxygen Advantage instructor and level 2 Wim Hof Method instructor from Alexandria, Virginia, recommends these immediate stress interventions:
- Wide-angle vision technique: Focus on things that are distant from you, but still in your field of vision . Then, relaxing your vision, allow yourself to focus less and less for at least 20 seconds.
- Cadence breathing: Inhale for a 4-count, then exhale for a 6-count, repeating the cycle for 1 minute. You can use a stopwatch on your phone for this, or just try counting to yourself.
- The physiological sigh: Take a double-breath inhale followed by a slow exhalation. Repeat 3 times.
Both short- and long-term strategies often involve reframing your focus and perspective.
In a recent 2021 study, researchers looked at coping responses to fear and technology overload during the COVID-19 pandemic. They suggest that certain coping methods lessened anxiety in the long term more effectively than others.
Spend Time Doing Things You Enjoy
Stress often happens when life becomes busier than normal.
If you have so many responsibilities you dont know how to manage them all, it may seem counterproductive if not impossible to take time to relax or enjoy a favorite hobby.
Try setting aside 30 minutes to 1 hour each day for a calming, enjoyable activity, like:
Don’t Miss: How To Relieve Stress And Anxiety At Home
How To Tell Whether Youre Experiencing Stress Or Anxiety
Not sure whether stress or anxiety is behind your symptoms?
Take a step back and think of whats going on in your life right now. What kinds of things do you tend to worry about? Are they specific threats or events?
Consider car troubles. Maybe you know you really need new tires, especially now that its starting to snow. But you cant afford to replace them just yet.
For the next few weeks, you feel uneasy about driving. What if you slide on a patch of ice? What if you get a flat on your way home from a late-night shift on that stretch of road with lousy reception?
A few weeks later, you have a fresh set of tires and stop worrying about driving to and from work safely. In this case, your nervousness was due to stress, triggered by having old tires.
But maybe you get new tires and dont really notice a change in your symptoms. Youre still nervous about driving and feel a vague sense of unease that you cant quite put your finger on. Or, your tires were never an issue in the first place, but you can shake an overall feeling of nervousness about getting on the road. That would be anxiety.
If you can tie your feelings back to a specific trigger, theyre likely the result of stress. But if the exact cause isnt clear, or your symptoms stick around after the initial trigger goes away, it may be anxiety.
Stress typically happens in response to physical or mental pressure. This pressure might involve a big life change, like:
Engage In Expressive Writing
If your mind is filled with stressful thoughts and feelings, it may be helpful to give in to the thoughts and express them through writing. Journaling allows you to delve deeper into the topics that plague your thoughts.
Fully experiencing and examining your emotions can help you brainstorm solutions and give you different ways of looking at your problems .
When you first begin, set a time limit so you dont get stuck in rumination. Multiple studies have found that 20 minutes is an effective amount of time for positive mental and emotional change without sliding into rumination.
Also Check: How To Get Over Stress And Depression
Positive Affirmation To Clear Your Mind From Stress And Anxiety
Find a quiet place to read and reflect to help you learn how to clear your mind from stress and anxiety. Begin the affirmation with deep breathing to stay in the present moment.
I remain calm and present.
In this world of distraction and chaos, I remain calm and present. I am grateful that I have learned how to keep my mind clear. I am proud of myself for removing excess distractions from my life.
I have learned how to calm down whenever I need to. Being present is my norm. When I remain calm and present, my world calms down around me. I use breathing techniques to free my mind of stress and anxiety.
I have learned to accept situations as they are. I am okay with just going with the flow.
With this greater perspective, my life is much smoother. I have less worrisome thoughts of the future as I stay in the present moment. I start to enjoy the present moment.
I look for ways to enjoy the present moment even more. I notice the hue of the blue sky. I listen to the sounds of the birds. I feel the breeze on my face. All is well in my world.
Now that I am calm and present, others enjoy being with me more. I can be myself. I am more authentic. I am more grounded.
I also enjoy being myself. Now that I have reduced the chatter in my head, my head has more head room. I have space to create new ideas. I have space to listen to my inner guidance that speaks with a still, small voice.
Today, I am calm. I am present. My mind is free of stress and anxiety. I am at peace.
What Happens When Youre Not Present
Weve evolved to keep looking and working towards a future goal. The very nature of our careers is to make sure that were setting ourselves up for the future. Our thoughts and, therefore, our habits and actions consistently point in the forward-moving direction, whether its in your relationship, career, or goals.
The point at which this becomes harmful is when we become too stuck in this forward motion and cant reduce stress in the short or long-term. The result of this is burnout. Its a term that is most often used in the workplace, butburnout can happen in any area of our life where you feel like youre pushing too hard and too fast.
The idea here is that youre so engrossed in the forward movement that you take on too much and rest too little. There is no pause in the present because you have this sense that you must keep working.
On a physical plane, the body takes a real hit with burnout. You feel more muscle fatigue, poor concentration, insomnia, anxiety, poor metabolism, and so much more.
These symptoms are the bodys way of throwing you red flags and warning you that you must slow down. But because your mind is so preoccupied with this forward momentum, it disconnects you from listening to your bodys signals. The only time you really hear them is when the signals are too loud to ignore, such as during serious illness or pain.
Also Check: What Should I Do When I Feel Stressed
How To Reduce Stress And Anxiety In 10 Steps
We all experience stress and anxiety at one time or another. For some, it may be more severe than others, but one thing is for sure: we can all agree that a stress-free life is a happy one. If you are fed up with your stress and anxiety, you may be wondering how to reduce stress. The good news is there are plenty of stress reducers that you can incorporate into your life to help you.
Step One: Think Ahead
Stressful triggers are usually repetitive. If you’re dealing with stress and anxiety, you may find that the same things each month cause you unneeded stress. Some examples include past due bills, laundry piling up, or deadlines at work.
Once you identify the problems in your life that consistently stress you out, you can begin working to eliminate them by planning ahead.
If money problems seem to be constantly plaguing you, it may be time to consider coming up with a budget. A budget can help you to meet your financial goals by setting aside money for those important bills so that you don’t have to worry when it comes time to pay them.
If you have issues setting aside time to do housework or laundry, you could set aside one day of each week to take care of these duties. For example, you could do all the laundry on Sundays and clean the house on Mondays.
Be sure not to pile too much work onto one day, or you could risk becoming even more stressed from the amount of work you have to do that day.
Step Two: Tweak your Morning Routine
Step Three: Get More Sleep
Learn How To Manage Your Anxious Thoughts
Anxiety doesn’t come out of the blue. When you have anxiety attacks, it’s often because your mind tends to spiral into negative thoughts – often without your control. Sometimes you can control this anxiety by keeping these thoughts at bay and learning to dismiss triggers that cause you anxiety.
For many, this is easier said than done. But there are many different strategies you can try that may be effective. These include:
A Question Checklist
When you feel anxious, have a checklist on hand of questions to ask yourself about that anxiety experience. The longer the checklist, the more you’ll find that your thoughts become more realistic. Questions that you can use include:
- Is there a reason to believe something is wrong?
- What evidence is there that something is wrong?
- Is there a chance I’m blowing this out of proportion?
Affirmations not for everyone, but those that do use them find them to be very beneficial. Affirmations are things that you say to yourself to make yourself feel better. These include:
- I’m okay. This is just anxiety and I will get passed this .
- I have a great life and I’m looking forward to tomorrow.
- My anxiety won’t control me.
Getting Used to Physical Symptoms
The latter is known as “exposure therapy” and there are countless ways to create exercises that will habituate you to your panic attack triggers.
Don’t Miss: How To Get Rid Of Stress Acne