Dont Run Yourself Ragged
Say no! If you are a people-pleaser it is very hard to say no when someone asks you to do something, even if your schedule is already overwhelming. I suggest that you always say let me get back to you on that then actually ask yourself:
a) Do I want to do it?
b) Do I have time to do it without making myself overwhelmed?
It is usually easier to say no when you are not face to face with someone.
Avoiding Or Eliminating Stress
If you know that a particular situation causes you to experience bouts of anxiety and negative emotions, then, if possible, you should avoid them in advance. If the situation arose spontaneously, then try to find an opportunity to eliminate it. However, not all problems can be run away. This method is suitable if you are upset by a movie, communication with a new acquaintance, news on a social network close the movie, leave the meeting, log out.
How To Help Yourself
Theres no quick fix for this complex mix of forces that are contributing to people feeling overwhelmed and stressed out, say Napper and Rao. People are trying to make their lives better, but theres no templatewe havent done this before.
But if youre feeling stress and anxiety, there are simple ways to start reclaiming agency in your life. Consider doing one or two of the following, starting today:
These kinds of small actions can have a big impact over time. As you find more mental space and clarity, you’ll be in a better position to design your life in a way that supports your well-being.
The full conversation with Paul Napper and Anthony Rao is available here.
Facebook/LinkedIn image: kittirat roekburi/Shutterstock
American Psychological Association . Stress in America: Stress and Current Events. Stress in America Survey
Duffy, M. E., Twenge, J. M., & Joiner, T. E. . Trends in mood and anxiety symptoms and suicide-related outcomes among US undergraduates, 20072018: Evidence from two national surveys. Journal of Adolescent Health, 65, 590-598.
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Hold Yourself Accountable To Your Decision And Deliberately Put A Pin In The Problem
Once youve reached the end of your time limit and have made a decision, hold yourself accountable to that decision and to stop the thinking process.
You can view this final decision as being completed with no wiggle room. Whenever your mind wants to cycle back and revisit your decision, you need to stop and remind yourself that the decision-making process is completed. Youve done your best, and the results will be what they will be.
If the results arent producing the desired outcome, you can always revisit the problem and change course if need be later on after youve given your decision suitable time to have an effect.
Following the above-mentioned process can significantly reduce overthinkingas long as you hold yourself accountable to it. If accountability is a skill you have to develop, so be it. Working at stopping overthinking is a good way to develop that skill.
Since we are all in charge of the thoughts we think, all of us can learn the ability to contain, which means limiting behavior . We all have the ability to direct our thoughts so there is nothing holding us back other than habit and effort.
If you are having difficulty containing your behaviors, we recommend connecting with one of our recommended therapists to help you learn the important skill of containment, one of the seven principles for lasting success over anxiety disorder .
Breathing And Relaxation Exercises
Many people find exercises that focus on breathing and muscle relaxation to be helpful in relieving stress. The playlist below will help you to understand how stress works and start feeling better. These exercises can be done anywhere and are designed to help you feel more relaxed in general, as well as helping you feel calmer if you are becoming stressed.
This playlist is free to download, and you can also stream it using the Soundcloud website or app. You can download and listen to individual tracks if there are particular exercises that work best for you. If you’re listening to it for the first time, it’s best to start from the beginning.
To access a BSL version of this playlist, .
Find out more by checking out these 10 stress busters.
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What Makes You Afraid
Lots of things make us feel afraid. Being afraid of some things like fires can keep you safe. Fearing failure can make you try to do well so that you wont fail, but it can also stop you doing well if the feeling is too strong.
What youre afraid of and how you act when youre afraid of something can vary per person. Just knowing what makes you afraid and why can be the first step to sorting out problems with fear.
How can we manage and reduce stress? Our free downloadable pocket guide offers you 101 tips: www.mentalhealth.org.uk/publications/how-to-stress.
How Can We Handle Stress In Healthy Ways
Stress serves an important purposeit enables us to respond quickly to threats and avoid danger. However, lengthy exposure to stress may lead to mental health difficulties or increased physical health problems. A large body of research suggests that increased stress levels interfere with your ability to deal with physical illness. While no one can avoid all stress, you can work to handle it in healthy ways that increase your potential to recover.
There are several other methods you can use to relax or reduce stress, including:
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Passion For Interesting Work
The method is suitable if you cannot let go of the problem, if it torments you and makes you nervous again and again. The techniques can be: reading a fascinating book, knitting, drawing, computer games, outdoor activities. You should be interested in some kind of intrigue, courage, rapid development of events. In pursuit of new sensations, it is important to follow the rule do not harm anyone else.
Stop Worrying By Maintaining A Regular Sleep Schedule
Insomnia is a common side effect of chronic worry. When your mind is running wild, it can be tough to relax and get enough sleep. While you may feel like staying up will help you solve your worries, youre often better off with a restorative nights sleep.
Without sleep, minor worries can trigger a stress response that perpetuates for days or weeks in a row.
Heres how to stop worrying and finally get some sleep:
- Do a quick meditation or mindfulness exercise before bed
- Drink a cup of calming tea and read a book right before you go to sleep
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How Can I Help My Dog Handle Stressful Situations
In order to differentiate stress signs from normal behavior, you must be familiar with your dogs regular demeanor. Then you can tell if he is licking his lips because he is anxious or because he wants a treat.
When relaxed, he will have semi-erect or forward-facing ears, a soft mouth, and round eyes. He will distribute his weight evenly on all four paws. Distinguishing normal behavior from stress signs will help you quickly and effectively diffuse an uncomfortable situation.
“If your dog is stressed, first remove him from the stressor.”
If your dog is stressed, first remove him from the stressor. Find a quiet place for him to regroup. Resist the urge to overly comfort him. If you want to pamper him with petting or treats, make him earn them first by performing an activity . Responding to routine commands distracts the dog and provides a sense of normalcy. It is amazing how comforting sit, down, and heel can be to a worried dog.
If your dog becomes consistently stressed, see your veterinarian. After ensuring that your dogs behavior does not have a medical basis, your veterinarian may refer you to a trainer or veterinary behaviorist to evaluate stress-related issues. They may also prescribe anxiety-reducing medications if appropriate.
Lexsion Felt Purse Bag Organizer
- Price: $
- How it may help with anxiety: Staying organized helps make it quick and easy to find the things you need on a daily basis, to focus and free up your mind.
If your mind is in a million different places, it can be helpful to simplify when and where you can.
If you carry a purse, a purse organizer is an easy way to free up a little brain space and make sure you always know where everything is. This organizer has 13 pockets for complete organization. It comes in four sizes and slips into a wide range of purse brands.
Speaking from personal experience, this product has helped in ways I didnt think possible. Less time rummaging for my keys or credit cards saves valuable seconds and loads of immediate stress.
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Never Wish Away Time You Have A Set Amount Of It And You Dont Get More
My mind travels to weird places when I meditate, and over the last week I thought a lot about time. As my mind revved down during each meditation session, with each passing meditation bell I could almost feel time ticking away. Last week I thought a lot about how little time I have.
While there are a lot of ways to get more out of your time, there are a lot fewer ways to get more time. Meditating for 35 hours forced me to step back from my actions, and allowed my mind to process what the most important elements of my life are. If youre looking to do the same, I couldnt recommend meditation more.
Your Actions Are Your Only True Belongings
Every single action of yours falls into one of three buckets: actions you have already done, actions youre doing now, and actions youre going to do. The brain glitch that nearly everyone has is that they spend most of their time in either the past or the future thinking about the stupid or great things theyve done in the past, or thinking about the things theyre going to do.
But heres the thing: the past has already happened, and the future is just an idea of what you think things are going to be like . The actions that you perform in any given moment shape your future, and create your past. The present is the only time that ever actually exists.
Theres a Buddhist parable that says that your actions are your only true belongings, and that theyre the ground upon which you stand. I lived that parable last week, and can say now that I cant think of a sentiment more true. Meditation trains you to focus on the present moment, and maybe even more importantly, teaches you that never have to deal with more than one moment at a time.
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The Difference Between Feeling Anxious And Having Anxiety
Feeling anxious is just part of the human experience and is a normal stress response. When the stress is removed, the anxiety usually goes away, too. With an anxiety disorder, the stressful trigger is removed but the anxiety can still be present.
There are multiple anxiety disorders with varying characteristics. If you are concerned that you may have one of them, it is best to be evaluated by your doctor, especially since anxiety is very common. According to research, up to 33% of all Americans will experience an anxiety disorder at some point during their lifetime.
The Difference Between Worry Stress And Anxiety
Theyre not all the same, but we do have tips to help you deal with all of them.
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You probably experience worry, stress or anxiety at least once on any given day. Nearly 40 million people in the U.S. suffer from an anxiety disorder, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Three out of four Americans reported feeling stressed in the last month, a 2017 study found. But in one of these moments, if asked which you were experiencing worry, stress or anxiety would you know the difference?
I reached out to two experts to help us identify and cope with all three.
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Tip : Distinguish Between Solvable And Unsolvable Worries
Research shows that while youre worrying, you temporarily feel less anxious. Running over the problem in your head distracts you from your emotions and makes you feel like youre getting something accomplished. But worrying and problem solving are two very different things.
Problem solving involves evaluating a situation, coming up with concrete steps for dealing with it, and then putting the plan into action. Worrying, on the other hand, rarely leads to solutions. No matter how much time you spend dwelling on worst-case scenarios, youre no more prepared to deal with them should they actually happen.
More Tips To Overcome Covid Anxiety
I remember it vividly.
About four years ago I was at a tea shop reading a book on meditation, when a Buddhist monk walked in and sat across the room from me.
As I read, I occasionally looked up at him, and saw that he was mindfully sipping on a cup of tea. He would slowly bring the cup to his mouth, smell the tea, then drink it slowly, savoring its taste, and slowly rest his arm back down again. He drank it so slowly that it took him about an hour to finish the small cup.
I remember thinking, What a complete waste of time.
After all, he could have gotten so much more done in that hour than just drinking tea. What if he picked up a book? What if he listened to a podcast or a few TED talks and learned something new? What if he invited one of his other monk friends to join him? He could have been so much more productive.
Today, I think the exact opposite.
Four years later yesterday, in fact I sat alone in my kitchen mindfully sipping a cup of tea. Like the monk, it took me about an hour, but I truly couldnt imagine a better use of my time.
Over the past seven days, I meditated for a whopping 35 hours, and diving deep into the practice, I observed its myriad benefits first hand. Here are the top 10 things I learned about productivity meditating for 35 hours last week.
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Fomi Facial Gel Bead Eye Mask
- Price: $
- How it may help with anxiety: Cold and hot therapy provide physical relief from headaches and swelling. Also, the very act of placing a mask on your face, closing your eyes, and sitting back is calming and relaxing.
While a relaxing facial may not always be in the budget, this FOMI Facial Gel Bead Eye Mask is a more affordable alternative. Pop it into the microwave and use it to relax before bed, or even when taking a breather during the day.
You can also freeze the mask and use it to help relieve sinus pressure, muscle pain, and headaches.
Personal tip: You can do this on an even tighter budget by freezing a washcloth and placing it over your eyes. I do this for headaches frequently, and its so refreshing.
How To Ease Anxiety: 5 Ways To Feel Calmer Right Now
When we’re anxious, our breath becomes rapid and shallow. Deep belly breathing helps decrease anxiety by stimulating the bodyâs relaxation response, lowering our heart rate and blood pressure. Itâs a powerful technique that works because we canât breathe deeply and be anxious at the same time. There are many variations to try, including this simple exercise:
Inhale deeply for a count of 4. Hold your breath for a count of 4. Exhale for a count of 4. Repeat several times.
Exercise is one of the best anxiety remedies, immediately and long term. Going for a walk creates a diversion from worries and releases muscle tension. Grab your headphones or earbuds on the way out:studies show that listening to music brings its own calming effects.
Long term, regular exercise triggers the release of feel-good neurochemicals in the brain, building up resilience against stormy emotions. It boosts confidence and mood, and we donât need to run a marathon to feel the benefits. Washing the car, hiking, gardening, a pick-up game â anything that gets us moving counts. Research shows that 30 minutes, 3 to 5 days a week can help to significantly improve anxiety symptoms, but even 10 minutes can make a difference.
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