How To Stop Stressing Yourself Out
Here’s your bit of trivia knowledge for the day. The term stress was first used for something you feel by Dr. Hans Seyle in the 1930s, describing the physiological responses in the body in situations that people judged to be “stress-ful.” At a conference he attended nearer the end of his career, an audience member asked him how they could eliminate stress. ‘If anyone tells you they can eliminate your stress, run,’ he replied. ‘What they are really saying is that they want to kill you. The absence of stress is not health, its death.
Indeed the reality is that stress is not a medical condition, but a psychological one that triggers physiological responses in the body. Yet how many times you heard yourself or others say things like…
I had a stressful day.
Youre stressing me out.
My boss keeps giving me stress.’
My job is so stressful.
Psychologists believe that our stress levels are directly linked to the extent to which we assess our resources are being threatened or depleted and will become insufficient to meet a threatreal or perceived. In other words, its not that any particular person, event or circumstance is in itself stressful, but rather the assessment we make as to our ability to cope with that event. Its how we process or interpret that event that gives rise to feelings of anxiety or fear, which, in turn, produces a physiological change in our body This, in turn, is what we label as stress.
Stress itself is not your enemy. Stressful thinking is.
Listen To Soothing Music
Listening to music can have a very relaxing effect on the body.
Slow-paced instrumental music can induce the relaxation response by helping lower blood pressure and heart rate as well as stress hormones.
Some types of classical, Celtic, Native American and Indian music can be particularly soothing, but simply listening to the music you enjoy is effective too .
Nature sounds can also be very calming. This is why theyre often incorporated into relaxation and meditation music.
Ways To Eliminate Stress From Your Life
Post written by Leo Babauta.
You often see articles on ways to unwind and relax after a stressful day, which I always find useful, but for me the most important advice would be to get to the source of the problem, and cut stress out before it even happens.
I dont believe that a stress-free life is possible. Stress is a response to challenges in life, and a life without challenges is too boring to contemplate. However, I do believe that most of the stress in our lives is unnecessary, and that it can be eliminated by taking some simple steps. It cant be accomplished overnight Ive been eliminating stressors in my life for awhile now, and Im still not done. But I think its a worthwhile goal.
Lets first take a look at an example its a little extreme, but it exemplifies the typical stressors in peoples lives. Lets say Fred gets up in the morning, waking up late, and now has to rush to get ready. Hes so rushed that he spills his coffee on his shirt and has to change, a nicks himself shaving. He heads out the door and then has to go back in the house because he forgot his wallet. He gets in the car and realizes he forgot his keys.
Again, this is a bit extreme, but you can see through this illustration some of the things that stress people out. There are many more, of course, and I wont cover all of them here.
But these sources of stress can be eliminated with a little thought. Heres how:
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Why Do I Always Think About The Past
The past is quite easy to think about for people, and you are not the only one who may be thinking about the past a little too much.
Many people spend their mental strength in the past because of nostalgia. They think about the good old days, when everything seemed better. This especially happens when someone is not in a good position like they used to be.
Another reason someone may think about the past is they regret something. When someone looks back at a regret or embarrassment, they may not be able to get it out of their head, despite the brutal truth in life being that the past cannot be changed. You may have conversations in your head about what you should have done differently. You may cope with disappointment youve faced in the past, or may cope with distress by thinking about what may have been, but you cant change it. You
can only learn from it.
Trauma may be a reason why youre always thinking about the past. In that case, you may need to seek help from a therapist or someone else who can help you.
Five Things You Do To Stress Yourself Out And How To Stop
Stress is so much a part of our everyday lives, what with the expectations of a 24/7 society, the always on nature of social media, the pressures of work, and the general busyness of our personal and professional lives.
Stress is now the most common reason for people taking time off work. Figures from the Office for National Statistics show that 526,000 people took time off work for a mental health condition during 2016-17 leading to the loss of 12.5 million working days. And those figures are rising.
Pressure comes from all angles, it seems. Yet sometimes the worst stress can come from the pressure you put on yourself. You can develop behaviours that serve only to exacerbate your stress, and you can end up in a loop where youre constantly stressed and cant find a way to relax. Does that feel familiar? Thats certainly our experience working with clients who approach us for counselling and psychotherapy. The stress in their lives has prompted them to reach out for help so they can achieve some balance.
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How Do I Stop Thinking About Someone
Whether its your ex or someone you dont want to think about anymore, they can invade your mind. It can feel like a finger trap, where the more you try to stop thinking about them, the more your mind will think about them. You may say, I find myself thinking about this person, even when I can spend my time and energy doing so much more.
Its not easy to stop thinking about someone. Even strong people can end up trapped in these thoughts. Here are some ways you can stop putting so much mental time and energy into someone.
What Is Overthinking Disorder
Overthinking is not a disorder, but instead tends to be a part of anxiety disorder. People who overthink may pick through their worrying thoughts with a fine-toothed comb, using all they can to worry and over-analyze their thoughts. While critically thinking about your life is important, overthinking tends to involve making a mountain out of a molehill, and it’s important to learn ways to stop worrying and overthinking if you want to have peace of mind.
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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:
Simple Ways To Relieve Stress And Anxiety
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Stress and anxiety are common experiences for most people. In fact, 70% of adults in the United States say they feel stress or anxiety daily.
Here are 16 simple ways to relieve stress and anxiety.
Exercise is one of the most important things you can do to combat stress.
It might seem contradictory, but putting physical stress on your body through exercise can relieve mental stress.
The benefits are strongest when you exercise regularly. People who exercise regularly are less likely to experience anxiety than those who dont exercise .
There are a few reasons behind this:
- Stress hormones: Exercise lowers your bodys stress hormones such as cortisol in the long run. It also helps release endorphins, which are chemicals that improve your mood and act as natural painkillers.
- Sleep: Exercise can also improve your sleep quality, which can be negatively affected by stress and anxiety.
- Confidence: When you exercise regularly, you may feel more competent and confident in your body, which in turn promotes mental wellbeing.
- Try to find an exercise routine or activity you enjoy, such as walking, dancing, rock climbing or yoga.
Activities such as walking or jogging that involve repetitive movements of large muscle groups can be particularly stress relieving.
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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
How Do You Accept Things You Cannot Control
It’s hard to acknowledge that there are some aspects of your life that you have no control over. Here are some ways that you can accept it.
- Realize that it does not have to be fair in order to be accepted. This is one reason why people cannot accept what they can’t control. They believe that if it’s bad, there is some control over it.
- Write down what you can control, and focus on that.
- Practice mindfulness and meditation in order to clear your mind.
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Whats Really Stressing You Out
Begin by taking the time to figure out just whats stressing you out. Youre going to have to dig deep here, so carve out some quiet time to do this so you can really think it through. For example, if youre constantly looking for things and going crazy in the process, the root cause of it is probably lack of organization.
Go through all of your stressors until you can identify the root of the problem. Write it down in your journal, if you have one. Youll be using this list to work through and cut out as many stressors as possible going forward.
Its probably a good idea to make it a running list. As your life and your circumstances continuously change, new things and people will pop up that stress you out. Add these stressors to your list and review it regularly to see what you can do to get rid of or reduce the stress.
Up Your Avoidance Of Caffeine Alcohol And Nicotine
We previously said that it was a good idea not to have too much caffeine, alcohol and nicotine as a way to avoid stress. If you are already feeling stressed, this becomes even more important. Caffeine and nicotine are stimulants and so will increase your level of stress rather than reduce it.
Alcohol is a depressant when taken in large quantities, but acts as a stimulant in smaller quantities. Using alcohol as a way to alleviate stress is therefore not ultimately helpful.
Swap caffeinated and alcoholic drinks for water, herbal teas, or diluted natural fruit juices and aim to keep yourself hydrated. This will enable your body to cope better with stress.
You should also aim to avoid or reduce your intake of refined sugars – they are contained in many manufactured foods and can cause energy crashes which may lead you to feel tired and irritable.
There is more about this in our page What are Carbohydrates?.
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How Do I Accept Reality And Move On
It can be hard to accept reality. Reality can be unpredictable and beyond your control. People who don’t accept this truth become control freaks, which can make life worse. Here are some ways to accept reality.
- Take an objective look at the world around you. Put all your emotions to the side.
- Have a realistic view of the situation.
- Can you control this reality? If so, great. If not, realize that there are sometimes no ways to stop bad things from happening.
- Learn to manage your stress about reality. When you manage your stress, you can accept it.
- Focus on your influence on reality. If you can influence it, try to find ways for you to do so.
- Notice how you cope with reality. If you cope in a healthy manner, good. If not, find ways for you to cope healthily. For example, you can share your opinion about reality, but realize it’s just that, an opinion.
Talk About Your Problems
If things are bothering you, talking about them can help lower your stress. You can talk to family members, friends, a trusted clergyman, your doctor, or a therapist.
And you can also talk to yourself. Itâs called self-talk and we all do it. But in order for self-talk to help reduce stress you need to make sure itâs positive and not negative.
So listen closely to what youâre thinking or saying when youâre stressed out. If youâre giving yourself a negative message, change it to a positive one. For example, donât tell yourself âI canât do this.â Tell yourself instead: âI can do this,â or âIâm doing the best I can.â
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Worry Can Cause A Stress Response
Ongoing worry can quickly evolve into chronic stress. When you have a stress response, you may have a tough time identifying exactly what worrying thoughts got you there.
Over time, repetitive negative thoughts can trigger other stress responses in your body. While it may seem like your mind is going a mile a minute, tracking your thoughts and the physical sensations in your body can help slow stress.
Stress Is A Normal Part Of Lifebut Some Is Within Your Control Find Out Which Habitsan Unhealthy Diet Skimping On Sleepcause Stress Overload
Stress is a normal part of lifeand a certain amount is good for you. It keeps you energized, sharp and at your healthiest, most efficient self. But too much stress can sap your mental resources and even make you sick. The fact is, we do have some control over how much stress we feeland certain bad habits can cause it to spin out of control. Click through to discover some unexpected ways you may be adding to your stress.
Let your voice tell the truth about your health..
A cluttered environment means a cluttered mind, according to Ramani Durvasula, PhD, Sharecare expert and professor of psychology at California State University, Los Angeles. Lots of clutter can lead us to feel hemmed in, disorganized and contribute to a sense of stress, she says. One of the easiest ways to turn stress down a few notches is by taking the time to get organized and do a deep clean, tossing things you no longer use or need. Youll think more clearly on the job by cleaning up your workspace, too.
Saying Yes to Everything
Agreeing to every single request that comes your way is one sure path to stress overload. There are only so many hours in the day, says Dr. Durvasula. Some people feel compelled to say yes out of guilt, while others think they dont have a choice in the matterwhen, in fact, they probably do. Too many yeses can result in too many demands, not enough resources and growing resentment, all of which are stressful, she says.
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Write Your Stress Away
Feeling stressed? Writing about your problems in a journal can help you feel calmer and help you arrive at solutions you hadn’t thought of before. You can achieve these benefits by writing in a journal, a file on your computer, or even an app on your phone. Just be honest about your feelings to reap the biggest benefits.
Turn to your journal when you wonder:
- How to stop stressing about school
- How do I stop stress eating
- How to stop stressing so much
- How to stop stress weight gain
- How to stop crying from stress
- How to stop stressing out about everything
Journaling can help you manage anxiety and decrease stress.