You get home from work feeling tired and frustrated because your boss gave you a last minute special project that will require you to work over the weekend. No sooner than you get your foot in the door, your son races to you asking for a snack before dinner and your daughter is upset because the other girls in school excluded her from a small clique. Your spouse dumps on you about problem at work. If all that weren’t enough, the dog had an accident and pooped on the living room carpet and everyone else in the house is acting as if it didn’t happen, leaving you to clean it up.
Stress is a bugaboo. I know this first hand, let me tell you. It can come in many shapes and sizes, and it affects us all in different ways. Most times, it’s not predictable, and if you’re on a quest to improve your health by losing weight, too much stress can adversely impact your progress. The key to a happy and healthy well-being is coping with stress appropriately. The following five tips are things you can do to at any time and in any place to help you push away the stress and tension you’re feeling. These things greatly help me, and I’m sure they will help you too.
First, take a deep breath. This is not just some exercise in futility. Breathing deeply in and out can have some very therapeutic effects on the level of tension you’re feeling. Close your eyes and deeply breathe in, holding it for 10 seconds before exhaling. Repeat this three times.
Second, make a list of the top three things that are stressing you out. If it’s your husband or wife, write it down. If it’s your daughter, write it down. If it’s your parents, write them down. Instead of merely writing down the name of the person, write down specifically what it is the person has said or done that has made you feel stressed. This takes focus off the person and places it on the behavior. Writing it down can help you relieve the tension that the behavior has caused you.
Third, go for a treat. Grab a small piece of chocolate or some fresh strawberries. Frozen yogurt might also be nice. Some people keep jelly beans or other sweet candy at their fingertips for those stressful times. If that’s not possible, try a cup of hot tea. Find something that you can have to take you away from the moment and indulge in a quick pleasure. A Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup is my indulgence. Find yours, just don’t overdo it.
Fourth, take a walk. If possible, find a stairwell and walk up and down a flight or two. Exercise helps to boost your adrenaline, which can help knock that stress right out, or if nothing else the exercise may help ease the stress a bit.
If these tips don’t work, create some things of your own. Some people draw while others play the piano. When I was a kid, my mom, a self-made part-time seamstress, made her own clothes. When I saw her with a bunch of new outfits, I knew she was having a stressful week. You have to find the outlet that helps you deal with your own stress.
The only thing prolonged levels of stress will do is keep your focus away your life, your family, your job. Get rid of the stress so you can put your attention where it is most needed. Over time,
stress can impair your life and your health, in some cases irreparably. So, the sooner you can address it, the better off you will be.