Stress is unavoidable. The harder you try, the more stressed you become. So what to do? Stress can be managed, whether it is positive stress (eustress) or negative stress (distress), by keeping your nerves calm and your brain cool. Here are a few tips to keep yourself calm while facing stress:
1. Talk it out
Find someone you’re close to, and talk about the factors that are causing stress. Discuss the details, and seek advice or guidance. Talking to someone will help the tension fizzle out, and in turn you may get a solution to your problems.
2. Write it down
Sometimes it may not be possible to share your problems with others. In such situations, putting pen to paper and writing down the causes of the stress helps soothe your nerves. Writing is very much like you are talking to yourself. It may provide a kind of introspection, which could lead you to better ideas regarding the stressful events. You may destroy/delete the contents when you feel better if you don’t want anyone else to read your notes.
3. Take a bath
Water — in particular, cool water in summer and slightly warm water in winter — may prove to be of great help in stressful situations. When stressed, take a shower, which will relax your muscles and thereby ease your tensions. While bathing, try not to think about anything. Keep your mind as empty as possible.
4. Go for a walk
Walking is considered a great exercise for the body. However, walking is also good for the brain. But don’t walk hastily with clenched fists. Enjoy slow maneuvering in cool air and peaceful surroundings. Feel the breeze on your face. Listen to the sounds of nature. Observe the things happening around you, such as the ants working in the chain, birds chirping in the air and water flowing down a river. It will relieve you, momentarily, from your stressful situations and you will feel recharged to fight back.
5. Listen your favorite music
Music is considered a great healer, and can be a soothing companion in stressful situations. Play your favorite songs. Usually, slow music is considered better in easing tension than hard-hitting rock, but this varies from person to person.
6. Read your favorite book
Reading, if you like it, can help in soothing your nerves. However, if you don’t like to read, then avoid it. Choose subjects that are close to you, that you enjoy. Reading takes us into a different world from the actual one we are in. For some time, it’s like the brain thinks only about what is going on in the book, and not what is going on with you. As you are not thinking too deeply about the stressful situations, you feel relaxed. And even after finishing the book, the contents seem to occupy the mind for quite some time, which allows no room for the stressful thoughts. After you are relaxed and recharged, you may confront the situation again.
7. Watch a movie
Go to a movie by yourself to take you out of the surroundings and situations responsible for causing stress. The two or three hours that you will be away from the stressful world will rejuvenate you.
For some people, stress is associated with overeating, which leads to obesity. If you fall in this category, then you should choose your food wisely. It has been found that eating in stressful situations may provide some relaxation.
9. Play with toddlers
If possible, the company of a child can be a great way to relax. Children are innocent and stress-free creatures. If they feel pain, they will cry it out. But as grown-ups, we hesitate in crying. Instead, we accumulate our frustrations, which in turn adds to stress. If you have access to a child, or a few children, just spend some time with them. Be a child. This will help you in keeping troubling situations out of your mind.
10. Face the situation and solve the problem
Finally, the big one. All the above suggestions are helpful in providing some time to relax, but stressful situations are not going to subside on their own. So be brave, and face the situation until you have reached a solution. Take a break, re-energize yourself, and come back to kill the demon.
Featured photo credit: net_efekt via flickr.com