Stress is a part of our lives. It can suddenly come on with a simple news announcement or a new job. People act differently to stress and sometimes allow negative thoughts to overwhelm them. Science says we need small amounts of stress to fire up our resistance and immunity, but how do we cope if we are in a stressful environment and having to be productive? And, how do we keep the overwhelming anxiety from crippling us?
The Remedy gives us some great advice for dealing with the “fight or flight” reaction:
- Learn to take deep breaths. Breathing all the air you can into your lungs and slowly exhaling enhances the natural body’s built-in anti-anxiety system. Erin Hinek, LPC, CPCS, a licensed professional counselor in Decatur, Georgia. “Hold for a count of three, and then exhale slowly for a count of six.”
- Make a “to-do list” of things you need to either do or stop doing to eliminate the stressful reminders flooding your mind.
- Think past the stress. If you are due for a medical procedure, just leap over it in your mind and think about how you will feel when it is over. Karen R. Koenig, M.Ed., LCSW, a psychotherapist in Sarasota, Florida says, “The more sensory and grounded the envisioning is, the more it reduces stress.”
- Affirm yourself. Talk to yourself with positive statements. Casey Kaczmarek, MA a holistic health and wellness coach in Portland, Oregon says to tell yourself, “I am’, such as ‘I am filled with peace, love, and light.” Then, imagine yourself being just that by taking deep breaths, closing your eyes and seeing yourself walking in light and love.
- Make a playlist of your favorite songs and sip herbal teas. Go sit and listen to music that makes you happy and calms your soul. Sip on soothing teas such as chamomile and lavender.
- Take a break by getting up and walking, stretching, or meditating.
- Keep things in perspective. “Place the situation in a larger life perspective,” says Steven M. Sultanoff, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist. Whatever ‘it’ is, tell yourself, “I will get through this. I have always survived every life challenge.”
- Practice mindfulness. Be aware of your current surroundings. Notice the beauty in simple things, take notice of your signs of stress. Take control of those thoughts and fears causing the stress. Be present in your breathing, your blessings, and your affirmations.
- Get at least 8 hours of sleep and stay away from your computer and phone as much as possible.
- Right-size the risk. Jennifer Hunt, MD, chair of pathology at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences says, “Suddenly, the new challenge becomes almost as insurmountable as a life-or-death decision.”
Ask yourself these 3 questions:
- What is the worst possible thing that can happen if I attempt this?
- What can I do to prevent that terrible thing from happening?
- What can I do to salvage things if that terrible thing did happen?
Maybe now, you can see how it was all blown out of proportion.
Photo courtesy of Bing via sobernation.com