Stress is definitely the disease of the century because almost everyone need to reduce their level of stress. Stress comes in different degrees and there is a big difference in the effects depending on the degree. These 7 advice or ways can’t cure you if you are clinical stressed, but they can help you if you had a period with an overload. Or it can be used if you are recovering from clinical stress.
How to know if you are stressed?
I guess you need to slow down if you are reading this. But usually I describe the feeling of stress after a period with overload as if you are in a marathon. You wake up every day and keep ‘running’… over and over and you keep thinking that you just need to pass this week and it will be better. But that’s also what you said two weeks ago. This is the moment to reflect about your life and how you live it.
If you want more information about stress or want ideas for exercises you can read my three-part series of how to reduce stress in general, when you can’t control life and how to reduce stress for good.
7 ways to reduce your stress level
Accept you can do anything, but not everything
The quote ‘you can do anything, but not everything’ is probably capturing the essence of why you feel stressed. Often we end up having too much on our plate because we want to do everything. But lowering your stress level also takes some self-reflection about why you ended up in this situation.
Maybe it’s time to see where you could cut a toe or a heel to release some time and thereby lower your level of stress.
Lower your expectations
Another reason why we often feel stressed are because of too high expectation. Lowering your expectations and accepting that we can’t do anything might feel a little bit like taking out the air of the balloon. But truth to be told we often end up feeling stressed when we have to high expectation and think we can do it all. If you want to read how you can make life easier for you read along here.
Breathing has an effective way of reducing stress. Simple as just breathing 10 times can make a difference. The important part is how you breathe. Therefore take a sit on a chair and place your feet on the ground. Place the whole foot on the ground and start noticing the weight of your feet towards to ground. Relax you jaws and your stomach and start to breathe. Try the make the breath long and if necessary start counting to 5 while inhaling and to 5 while exhaling. Close your eyes and breathe 10 times in that way. If you keep tightening your stomach place a hand on your stomach as a reminder to relax the muscles.
Go for a walk
Exercise helps releasing stress if you keep your phone in your pocket and the to-do list at your desk. It doesn’t matter what kind of exercise, so if you feel like going for a walk do that. Allow yourself to stay present and notice the things around you. What kind of color is the sky? Are the wind cold or warm? Feel the sun warming you body. Look at the trees, how do they look? Allow yourself to be present while walking.
Listen to music
Music has a powerful way of affecting our mood, therefore go look for artists or playlists you like, but also have a calming effect on you. Use music as a way to relax and allow yourself to sit with a cup of your favorite beverage and just be. Being is a great practice for those who usually do too much.
Turn off your phone
The dear smart phone is a blessing and a curse. The thing is that the phone can end up being your worst nightmare if you aren’t setting some rules for it. Let me help: Don’t take it to the bed, in fact leave it out of the bedroom. Turn of the notifications from Facebook, in fact any social media app. Turn off your work mail. It doesn’t belong on your phone. Because all these notifications are calling on action and there is always something new in another app when you finished dealing with the other.
Therefore allow yourself some time without your phone and put it on silence.
Find a hobby
I wrote before that you can’t do everything and it’s time to cut something loose. Instead I want you to reflect if you really are doing what is best for you. A hobby can be a gift from the life that sometimes takes up all the time and energy. Read about why I think a hobby is so crucial to your health and happiness.
It might seem like thing extra to do, but you should find a hobby and instead cut something else loose. When we feel stressed it is usually also something to do with the fact that we do way too much and we along the way forgot who we were before we got caught up in the spiral of stress.
Remember no matter what you do you are the most important and precious thing you have. So take care of it.
Disclaimer: Please consider seeking professional help if you are clinical stressed or are suspecting it.