Most of our stress comes from wishing life was different to the way it actually is. We may have imagined a more glamorous job than the reality of what it has turned out to be or it might be the reality of a monotonous relationship where we yearn for the fun filled days that were plentiful at the beginning of the relationship. Whatever it is, I have never met a person who doesn’t fantasise about life being different, thereby feeling disgruntled and annoyed by ‘their lot’ in life.
Stress comes in many forms and manifests in different ways for us but the following three stress relievers can work for most, if not all of us.
Instead of resisting ‘what is’, learn to work with the reality of your current life. When we resist, we spend time feeling sorry for ourselves instead of looking for effective problem solving strategies. Acceptance allows us to acknowledge what is going on for us and learn to deal with it more effectively. Many of us have an unrealistic idea of how life should be. This message is often transferred to us through the media and Hollywood movies. The reality is that real life can be quite mundane and boring at times. At times it can even be downright disappointing leading to disillusionment. We begin to imagine that we are the only ones who have boring lives, especially if Facebook is anything to go by where everyone sees to living a thrilling life (I promise you they are not).
Accept what is happening, it really is okay to go through times where you feel less love for someone or feel fed up with your situation. Don’t resist with ‘poor me’ statements, look at what isn’t right and try to find effective ways to bring about change where possible.
The second technique for instant stress relief is to learn to live more in the moment. Too often we live our lives in our heads – thinking about when we will be happier, thinner, richer in the future. At the same time we are missing crucial moments of our lives, they pass us by every second. Learn to live in the moment as much as possible. The power is in the present moment…enjoy your friendships, really savour that mouthful of food, listen carefully to the music and lyrics. Learning to engage your senses in the moment leaves your mind less time to worry needlessly about things that may never happen.
3) Unhook from your thoughts
Our wayward thoughts can take us off in all sorts of unwanted directions. Learn to let the negative thoughts pass by without listening to them or believing that they are true.
You really can choose what you want to think and believe about yourself and the world. Ignore the doom-mongering thoughts, the “what if” thoughts and the thoughts based on faulty assumptions.
Stress is a part of modern day life but learning the above three tips can help you to handle stress when it becomes too much to handle. I often implement the above three strategies when I feel overwhelmed and personally find them very useful.
Photo by Beth Phillips