There’s been a lot to deal with in the past several months. It seems every time we turn on the news or login into social networks, our stress level spins out of control. This past week hit us all like a ton of bricks and that just seemed to top it all off. We’re all spiraling into stress overload.
What can you do to stay grounded, level-headed and calm? Here are some tips and suggestions that will help you maintain a sense of peace with yourself;
Let’s first deal with grief:
Myths and facts about grief
MYTH: The pain will go away faster if you ignore it.
Fact: Trying to ignore your pain or keep it from surfacing will only make it worse in the long run. For real healing it is necessary to face your grief and actively deal with it.
MYTH: It’s important to be “be strong” in the face of loss.
Fact: Feeling sad, frightened, or lonely is a normal reaction to loss. Crying doesn’t mean you are weak. You don’t need to “protect” your family or friends by putting on a brave front. Showing your true feelings can help them and you.
MYTH: If you don’t cry, it means you aren’t sorry about the loss.
Fact: Crying is a normal response to sadness, but it’s not the only one. Those who don’t cry may feel the pain just as deeply as others. They may simply have other ways of showing it.
MYTH: Grief should last about a year.
Fact: There is no right or wrong time frame for grieving. How long it takes can differ from person to person.
Source: Center for Grief and Healing
Coping with grief and loss:
- Turn to friends and family members – Now is the time to lean on the people who care about you, even if you take pride in being strong and self-sufficient. Draw loved ones close, rather than avoiding them, and accept the assistance that’s offered. Oftentimes, people want to help but don’t know how, so tell them what you need—whether it’s a shoulder to cry on or help with funeral arrangements.
- Draw comfort from your faith – If you follow a religious tradition, embrace the comfort its mourning rituals can provide. Spiritual activities that are meaningful to you—such as praying, meditating, or going to church—can offer solace. If you’re questioning your faith in the wake of the loss, talk to a clergy member or others in your religious community.
- Join a support group – Grief can feel very lonely, even when you have loved ones around. Sharing your sorrow with others who have experienced similar losses can help. To find a bereavement support group in your area, contact local hospitals, hospices, funeral homes, and counseling centers.
- Talk to a therapist or grief counselor – If your grief feels like too much to bear, call a mental health professional with experience in grief counseling. An experienced therapist can help you work through intense emotions and overcome obstacles to your grieving.
15 STRESS RELIEVERS THAT WORK:
Treating Stress with Lifestyle Changes
Stress Reliever tip #1
Exercise regularly. Targeted exercise goes a long way toward freeing your body of stress hormones and increasing your endorphin levels – responsible for feelings of happiness. Carve out time during your busy day to exercise to both keep your body healthy and as a natural outlet for your stress. You should notice the difference.
Stress Reliever tip #2
Get enough sleep. Give your body the sleep it wants, and your stress levels will take a nosedive. Sleep is a mechanism by which your body recuperates and restores its energy reserves. If you’re not getting enough sleep, your body will use stress to keep you active and alert in the absence of stored energy.
Stress Reliever tip #3
Eat properly. Your body needs to be healthy, strong, happy and properly fueled to help you tackle stress. Like it or not, stress is a bodily reaction to anything that disturbs its natural state, meaning that your body can have a profound effect on producing and relieving stress.
Water has been shown to relieve stress.
Stress Reliever tip #4
Learn to relax. Relaxing your body, by whatever natural means, is a great way to reduce stress. Don’t expect your stress to immediately dissipate; it can take time. In most cases, try not to fixate on the stress itself while you’re relaxing. Think of something placid and tranquil, or think of nothing in particular. Let your body tell your mind that everything is okay.
Stress Reliever tip #5
Practice yoga and meditation. Although you could technically consider yoga your daily exercise, practicing the deep stretches and slow body movements will help you to clear your mind. Meditating – clearing your mind – while practicing gentle yoga will give double the relaxation effect to ease your stress.
Stress Reliever tip #6
Do things you love. Often when you’re stressed, you can look at your schedule and see that you are lacking time for doing your favorite activities. Whether that be drawing, writing, reading, playing sports, or cooking, set aside time on a daily basis to do those things you enjoy.
Try picking up a new hobby to help you relieve your stress. If you’ve always wanted to learn how to ride horses or build model airplanes, then do it! Learning something new will take your mind off of whatever is bothering you, and give you a new hobby to enjoy.
Deal With Stress Step 7
Avoid negative thinking. Acknowledge the positive in your life and begin to re-establish some balance in your emotional register. Avoid focusing on only the bad things that happened during your day, but consider the good as well.
Stop and count your blessings. Write down even the simplest things that you have and enjoy: a roof over your head, a bed to sleep on, quality food, warmth, security, good health, friends or family. Acknowledge that not everyone has these things.
Say something positive to yourself as soon as you wake up every morning. This will keep your energy and mind focused on positive thinking. Be thankful for each day that you have; you never know which one could be your last!
Stress Reliever tip #8
Organize your life. Set goals for what you need to achieve during the day, then write a “to do list”. Add some breathing room in the middle of the day that will give you time to recharge. Taking control of your time and priorities will significantly decrease the amount of stress you feel.
Know your limits. Be realistic about what you can and can’t accomplish in a day. It’s not helpful if you bite off more than you can chew and then castigate yourself for not getting it done.
Stress Reliever tip #9
Identify the things that put you under stress. Make sure you understand why you become stressed so that you can try to avoid these circumstances. Knowledge is powerful, and self-knowledge is especially powerful.
If you notice, for example, that you regularly get stressed at a certain time with a certain person, go out of your way to prepare your brain for the upcoming stress. If the person is someone you love and trust, tell them how they make you feel in a non-threatening way. If you don’t feel comfortable sharing your misgivings, remind yourself that the occasion is momentary, the feeling will pass, and you’ll be in complete control soon.
Rehearse. When you know that you are going to face a stressful situation, rehearse how you are going to handle it. Picture yourself overcoming it successfully. Create a mental videotape that you can play over and over in your mind.
Stress Reliever tip #10
Stop worrying about the things you cannot change. This especially comes with things such as politics, and often applies to other individuals. Learning to accept things as they are is an important coping mechanism, but not as easy as it sounds.
Is the problem a real problem you’re currently facing, rather than an imaginary what-if? If the problem is an imaginary what-if, how likely is it to happen? Is your concern realistic? Can you do something about the problem or prepare for it, or is it out of your control
Admitting to yourself that there’s nothing you can do about a particular issue will go a long way in helping you adjust. Acknowledge that maybe you feed off of stress, like an adrenaline junkie feeds off adrenaline, but that in your case, it’s becoming unmanageable.
Stress Reliever tip #11
Take responsibility for making your life what you want it to be. It is less stressful to make decisions and take action than to feel powerless and react to others’ decisions. Decide what you want and go for it!
Learn to say no on occasion. You cannot do everything you are asked, and even if you could, you probably wouldn’t want to.
Resist the urge to be perfect at all times. Perfectionism can cause huge amounts of stress if you hold yourself to unattainable standards. Be realistic about what you can and can’t do. Don’t set yourself up for failure just because you want to stroke your ego.
Stress Reliever tip #12
Develop a sense of humor. One of the barriers to stress reduction is the temptation to take things too seriously. It’s okay to back off from your intensity and see the humour in life’s situations. Laugh a little or better yet, laugh a lot! See the humour in stress.
Learn to laugh at yourself. Don’t put yourself down, or lash your self-esteem, but try to be playfully deprecating about yourself from time to time. How are you expected to laugh at other things if you can’t even laugh at yourself?
Stress Reliever tip #13
Learn to lean on friends and loved ones. This is one of the most important things, as keeping things bottled up can only cause more stress. Your friends, if they are true friends, will try to understand what you’re going through, and will accompany that empathy with a sincere desire to help out if at all possible.
Ask your friends for help. If you want something done but can’t find the strength or the time to do it, it’s okay to ask your friends or loved ones for help. Express your gratitude and extend the offer of help as a kind of reciprocity.
Stress Reliever tip #14
Have more positive self talk. Nothing else helps intensify stress more than negative thoughts. When you start to having the feeling of defeat is the perfect time for a little reminder.
You know yourself better than anyone else, and you are the perfect person to give you the reminder that it will get better.
Remind yourself of all of the things you have accomplished in the past. All of those small accomplishments add up to very big ones over time.
Change the words you use. Instead of saying, “I can’t do this,” say something like, “I’ve been able to get through this before, and I will get through it this time too.”
Stress Reliever tip #15
Tell someone you trust about your stress and tell them everything that is bothering you. Revealing yourself is a good way to express how you are feeling and how to deal with it.
Image titled Deal With Stress Step 163
Get something like a stress relief ball or if you having a punching bag, go there everyday and yell at it. That can help you express your stress and then relax your body. Holding in emotions is not good for your body.
Source: WikiHow How To Deal With Stress
TWO OF THE BEST PIECES OF ADVICE YOU MAY EVER HEAR:
- YOU CAN’T CHANGE THE WORLD. Stop stressing over it. Stop getting fired up when your political or religious views are challenged. Stop getting worked up if someone cuts you off in traffic or cuts in line at the grocery store. Stop going crazy when you notice somebody doing something that you disagree with. People are people. Humans are humans. You will never change them. Stop trying. Start living your life. Focus on the positive, eliminate the negative. Keep moving forward to create that positive energy around you. That energy you create, will be enjoyed in the life you live. If it’s a negative energy, then you’re going to live a miserable existence. Look back at you life and you’ll notice that’s actually true.
- LIVE FOR THE NOW. Stop stressing over the past and future. Here’s a little exercise you can do right now that could possibly change your life: Walk over to a mirror and look at yourself. Now look to the left side of the mirror (where it ends and you don’t see anything). Look to the right side of the mirror (where it ends). Look in the middle where you see yourself. The left side of the mirror is the past. The right side of the mirror is the future. The reflection (middle) is RIGHT NOW. The past is gone (you can’t see anything). The future is not here yet (you can’t see anything). Live for right now. Live for every second of now. Enjoy what you have now.So as you take your face away from that mirror just look forward as if the size of that mirror is still there. Any direction you look, you’re living for right now. How you live your life, the decisions you make, the directions you move should all be based on how you want to live your life right now.You will be amazed on what you will do and decisions you make based on that thinking.