In today’s hectic world it is common to feel like life is throwing us more than we can handle. That feeling is what we interpret as stress, which often leads to agitated feelings of anxiety. Left unchecked stress and anxiety can cause mental, emotional, and physical problems. It’s time to learn six ways to effectively deal with stress and anxiety.
Try to determine the cause of stress and anxiety.
Once you identify what is causing your stress you can work to eliminate stress factors or implement strategies to better deal with stress and anxiety.
Examine your schedule. Are you overloaded with work and activities? What can you realistically cut from your schedule to carve out more time for yourself and your family?
No doubt, you have too much to do and too little time. The key to reducing stress is reclaiming some of your time, even if it means dumping something from your schedule. Sometimes we add things to our schedule out of guilt. Re-evaluate your schedule and make sure that you are doing those things that are your responsibility and not taking on the responsibilities of others.
Sudden life changes can also be major stressors. Marriage, birth, death, or financial crisis are things over which you have no control. It is still important to identify if factors that are out of your control are causing you stress. Once you realize what is causing you stress you can begin to program yourself to respond positively to stress rather than storing it up in your body or allowing it to burn you out and wear you out.
Find positive ways to cope with stress and anxiety.
Sometimes we lean toward negative behaviors like drinking, smoking, or eating, to cope with stress and anxiety. It is in the best interest of your health and emotional well being to find positive ways to deal with stress. The following are some ways to effectively deal with stress and anxiety.
Eat a healthy diet to help your body deal with stress and anxiety.
When you are under stress it takes a toll on your body. One of the best things you can do to help cope with stress is to take care of yourself. Pay attention to your diet. Make sure you are eating a well balanced diet.
Exercise to cope with stress and anxiety.
When you are feeling stressed out take time out to focus agitated energy generated from stress into exercise. A short jog, bike ride, or weight lifting routine works like a pressure valve to help relieve stress.
Stress and anxiety may make you feel tired, but push your way through that feeling and consciously focus your energy on the exercise of your choice. You will find yourself more invigorated and less stressed after spending time exercising.
Rub out stress and anxiety.
John Hopkins University recommends a back rub to reduce stress. John Hopkins believes so strongly in the effectiveness of back rubs to relieve stress that they send out teams of volunteers into the community and offer free 5 minute back rubs.
Recruit a friend to rub your back for a few minutes. If you are really stressed go ahead and splurge on a massage. A thirty minute professional massage should serve to relax you physically and mentally.
Get away from stress and anxiety.
Sometimes you need a little time away from stress. You may not be able to pick up and take a vacation, but you can always take a mini-vacation for your mind. Stop stressful thoughts from crowding out your mind by spending time at a favorite hobby or chilling out in front of a mindless movie or television program.
This prescription for stress and anxiety reduction is all about creating a means of escape. Sometimes you have to find a way to get away from the thoughts and activities that are stressing you. Sleep is one way to cope, but a more productive way to deal with stress is to get yourself involved with something you enjoy. Good stress busting hobbies will engage your mind and keep it too busy to focus on your stressors.
Implement stress and anxiety coping strategies today for better health and greater happiness.
Personal Knowledge and 20+ years experience in pastoral counseling
Stress Management Health Center, Webmd.com
Stressbusters: We Give Good Rub, John Hopkins University