If life is coming at you hard and you are concerned with stress management, it’s wise to learn skills that can help you manage your emotions. If you’re experiencing financial problems, the demise of a relationship or other unpleasant battles there is healthy ways to cope.
- Acceptance: Accepting what we can’t change is important. Living in denial can become a pattern, but cultivating an attitude of facing the truth and accepting the reality of any situation is the first step in gaining clarity and being able to move on. If you don’t accept the problem, you create suffering on top of pain. Remember that sometimes we have no control over pain, but suffering is optional. Living in denial won’t make your pain go away, it will only make it worse.
- Awareness: This is an easy one to forget, but being able to pinpoint what you’re feeling at any given moment involves just the simple act of observation. Just taking the time to be still, breathe, and ask yourself exactly what it is you’re feeling can help immensely. Learn how to identify your emotions. For example, are you really angry, or are you just hungry? We tend to focus more on the negative events in our lives but cultivating a culture of living intentionally does wonders for stress management. Start by not rushing through your day. When you’re feeling stressed and like you’re going to lash out, step back and ask yourself what’s really going on. If you had a fight with your spouse, don’t take it out on your co-workers. Write your feelings down, talk to your family care physician for ways to deal with stress and be kind to yourself.
- Challenge Yourself: Get in touch with your inner child, the one who was fearless and confident. You will never know how much you’re capable of until you put yourself in a situation where you are challenged. Meet new people, take a class in a foreign language, join a group to practice for a marathon. There are countless ways to put yourself out there. It’s exhilarating to learn a new skill and if you’re ever feeling like you’re stuck in life, getting through a personal challenge is like being reborn. Create a bucket list to get your creative juices flowing. Give yourself a boost by inviting yourself on new adventures. You may just find that you’re a lot stronger than you think you are!
- Support System: Some of us are just naturally extroverted and don’t have a problem finding ways to be social. But your primary care physicians will tell you that having a good support system is vital for good health. Find a hobby that involves getting out and being social. The happiest people are the ones who have a solid support system.
- Relax: If you’re the type of person who goes on a guilt trip for even thinking about taking time off this is your permission slip to do just that. Your family physician will tell you that learning how to relax is important for your all around good health. Don’t work yourself into an early grave. Give yourself permission to chill. Take an hour or a day and commit to total relaxation. You owe it to yourself.
- Have Fun: Are you one of those adults who thinks that fun is just for kids? Don’t be silly! Or, rather DO be silly! Fun is just as important as work and if you can’t let go and just have fun then you don’t know what you’re missing. You can be an adult and still be in touch with your inner child. Tell a goofy joke, play a harmless prank, buy a brand new box of crayons and some paper, dance around your kitchen. Laugh, play and live!
- Resilience: Being able to accept and adapt to difficulties in life is something your primary care physician would highly recommend. Getting enough sleep, exercising and eating a healthy diet makes you physically strong enough but it’s also important to not be too hard on yourself. It’s ok to be stoic, but it’s also ok to be kind to yourself. Stress management is about finding a balance and being healthy in all aspects of your life.