Welcome to another blog post of “The Enlightenment Aspiration.” (Or ‘TEA’ for short – I love it. Not gonna deny it.)
Today I want to discuss stress. We all get stressed. Hormones such as cortisol attack our systems so heart rate goes up, as well as risk to high blood pressure… You cant concentrate, you start to get hot, you can also be prone to headaches and anger. Some of us are even stressed right now. Not all of us realise when we are stressed (believe it or not.) So I’m going to talk about some of the causes and symptoms of stress and ways you can deal with it.
What can cause stress? (In no particular order…)
- Sense of control – do you feel in control of the situation?
- Your own attitude – Have you got an “all or nothing” attitude? Or Is the world out to get you?
- Negative thoughts/emotions – ties into your own attitude.
- Your ability to deal with and understand your own emotions.
- The people around you – how supported do you feel?
- Hormones – can be a real struggle to deal with and can make us feel stressed… ladies in particular.
- Life changes (extreme) – loss of a loved one, moving away etc.
- Work/School – an obvious one for most.
- Relationships (all kinds) – boyfriend/girlfriend, family, friends, colleagues etc.
- Generally being busy – Being busy all day every day is tiring, which makes things harder to deal with.
- Financial worries – money is an obvious stress trigger.
- Depression – this causes a monumental amount of unwanted stress (not that stress is wanted…pft.)
- Unrealistic expectations of yourself and those around you – “No one’s perfect but…”
So… What do I need to look out for?
- Inability to concentrate
- Short patience
- Aches in muscles
- Chest pain
- Frequent illnesses
- Upset and/or Moodiness
- Avoidance of others
- Feeling sick/loss of appetite
- Eating more/comfort eating
- Feeling bad about yourself (low confidence/self esteem)
What about how to deal with these types of emotions?
How to relax and de-stress yourself… (If only for a while…)
- Set aside “me time.” Sure you have a lot to do, and nothing can wait and it’s all crazy right now… right? Wrong. Whether it’s just 30 minutes in a day, you can have your time. Take some well deserved “me time” back!
- Relaxation methods – eh… this can help, if you are super keen in meditation and yoga. The problem is, when you’re quite stressed it’s hard to concentrate on your breathing and sitting still for ages. I’d personally take 10 deep breaths then lie down to watch a film!
With icecream.Your choice. Or baths. Warm bubble baths help moods and also any aches and pains you might have from a long day.
- Exercise – A simple jog ’round the block, or a stroll in a nice park on a lovely day can up your mood.
- Sleep more – get your 8 hours of sleep. Or try to get as near that as possible. If you are finding it hard to sleep, I suggest getting some lavender fragrance spray that you can put on pillow cases. Should help you really well. If you don’t like lavender, go for one of your favourite fragrances I think other choices are lemon, mint etc. Or you can use a pot-pourri bowl and put it in the room.
- Eat healthily – over or under eating can cause discomfort in body, mind and soul. Try to eat what is suitable for you.
- Music – I may be biased because I love music, but sometimes rocking out to my favourite rock albums or dancing to some country/rock music around my room makes me feel better. What about you?
- Walk away from that argument you’re having – I mean don’t storm off. But inhale that deep breath, stop talking for a moment and take the time to calm down in another room before discussing things further. Sometimes it might help to go on a 10 minute walk before continuing. Just be open about it, don’t leave the other person guessing what you’re doing or why you suddenly walked away; it would just cause more stress.
- They say, chewing gum is helpful… Eh.. .it’s not for me. But it might help you?
- Turn your phone off… or just on silent – if it’s your phone thats stressing you out. Help yourself. Turn it off. Or has some person been bugging you for ages? Don’t reply. As tempting as it may be. You have a choice.
- Art – believe it or not some people find it fun to de-stress by being creative. Make something fun with your hands like a card or painting. It doesn’t have to be amazing art work – arts and crafts isn’t just for kids. I like to do some knitting sometimes, though if I’m really stressed I cant concentrate on it for too long.
- Got clutter? – remove that clutter in your home. Recycle it, bin it, bag some of it up and give it to charity, I don’t mind. If you don’t really need it or use it, it can go. I find anyway that a good tidy up of my home and a bit of a rearrangement of furniture somehow rearranges my outlook and emotions in my mind.
- Writing – Any writer would find writing relaxing (at the right time). I don’t believe it would work everytime… But sometimes getting engrossed into writing can set your mind onto other things which can help you feel less stressed. Or by writing you can write down your emotions and what’s going on and suddenly you have some control back and you can deal with it. You don’t necessarily even have to be a “writer” to write these things down.
- Do something fun – ties in with “me time” but it doesn’t have to. Plan something to look forward to for the weekend or your next pay check. Going out for the day with friends, family or just by yourself can give you the motivation you may need to get through the week. When the weeks over you then get to de-stress with the fun thing you planned!
I hope some of these ideas have helped. You may have already had these ideas to begin with… But hey, the only person who can really know how to de-stress you, is you. Don’t let stress win, our mission shall be to learn to be optimistic in our thinking and strive to be as laid-back as possible (without dire consequences). It’s time to help yourself.
Until the next time!
http://cdn2.dailyburn.com/life/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Stressful-Scenarios_2.jpg – Picture found. Kudos.