Having a certain amount of stress is healthy, but when our lives are filled with stressors we can become tired and fatigued, overwhelmed emotionally, and our mental and physical health can suffer. Work and relationships can be affected as well as our sense of well being and ability to cope. We can encounter stress in our home and work environments, and in our social and personal lives. We may seek ways to escape such as using alcohol, overeating, smoking, using marijuana or other mood altering drugs, overdependence on coffee or other caffeine drinks. These ways to cope unfortunately may have negative consequences and can actually make things worse.
Here are some healthy ways to reduce your stress and feel better right away:
1. Breathe – when you feel your mind is spinning out of control or your body is tense stop what ever you are doing and take a few deep breaths. This will calm your mind and body almost instantly. Breathe in calming life energy and breathe out the tension, worries, and negative thoughts. There is a connection between your breathing and your physical and mental state. When you slow down your breathing taking long slow full breaths it calms the nerves and relaxes your body. When your body relaxes your mind calms down and becomes more at ease.
2. Take a warm bath or shower, water is cleansing and soothing to our bodies and relaxing to our muscles and nerves. Visualize the water washing away the stress and tension you are holding in your mind and body. Relax into the soothing warmth and healing power of the water, you will feel refreshed, relaxed, and renewed within minutes.
3. Listen to soothing music that makes you feel calm, happy, energized, or peaceful, or play an instrument and sing a song. Music also has the effect of bringing us into the moment and has healing power to relax the mind and soul. You’ve probably heard the saying “music sooths the savage beast.” Music calms our nerves and brings harmony to our mind body system.
4. Meditate, mentally repeat a mantra or positive affirmation, practice deep breathing or just sit in silence for a few minutes. Taking a few moments to be quiet and focus on the here and now will help you develop a calmer and centered mind, which makes it easier to handle the stressful situations that arise in life.
In counseling we will assess your stressors and work to reduce the stress in your life. You will learn coping skills and become more at ease and capable of handling stressful situations and you will be able to recover sooner, let go of tension, and feel better.