First, let me say how we all experience stress. Even positive experiences can be stressful on the body for certain people. Being excited, scared, anxious and angry can put tremendous stress on our bodies. But too much negative stress over time can lead to health issues.
We may develop unhealthy coping strategies that may include smoking, drinking too much, and overeating.
Answer the following questions to yourself, honestly:
When you’re under stress, do you:
- eat to calm yourself down?
- speak and eat very fast?
- drink alcohol or smoke to calm down?
- rush around but don’t get much done?
- work too much?
- delay doing the things you need to do?
- sleep too little, too much or both?
- try doing too many things at once?
What were your answers?
It’s amazing how much stress we put on ourselves and we don’t even realize it until it’s gotten out of hand in the form of aches, pains, and other health issues.
If you want to turn your stressful times into better-stress-free days (without losing your temper) then follow these 5 simple steps:
1. Morning meditation/prayer/moment of silence
Start your day off with either a morning prayer, a moment of silence, or a meditation session. It doesn’t have to be a long period of time – all you need is 5 minutes.
Quiet time helps you reflect on the good things to be grateful for in your life. They may seem like little things, but everything is an accomplishment. It is also a time to be grateful for the bad things going on in your life. Perhaps you would not be where you are now (the good parts) if the “bad” things had not happened to you.
2. 10-minute yoga
Try doing a 10-minute yoga sequence. Yoga does not have to take up a lot of time to be beneficial. It will help clear your mind further by building on what you have already started in step 1. All you need to do is execute 3-5 very basic poses – nothing advanced at all.
Check out the Yoga Journal for easy poses you can do to complete a 10-minute yoga session.
3. Make a travel aromatherapy kit
You don’t want to go through steps 1 and 2 and fall apart five minutes later. Make your own aromatherapy to carry with you to spray in the air, inhale, or dab on your temples or wrists. Make more than one mixture with different blends of essential oils so you do not overexpose yourself to the same oils day after day.
Stress reducing essential oils include: the famous lavender, bergamot, rose, clary sage, ylang ylang, frankincense, grapefruit, and jasmine.
Start with a carrier oil, such as jojoba, coconut, avocado, or olive oil, and add a few drops each of about two essential oils to the mixture to create your favorite blend.
4. Count, breathe, speak
Counting to 5 and taking a deep breath before you speak can keep you from saying things you may regret. When you are stressed out anything is liable to come out.
This will help to keep you calm and really make you think about what you want to say rather than just saying the first thing that pops into your mind. Your thoughts will become more clear and organized and you may even notice that things don’t bother you as much as they used to.
Smile, just because (granted it can be hard to do sometimes). Just take a look at some great smile quotes. They will give you plenty of reasons to smile.
Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. – Leo Buscaglia
A warm smile is the universal language of kindness. – William Arthur Ward
Children learn to smile from their parents. – Shinichi Suzuki
We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do. – Mother Teresa
Beauty is power; a smile is its sword. – John Ray
Need more reasons to smile? Go back to number one.