As we said in our last blog post, April is National Stress Awareness Month! This week, we’re talking about the ways that you can immediately lower your stress level when you’re feeling overwhelmed or out of control.
These are good ways to get your stress down to a more manageable level when you’re in the moment, but as always, they’re not a replacement for further treatment, if that’s what you need. Stress is different for everyone, so these approaches may not all work for you, but through a little trial and error, you can find what works for you specifically.
So, here are 6 ways to lower your stress level right now:
Learn what stress looks like for you
This is the first step to successfully relieving stress. When you know exactly how stress shows up for you, it will be easier to recognize it and treat it. If stress makes you feel overstimulated and easily agitated, you will likely have more success with stress relief techniques that are geared toward calming you down. If stress makes you feel sluggish and tired, you will likely see better results from techniques that are energizing.
Get some sleep
If it’s the middle of the day, take a nap! If you’re at work, wait for your lunch break, set an alarm on your phone, and shut your eyes. Sleep will make you feel more refreshed, and it may help you work through whatever stress you’re feeling. Think of it as a reset button for your brain!
Move your body
You don’t have to do hardcore exercise unless that feels good to you, but moving your body can be a good way to calm yourself down. Not only will it tire you out physically, but exercise releases endorphins which can calm you down and improve your mood. Try going for a walk, doing yoga, attending a workout class, riding your bike, or anything else that gets you moving for at least 20 minutes.
Schedule a day off
It may seem counterintuitive, but if you’re burned out, you may need a reset. Instead of stressing on all the work you will miss when you take time off, reframe it and look at it another way. By taking time off regularly (even when you don’t feel like you need it urgently!), you are cultivating a self-care practice that will enable you to be more productive in the long run.
Make a list of things that soothe you
What makes you feel better when you’re in a bad state of mind? Write it down. Anything, big or small, can go on this list so you can refer to it the next time you feel overwhelmed. If you have the list prepared, you will have a plan of action for the next time you feel out of control. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Play soothing music
- Deep breathing
- Taking a bath or long shower
- Talking to a friend or family member
- Snuggling a pet
And finally, give laughter a try. Is there something that never fails to make you laugh? It could be a TV show, a book, a friend, a YouTube video, or something else. As long as it makes you laugh, it works!
Need more help with stress management? Grief Recovery Center in Houston, TX can help. You can reach us at (832) 413-2410 or by filling out the form on our website. Take the time to speak with one of our licensed Houston counselors today.