I don’t think anyone can argue that life can be pretty stressful sometimes. Many people suffer from anxiety, excessive worrying, depression, and other things that make us feel negative, upset, irritated, angry, annoyed, and sad. We need something in our toolbox to help us calm down when these feelings arise. You know, some practical tactics to help us get through the moment and get through life. Today, I’m sharing five tips for how to handle stressful situations that will have you ready to face the challenges that life throws your way.
We all know that meditation or exercise is an excellent way to relax. However, you can do other activities to help you calm down and clear your mind when you feel overwhelmed or stressed. Whether at work or home, these are easy and effective ways to handle even the most stressful situations.
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What are five ways to deal with a stressful situation?
It’s nearly impossible to expect to go through life without encountering stressful situations. They are all around us. The key is not to try to avoid stress but to be better prepared to deal with it when it comes your way.
The more prepared you are to deal with tension and anxiety, the better the chances that you will remain calm and less bothered by things that usually cause you to be irritated or worried. Use these tips to help you to develop habits for dealing with chaos.
1. Use breathing techniques
Since we can control and regulate our breathing, it is a valuable tool that we can use to relax and achieve a calmer mind. Proper breathing is beneficial for both physical and mental health. Using proper breathing techniques can help alleviate feelings of stress and anxiety. We can control our breathing and it’s such an effective tool to use when stress becomes too overwhelming.
Here are some examples of some breathing techniques that you can use to calm yourself:
Inhale and exhale quickly through your nose. Keep your mouth closed but relaxed. Your inhales and exhales should be about the same length. Do not hesitate; breathe loudly. Try to do several inhale-exhale cycles. Each breath should last about one second.
This is another simple, yet effective breathing technique. Inhale slowly and count to six. Hold your breath for three seconds. Exhale slowly through your nose and count to nine. Repeat this several times (or minutes) until you notice changes and feel a sense of tranquility.
Meditation is ideal for the restless mind, especially if practiced regularly. It has many benefits, especially if combined with one of the breathing techniques. Whenever you feel unsettled, go somewhere where you can be alone for at least fifteen minutes. You can meditate in silence, and you can also play some relaxing music. When you come across a useless thought, you can try to shift the focus to the music. This way, you learn to control your thoughts.
3. Physical activity
The CDC states that physical activity can improve some areas of the brain and even improve overall brain function. Have you ever noticed that your mood improved if you were in a bad mood and went on a long walk or a jog? A possible reason for this is your instinctive desire to cheer up. During physical activity, your body releases endorphin, a hormone that is a natural drug and that improves mood. Instead of only going for a walk or doing workouts when you feel low, try creating the habit of exercising or walking daily to see if you notice an overall improvement in your mood.
4. Talk to someone
Whether you choose a family member, a friend, your partner, or someone who is a professional, talking to someone can be a great idea when you’re stressed out. Don’t carry the burden alone. When it comes to ourselves, the hardest thing is to have an objective perspective. For that reason, it is best when we share what is bothering us with someone else. Keeping your feelings to yourself may even make things worse.
5. Listen to music
Certain types of music can change the activity of brain waves, relax muscles, affect the heart and stress hormone levels, and improve attention and the ability of spatial-temporal reasoning. Music is an inexhaustible source of emotional and aesthetic experiences. These properties would not be possible without the physiological effect it has on the human nervous system. Next time you try to calm down, try listening to some relaxing music or songs that will make your body move.
What are some other tips on how to handle stressful situations in life?
I’m all about being proactive and I think being proactive applies to handling stress, too. As often as possible, we should be doing things to help us get ready for when we are approached with situations that may cause us to tense up a little bit.
How can we be more proactive? Here are a few ideas:
- Make time for leisure.
- Avoid overcommitting yourself.
- Prioritize your tasks.
- Ask for help when you feel overwhelmed.
- Practice self-care regularly.
Hopefully, these tips will help you face stress with a different mindset. The key is not to avoid stressful situations, but rather to handle these situations in a manner that is productive and will allow you to move forward with your life.
If you need help being more intentional about incorporating self-care into your daily routine, try my Self-Care Calendar. This calendar is packed with 31 easy activities that you can do to help form habits that will put you first more often.