Surviving stressful situations is part of life. Whether it's your job, family, friends or college, stress can arise anywhere at any time but there are ways in which you can learn to deal with stress to make your life, well, less stressful! So here are my tips on surviving stressful situations.
1. Let's Get Physical
Olivia Newton John had the right idea... although she may have been talking about something I should reserve for another article entirely! Exercise keeps me sane and I feel energized and able to tackle the world after a workout. There is a reason for this. When we are stressed, the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline increase which is where the body goes into 'fight or flight' mode. Exercising will help metabolize these hormones and enable us to deal with stress. This is one of my best tips on surviving stressful situations.
2. Mind Your Head
We are exposed to so much information on a daily basis from all manner of places and sometimes we need to silence our mind, even if it's just for 10 minutes. Relaxation techniques such as meditation can help us gain clarity and breathing techniques can help us put things in perspective. Practicing meditation can also help you sleep and we all know that a good night's sleep is important for dealing with life's stresses and strains.
3. Take Control
In stressful situations remember to think about the solution rather than the problem. There is always a solution. Having this mind-set will empower you. Say to yourself, "I am in control, I can deal with anything life throws at me." I also find it helps to write things down and to think of possible solutions. Having a journal can help you identify the common stressors in your life and see where patterns are arising.
I'm not talking about the brilliant sitcom, which I can probably recite word for word. Although with its humor and story lines we can all relate to, I'm sure it could be prescribed as an antidote to stress. The show does demonstrate however, how important it is to have a support network. Having people to talk about things with can often make you realize that what you thought was a hideous situation is actually something that many others have been through and survived!
5. Glass Half Full!
What type of person are you? If you're the "glass half empty" kind then you may need to re-think. Research has shown the many benefits of positive thinking on health, relationships and productivity. Try focusing on the positive aspects of your life and all the things you're grateful for. Also, take time to reflect on the day and what went well rather than dwelling on the negatives. A mindset of gratitude and positivity will help bring more of it your way.
6. You Are What You Eat
Eating the wrong things will have a negative effect on your body and impact on the way in which you deal with stress. For example, excessive amounts of caffeine, alcohol and nicotine put a strain on body and mind and should be avoided, or at least reduced, in order to improve your capacity to deal with stress. There are certain foods that can have a positive impact. Try consuming more foods containing stress-relieving B vitamins like tuna and almonds. Maybe not together though.
7. Sweet Dreams
Stress affects your sleep and sleep affects your stress. Simple. I can't function without my eight hours. A good night's sleep will rejuvenate you and make you feel more able to deal with life and everything it can throw at you. Try chamomile tea to relax you before bed and avoid checking emails or working right up until bedtime. Your mind will still be processing information and you'll find it difficult to relax and drift off to sleep.
The way in which you live your live and your mind-set will determine your capacity to deal with stressful situations. A little stress is good, it keeps us going but it's when it affects us negatively that we need to do something about it and ensure it's not taking over our lives and affecting our health. So what are your tips for dealing with stressful situations in life?