Many different stresses lord over us in our daily lives — horrendous traffic, horrible bosses, negative people, piled up tasks, swamped scheds, petty quarrels, emergencies and even a spotty internet connection! Sometimes, we even find ourselves battling with multiple stressors at once! So how do you do it? How do you handle stress?
Last week, my colleagues and I talked about stress and how we deal with it. It’s sad that I wasn’t able to take notes so I could share every approach with you but here are some of the most efficient ways you can try. Of course, some things may work for others but not for you so find what you think will help you pull through.
✔️ Pray. Faith is a powerful thing, and so is prayer – our only way to directly communicate with The One. Personally, one prayer makes me feel lighter already like some load has been taken off my shoulders. I even reached one critical point in my life where nefarious, depressive, desperate thoughts came across my mind and you know what saved me from those ideations? Faith and prayers. (And of course love for parents, family, etc.)
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” ~ James 1:2-4
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” ~ Proverbs 3: 5-6
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” ~ Philippians 4: 6-7
✔️ Eat chocolates. After all, stressed spelled backwards is desserts, right? But seriously, though, there are studies providing evidence that dark chocolate reduces stress.
✔️ Veer away from negative people. The last thing you need is a slew of negative vibes from Negatrons. Trust me, they always have a problem for every solution. And they’re mostly filled with drama. B*tch, don’t kill my vibe. As Joel Osteen once said, “you cannot hang out with negative people and expect to live a positive life.”
✔️ Choose your battles. This one is broad and can cover a lot of things. 1) Don’t take every little thing by heart. Wag dibdibin lahat, bes! For example, a conversation about politics or sports or even trivial matters like the fabric of a dress! 2) If people are stressing about you and you know you didn’t even do anything wrong (hello, haters), let them be. Don’t stress yourself out because of them. Let their problem be their own problem (it’s probably you and your annoyingly perfect eyebrows. Lol. Haters can be shallow like that). 3) Don’t stress yourself over things you cannot change. For example, you’re having this outdoor event and it suddenly rained. Go on, be sad. Be frustrated. Be sulky. It’s okay to feel whatever you feel because all emotions are valid. BUT, don’t stress yourself out on that because things like weather and aging and other people’s perception are beyond our control. So don’t dwell on that feeling of woe. Instead, channel your inner Mr. or Ms. Creativity. Stand up and do something about it. Learn to dance in the rain.
✔️ Once in a while, indulge yourself in things that relax you — spa, massage, brunch with the girls, night out with the boys, travel, watch movies, shop, window shop, cook, etc.
✔️ Fire up those endorphins. Run, go to the gym, go biking, go hiking, dance, or if it de-stresses you like others, do household chores. Staying active releases happy hormones so sweat out all those stresses away.
✔️ Eat healthy. If you keep your body healthy, your mind will also be healthy and your mood improved. Also, did you know that certain food provide comfort and actually increase levels of hormones in the body that naturally fight stress? A warm cup of chamomile tea, for example. It provides a soothing, at-home comfort. Carbohydrates (preferably healthy ones like potatoes and whole grains) can boost mood and reduce stress. Fatty fish and avocados — they’re packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to reduce stress and anxiety, boost concentration, and improve mood.
✔️ Spend time with your loved ones. Surrounding yourself with people who matter, people who uplift you, people who make your every day worth waking up to is a secret to a happy life. So spare a few minutes of your time. Take a breather from all those work stuff and just spend time with them. One weekend, one day, one hour, one minute — trust me, it makes a difference.
✔️ Count your blessings. This helps you realize that it’s just a bad day, a bad time or a bad season but not a bad life.
✔️ Accept differences. Not all people share your sentiments and not all people know how to show they care about your sentiments. So for instance, you have a husband and you’re telling him about this thing you’re upset about. Don’t expect a certain response from him. I mean, sure you would want to be comforted or cheered up, but don’t always expect to receive the exact kind of response you want to receive.
✔️ Always always always keep a positive mindset. Instead of sayong, “Oh gaaah I am so stressed! I can’t do this anymore. It’s killing me! I am literally the most stressed person in the world!”, say “I can do this! I can overcome this!” “My God is greater than any other problem.” So choose your thoughts. As an adage goes,
“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.”
✔️ Release. Sing it out. Scream. Go to a Smash Shack/Break Room/Anger Room/Rage Room. Write.
✔️ PLOT. This is an acronym I learned from one of my colleagues. Some items have been mentioned already but I think this is just too cool not to share. 😋 P is for Pray. L for Love Yourself (and no, it’s not that Justin Bieber song). O for Open Yourself (to be expounded below). And T for Treat Yourself.
✔️ When all else fails, talk to someone. Don’t ever be too arrogant or too scared or too shy to seek help. If for some reason you can’t talk to a friend or a family member, talk to a therapist. Or even a stranger. Trust me, it helps. Of course, always remember to accept differences (see #9).
All these things that help you battle or avoid stress are fail-proof techniques, although somehow this can only be temporary relief. So what do you to permanently rectify the situation? Acknowledge your stress. Find the cause of it and look for healthy ways to eliminate the stressor.
You see, stress of all kinds is a natural part of life. But how we deal with it is up to us. So don’t wallow in your stress, especially for too long. Do something about it and believe that you can overcome it.
BREATHE. Chill. And never ever forget 2 powerful things:
THE POWER OF PRAYER
THE POWER OF MIND