3 Ways to Handle Your Stress
Stress is a fairly common emotion and handling it poorly can ruin your day and heighten your stress levels even more. Practicing positive self-talk can help ease your stress levels but that doesn’t necessarily mean telling yourself that everything will be okay. When we think of positive thinking or positive self-talk, we automatically think it means repeating a mantra to ourselves to help get through the day but there’s another step involved that most people aren’t fully aware of.
Positive self-talk means adjusting your thoughts; so if you’re stressed about making a mistake and thinking, “I can’t believe I messed up,” or, “I should know better,” try to change that thought by telling yourself, “Everyone makes mistakes and it’s okay if I do.” Stress tends to lead to negative thinking about oneself but if you learn to change your thoughts accordingly so you don’t bully yourself, your stress levels will decrease significantly.
Talking to people about how you feel can also be very helpful when handling stress and if it’s hard for you to open about certain stressful situations, keeping a stress journal may be of help. It’s common for people to want to deal with their stressful situations alone but over time, stress can start to build up because you’re not letting yourself release some of the tension you’re feeling.
Telling someone about what’s been going on can help you think more clearly and allow you to consider different points of view.
A stress journal can also help when handling stress and it can help you identify what may have triggered your stress and what changes you might need to make to better handle stressful situations. Whenever something stressful happens, write it down specifically.
Write about the situation, who was present when it occurred, how it made you feel and how much stress it caused, and how you handled it.
You can keep track of your stress for a week or so and re-read your entries to gain a better understanding of how effectively (or ineffectively) you handle stress and pinpoint the sources of your stress.
If there’s a time when your stress levels are really intense it’s best to just walk away for a little bit and do something you like to do. Take a minute to breathe and regain some composure and do something that makes you feel good. You can go out for a cup of coffee, walk your dog or go for a run to help clear your head, take a relaxing bath, or do something artistic like drawing or sewing. There will be times when you just have to say no and walk away from a stressful situation to cool off for a bit and that’s okay.
Taking a break and doing something for yourself can help you approach the situation calmly and with a fresher perspective.