Stress Management Hacks
Life is filled with moments when you’re less than chill.
Whether your concerns are financial, romantic, professional, familial, or any and all of the above, it can make for one tense individual. I have a tendency to worry a lot about money, love, career paths, and body image. Over the years, these worries had an ebb and flow to them depending on where I was in my life. I still can’t think too far ahead into my life for how grand it feels.
Combined years of therapy, CBT, and life coaching have given me certain tools to ease stress and reframe my thoughts to be more realistic, productive, and positive; since sharing is caring - I’ve shared the most productive ones I use.
Stop and take a deep breath.
While this one’s obvious, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve panicked for half an hour before stopping my incessant thought process to breathe. That’s the first step.
Have a playlist at the ready.
Music can make you cry, dance around, feel like the badass that you are, and a myriad of other emotions. When I feel super stressed, or upset, I have a few playlists I go for. Sometimes I need a good cathartic cry, so I go for my more subdued one, while sometimes I need a pick-me-up and I go for the one playlist that makes me feel like I can do no wrong. Music is the soundtrack to our lives, make yours accessible and epic.
Make a game plan.
If your worries are financial (but not just), it helps to get organized and create a plan of attack on whatever your financial situation and goals are. Just having it on paper and quite literally all on a table in front of you will help ease the stress. Once you have it all out in the open, seek professional advice if needed, grab a financially prudent friend or family member, and/or try to work the problem yourself. You can get out of any bind if you lay out a strategy and follow through with it. I’m literally working on this very element in my life as I type this.
For a very long time, I thought that I was at fault for a terrible breakup I had, which was a great source of stress for me, obvi. It was my life coach at the time who had me write down the reasons I thought I was to blame and bring them to our next session. During that session she read my reasoning out loud. By the time she finished reading off the list I knew what she was going to say - none of the reasons listed on this list are realistically my fault .
When life gets hard and doesn’t go our way, we have a tendency to internalize and think that it’s our fault and that if we just do this or do that that everything will work out (if I looked like this I would that, if I did this then I would get that, etc.). Life doesn’t work that way. Yes, you need to work hard for what you want but when life doesn’t go your way it means that there is another path, a better path for you.
Yes, this is a known one too, but it’s a good one. Like I said before, I tend to panic and just spiral. Meditation helps in halting the spiral. It makes you stop, breathe, clear your mind, feel your body, and look introspectively into yourself. Apps like Calm and Stop, Breathe & Think are a few of the many you can choose from to get your meditation game going.
Meet up with a friend.
Talking out your concerns is a great way to manage them, while also getting a new perspective to possibly help solve the cause of your stress. Friends are one of the most valuable resources in this world, enjoying your time with them and getting in a good laugh is nature’s built-in stress relief.
Go for a walk.
A little fresh air and some nature will do a mind and body wonders.