Stress. It’s the root cause of a dozen dread medical diagnoses that include things like depression, anxiety, heart disease, obesity, and high blood pressure. Ask anyone who has been under stress, and they’ll tell you that there’s a definite physical component that invites everything from headaches to being more susceptible to the common cold.
Welcome to the stress cycle where you start with the initial panic, then deal with the resistance that comes from that and ends in exhaustion, which more often than not starts all over again before you’ve even had a chance to recover from the last major stress.
The problem is, how do you break out of that cycle once it’s begun? Use these three techniques for breaking this damaging habit.
1. Take a break. You start here by taking a step back from the stress. Don’t allow it your time. Try taking a walk or indulge in a moment of meditation. Try anything that allows you to distance yourself from the crisis until you’ve managed to get your feet back under you so that you can deal with it logically and with a clear head.
Sometimes this break involves creating a boundary. The same stressors coming at you online might mean it’s time for a social media break. Or if it’s a person in your day to day causing stress, it might be time to distance yourself from them for a while.
2. Redirect your focus. If your day has been stressful, then make a point to stop and smell the roses. Find the positive. Maybe journal about the good things that happened during the day. Spend some time recalling the best parts of the day. That trains your mind to focus on the good. Also, remember gratitude. Being thankful is a powerful tool in your arsenal. Minor stresses can’t stand up under that kind of positivity.
3. Dedicate time to the positive relationships in your life. Having close connections with people that you enjoy being with goes far beyond leaving you with a warm, pleasant feeling after you’ve been with them. It’s your support network. These are the people who will be there for you when things get rough. Having someone in your corner, who encourages you, makes it impossible for stress to get a foothold in your life.
While this approach seems fairly simplistic, it’s amazing how far-reaching the consequences are of just slowing down and taking time for you and the relationships that matter most. By putting balance back into your life and creating healthy boundaries, you’ll not only reduce stress, but you’ll feel happier
and even healthier.
Keep in mind that stress will continue to visit you. It’s just part of life. But by rewriting the script on how you deal with a disaster, you don’t have to fall into the stress cycle again. You can rest assured, knowing you’ve got this.