Study after study comes out on the effects of stress. Just reading them will make your heart rate plummet and your stomach churn, and for a reason. Stress is one of the most dangerous “silent killer”. Some of us are much better at handling it than others. I, for one, have always been prone to it and can get stressed over anything. I had a bad period just recently, studying for my exam. I felt the date approaching, I felt I was running out of time with way too many things to cover, and on top of everything, I had problems in my professional life that just amplified the effect. My hair started falling out, my sleeping patterns were all over the place, and I noticed I snacked more than usual. Thank God I don’t keep any crap at home, otherwise it would’ve been a disaster!
A few ways to avoid getting to this point:
- I’m a big proponent of meditation. Whenever I get a chance to do it regularly, I always feel more relaxed and balanced. It doesn’t have to be long, 10 minutes is plenty. It can be anything from guided to as simple as some music that will get you to shut off for a little.
- Sleep sleep sleep! Force yourself to go to bed before midnight. Even if you toss and turn at first, at least you’ll get into the habit of turning in before your chariot turns into a pumpkin.
- Turn off all things electronic that will distract you from sleep. Sadly I am very bad at this, but I try to make an effort. I know FB needs to be checked, the best tweets hit us when we’re in bed and so many emails need to be read, but still, shut the phone off.
- Grab a book. Personally, reading always relaxes me. We don’t read nearly as much as we used to, but trust me, a good book can work miracles.
- Exercise. An oldie but goodie, the happy hormones released during exercise will take up the fight with your jitters. You can also look at sex as a form of exercise:)
- Accept help. This seems like a no brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people find it hard to take up on friends’ offers. Some have this “No, I have to do everything alone, I’m not weak to let others help, I’ll go help them instead.” mentality. I used to be one (still am in some respect), then you wonder why we’re so overwhelmed by life. Just remember, it is OK to accept help, if they didn’t mean it, they wouldn’t offer (for the most part, at least).
- Do something nice for yourself. Spend time with your friends, or stay in and watch a movie. Something that will make you happy. We’re being way to hard and put way too much pressure on ourselves that we forget to really just be. Give yourself a pass every now and again!
What tends to get you stressed out? Where do you struggle the most?