There is no doubt that life can be stressful. Many of us lead busy lives and often it can be difficult to avoid negativity. However, even though we may encounter stressful situations on a regular basis, there are ways to remain calm and keep a positive outlook despite the negative actions of others. Here are a few ways to keep your cool.
1. Take deep breaths.
It is no wonder that yoga and meditation have become so popular. Deep, focused breathing helps promote relaxation and reduces anxiety. Whenever you find yourself tensing up, take some long, deep breaths and see how much better you feel. Deep breathing is something you can do at any time of the day. It can also be beneficial to spend an hour a day doing yoga or meditating, whether in an organized class or at home. With even just a few deep breaths you can lower your blood pressure and relieve muscle tension. It sounds so simple, but it is so effective!
2. Listen to music.
Music is so powerful. Our emotions are very connected to music, hence why listening to something you enjoy can bring down your stress levels. Whether you prefer calm, soothing music, or something more upbeat, a good tune will uplift and inspire you.
3. Get outside in the fresh air.
I find that getting out in nature is one of the best ways to clear my mind and heal my soul. When you are outside listening to the birds chirp, feeling the heat of the sun or the cool breeze gently caressing you, or watching the clouds slowly pass, you feel this deep connection to the earth. Realizing that we are all a part of this beautiful planet is simply amazing. And that sense of connectedness is one of the best ways to forget about any of the everyday nonsense.
4. Approach the negative actions of others by trying to understand them.
It can be difficult to understand why someone would be negative or rude to you for no apparent reason. However, while combatting negativity with more negativity may be the first reaction of many, take a step back and try to understand what is going on in the other person’s head. Humans are complex beings. We all deal with things differently and many of us are dealing with our own personal problems that others simply may never fully understand. Most negativity stems from deep-rooted issues. By realizing this, you gain some sort of compassion for those who come across negative. Rather than fight the negative, just try to understand, forgive, and show some compassion and love.
5. Sleep it off.
One of the best ways to get over a stressful situation is to sleep it off. Tomorrow is a new day. Go to sleep and wake up with a fresh start.
6. Light a candle or some incense.
Aromatherapy is a great way to relieve stress. Certain aromas have a soothing, calming effect. A few stress-relieving scents include lavender, citrus, sandalwood and lemongrass. So next time you are feeling a bit anxious, light up a nice, natural candle or some incense and breathe in the tranquilizing goodness.
7. Open up to someone you really trust.
Often times stress can build up. We may try to do things to stay positive on a regular basis, but sometimes an accumulation of stress gets to an overwhelming point. When a storm of negativity comes crashing down on you, one of the best ways to cope with everything you have going on is to talk about it. People need each other. Human interaction is so important and being able to open up to someone about whatever is going on is key to staying sane and healthy.
8. Have a drink.
Sit down and have a drink to take your mind off your troubles. When I say, “have a drink,” I am not necessarily referring to alcoholic beverages. While a glass of wine or a beer can definitely put you in a relaxed state, a cup of tea can also do the trick. The act of casually sipping on a beverage (no matter what it is) can be calming in and of itself. So sit down, relax, and sip easy.
9. Try to think realistically about the situation.
When I find myself in a state of anxiety, I try to think about whether or not what I am feeling is really of any importance. Will this situation affect me in a year from now or even in a week from now? Generally, our worries are temporary. While something may cause you stress in this very moment, try to think rationally about it and take it for what it is. If something will likely be unimportant in a week’s time, it’s not worth stressing over.
10. Do something active.
Getting your body moving is one of the best ways to free your mind. Go on a run, take a dance class, go for a swim, or just get out and do something active. It doesn’t matter what you are doing, by working your body, you’ll give your mind a much-deserved break.
11. Touch or be touched.
Physical contact is extremely important. While spending intimate time with a partner is definitely a good way to alleviate stress, even just giving/receiving a hug is a great way to calm your nerves. Getting a massage is also a great way to lighten up tense muscles and feel invigorated.
12. Just stop and observe.
When you stop and stand still to observe the world around you, you realize how much is going on outside of your bubble. You realize that while your problems may seem like a big deal to you, in the scheme of things, your problems are quite meaningless. Watching the world around you opens up your mind to how much is happening that you really can’t control. Taking time to look at the “bigger picture” will likely make you realize how lucky you are, despite the minor stresses you encounter.
Pick up a good book and read. Books take you to another place. Immersing yourself in someone else’s story is a great way to take your mind somewhere else, if even for the moment. Reading broadens your horizons and allows you to get away from your daily troubles.
14. Take a long, hot bath.
There is nothing like soaking yourself in a nice, steamy tub to ease the tension. Getting clean makes you feel fresh and brand new.
Life is stressful and unfair at times, but you can always find something to smile about. No matter who you are or what you are going through, if you can find something to be happy about every day, your life will be all the better for it. Realize that everybody goes through ups and downs. You may be at a down right now, but with time, you will pick back up. Try to appreciate the simple, beautiful moments in life. Smile and know that in the end, everything is going to be alright.