Oftentimes we begin to feel the subtle signs of stress creeping upon our lives before the entire onset. Waking up to that unnerving stomach pain. Feeling irritable for no specific reason throughout the day. The throbbing headache that went from a whisper to a pounding hammer. We know when the stress is kicking in, and our minds go frantic looking for the quickest form of relief.
According to the American Institute of Stress, 77% of people regularly experience physical symptoms triggered by stress. What are the top three stressors? Work, money, and health. Surprised? Probably not. The dilemma is, how can we beat the stress before it takes over?
1. Own the stress indicators.
You know when there are things that are beginning to set off your triggers. Do not ignore them. Take time to write down the things that are giving you woes. Determine which things have an immediate solution, which things are going to depend on the actions of an outside factor, and which things simply cannot be changed. Once you put it on the table, you can be realistic about the situation you are facing and how to handle it.
2. Take a nap.
A lack of sleep can completely ruin the mind. Sometimes you need to just get your body back in balance. A sleepless mind is not a good decision-making mind. When you take a 15-20 minute nap, you will wake up refreshed and ready to regroup. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute reported that an irregular sleep cycle leads to higher depressive symptoms and physical ailments like high cholesterol. So a nap will help with two things: better health and a clearer, happier head.
3. Take a retreat.
With all of the new options and support out there, why not do something totally off the typical path? Simply tap out with others who are needing a breather just like you. Mental wellness is your life’s compass and without that, you are no good to yourself or anyone else. Whether you simply go camping at a local lodge to spend some time away from the computer or you book a retreat, a moment away from your daily life is sure to lighten up the stress load.
4. Write a “to-don’t” list.
Exactly as it reads, write your own to-don’t list. What are all of the things you are not going to do today to make yourself more overwhelmed? For example, “I won’t sit in bed eating ice cream for two hours.” Maybe you will write, “I will not take out my stress on others.” What are some of those negative coping habits that you do not want to run to? Oftentimes, when you begin to let those side effects of stress eat at you, you bring out the full blown downfall. Keep yourself in check by not allowing the stress to spiral.
There are so many other ways that stress can be confronted head on before it takes over. Do not become a victim to your circumstances. Stand up and let your stress know who’s boss!