Stress is an inevitable part of being human. In fact, without stress, our ancestors wouldn’t have been able to survive in certain situations. Our flight or flight response is a part of our DNA and something we must accept. Yet, modern life is more stressful than ever, with all sorts of challenges coming our way that keep us on our toes. And while we may not have to worry about getting stepped on by a wooly mammoth anymore, we do have to worry about deadlines, bills, and how many followers we have.
Yet, one thing is for sure, stress is not good for us overall. As we get older, stress can be downright dangerous, and doesn’t serve us in the long run. And while we may not be able to eliminate stress entirely from our lives, we can effectively handle it and control the way we react. Here are some of the most effective ways to navigate stressful moments and stay cool.
When many people think of meditation they envision sitting down cross-legged with candles burning surrounded by incense. Yet, the truth is that meditation can be practiced anywhere, (no incense required.) Meditation is all about controlling your thoughts and living in the present moment.
You focus your attention on your breath and calm your mind so that you’re doing nothing but simply existing. In the absence of judgment, thinking, or stress, your mind returns to its natural state. You’ll achieve a sense of self-awareness and resilience that will help you better handle stressful situations with a sense of calm.
The next time you’re doing something like washing the dishes or even riding the bus, relax your mind and just breathe.
Be Kind To Yourself
All too often we’re so focused on being good friends, good mothers, and good partners that we forget how to be good to ourselves. Don’t forget the importance of loving yourself the same as you would anyone else you care about. You deserve self-care and kindness just as much as anyone else. Prioritize things that make you feel good, and bring you happiness. Prioritize your sleep, get regular exercise, and brush your hair once in a while. Neglecting yourself physically ultimately results in neglecting yourself emotionally. If you fail to practice self-care, then it’s only a matter of time until you burn out. When your cup is empty, you’re not able to handle stressful situations with ease or logic.
One of the biggest causes of stress for many people is the lack of ability to say no. It’s OK to set boundaries once in a while and tell people you simply don’t have the time or energy to do something. Recognize your limits and don’t be afraid to communicate them. When someone is stepping over a boundary, kindly let them know it’s not going to work for you, and prioritize self-preservation.