Stress can come in many forms and from many different sources. For some people, stress is an occasional sensation that is quickly overcome, whereas for others, it lingers and has no clear reason. The intensity and duration of stress vary between individuals and their circumstances, which makes addressing stress as a contained entity difficult. However, there are a few techniques that you can practice to make stress a smaller part of your life and bring more peace to your mind.
- Pause to Reflect
Often the cause of stress is closely related to having to cope with multiple issues at the same time and with few opportunities to catch your breath. Being overwhelmed with responsibilities and frequently running out of time is a common cause of stress for many people. If this sounds like you, you might find it useful to stop in the moment and consider what is truly causing you stress. Is it the lack of control? The fear of failure? Expecting too much? You don’t need to disengage from your situation, but you can give yourself time to think about which aspects of it are causing the most stress and how you can handle those individually.
- Talk to Someone
Keeping stress bottled up inside rarely leads to a positive outcome. Stress has a way of seeping out in unexpected ways. For example, if you are stressed by a heavy workload, you may unintentionally express this as frustration and anger towards a loved one. Instead of venting in an unhealthy way, try to communicate your feelings with someone you trust. Reaching out to a professional can also be a great way of alleviating some of the burden. Visit changefutures.org.au to find out more about mental health services.
- Gain Some Perspective
Seeing the root of your stress from a new perspective is another practical method of overcoming it. This can come in the form of distraction from stressful circumstances, particularly if you have little control over them. By doing something completely different, you allow your mind to create distance from the cause of your stress and release some of the tension. Step back and examine the situation from a new angle, perhaps by asking for someone else’s point of view. There is no good in trying to diminish the seriousness of whatever is causing you stress, but rather understand that what is stressful right now most likely won’t be stressful in the future.
- Focus on Your Body
People commonly see stress as a mostly mental concern. However, if you have trouble tackling the feeling with your thoughts, it can be surprisingly effective to focus instead on soothing your body. Stress can manifest in tense muscles, a quicker heart rate and shallower breathing, telling your body that it needs to be prepared for danger. If possible, take the time to rest your body and consciously relax each part of it. Your mind may still be racing, but the sensation of stress will be easier to manage.