Stress is something that most women experience frequently. It can be a perfectly normal response to pressures and worries that inevitably come up in life. Especially with all the news stories lately, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed, unsure, and stressed.
But, how we choose to respond to such stress is most important. We all experience stressful times, but the difference becomes those who dwell on it and those who learn how to handle it.
Stress increases your cortisol and has a whole variety of complications that you just don’t need in your day-to-day life.
Here are 4 tips for eliminating stress in your life:
1. Get Active
Stress lives in your body, and one of the best ways to let it all go is to get moving. In fact, exercise in pretty much any form acts as a stress reliever. So whether you’re into walks around the block, yoga, running, boxing, HIIT, pilates, spinning, or cross fit, you have lots to gain by getting active.
First things first, exercise boosts your endorphins, aka your brain’s “feel-good” hormones. Even on my worst days, I make it a priority to do something physical, and it always immediately makes me feel amazing, no matter what. I also find exercise to be very similar to meditation, in that it’s a distraction. When you’re moving your body, you don’t have time or mental space to be thinking about your anxieties, so instead you’re forced to focus on the present moment. Whether it’s laps in the pool, circuits around the block, or the 20 burpees you have before you, exercise makes it easy to forget about everything else except your body’s movements.
And even better, regular exercise helps to improve your mood. It’s good for confidence, improving your sleep quality, and is known to relieve symptoms of stress and anxiety. So, moral of the story, whenever you feel stressed, go for a workout — you will never regret getting active.
2. Talk it Out
Just like it’s not healthy to hold stress in your body by staying still, it’s also not healthy to hold it in by not talking to anyone. Communicating is key when it comes to dealing with your stress, and it’s okay to learn to lean on your loved ones in times of need. And if you can’t talk to someone else, you can even talk to yourself! It’s not crazy, it’s vital for stress relief.
There’s a difference between venting and complaining — but genuinely letting out your feelings is a positive. When you let stress bottle up inside without a place for it to go, you become like a pressure cooker. Open the lid and let your feelings out. Also, talking things out helps you make sense of your feelings and really figure out what’s important and what isn’t.
Isolating yourself socially and walling off from your friends won’t help anything. Give your friends a call, confide in a family member, or text a colleague. We are social beings, and sharing with one another is how we learn to cope and alleviate stress.
3. Shift Your Mindset
Your mindset plays a pivotal role in how you handle stress. Your outlook determines a whole variety of things, your stress levels included. Are you a glass half-empty or half-full type of person?
A positive mindset doesn’t mean that you ignore the bad and only focus on the good, or that you’re naive to the realities of your life. Instead, it means that you approach tough situations with humility and in a constructive manner. So, start with positive self-talk. When you’re stressed, think about how you can improve the situation and what you can solve, rather than only focusing on the bad and thinking things will never change. You get to choose what you tell yourself, so make sure that inner dialogue is encouraging.
If you move through life practicing this type of mindset, stress will be much easier to cope with during hard times. It’s okay to be worried, but never let yourself dwell. Focus your energy on what you can control and put effort into improving it.
4. Be Mindful of What You Consume
We become what we consume, which is why it can be beneficial to analyze the types of content you engage in. Are you hooked on the 24/7 news channels that make it feel like doomsday every day? Do you follow channels on social media that make you feel unworthy or self-conscious? Think about how much time you spend scrolling social media — it undoubtedly plays a large role in your life and how you feel.
We are bombarded with news and stories all day every day, so instead of surrounding yourself with negativity, curate your feeds to be positive and uplifting. Really think about what you’re looking at. If Instagram models make you feel insecure, unfollow them. If there are certain news channels that make you feel stressed, eliminate those too. It’s okay to check in on the news, but make sure it’s a choice rather than forced.
Choose and curate a feed that brings you joy and peace, not stress and anxiety.