Beating stress at its own game
No matter how much we plan in advance or mentally prepare, life is going to sometimes bring stress our way (in all sorts of different forms – many of which can’t be predicted). The trick to not being eaten alive by this stress (which, in turn, often makes us want to eat everything in our path), is to not let the stressful events give us an excuse to cheat on our diets, yell at the people closest to us or to let the rest of our day (or week!) be ruined. Stress is on its way. Bank on it. The trick is accepting it, dealing with it and moving past it.
Here are a few practical tips for keeping stress in its place:
Learn from the stress:
Yeah, I know this can sound a bit trite. But a lot of times there is a good lesson to be learned from stressful situations. Sure this ‘learning’ usually happens long after the stress has come and gone. But putting a positive spin on what occurred and seeing away to avoid and/or handle the same stressful situation in the future is a valuable lesson. For ideas about how to gain helpful insights from stress, click here.
Controlled breathing can be like a “Mini Meditation” and help us to change the mental channel by getting more in touch (and in control) of what’s going on with ourselves, internally. Helpful breathing exercises can be found in lots of different places (including on page 77 of my book). There are also lots of helpful links online. Here are a few:
Stress reduction: Deep breathing techniques
5 Anti-stress breathing techniques to help you feel calm anywhere
A breathing exercise to calm panic attacks
Do Something Productive:
Sometimes we can’t do anything about a particular stressful situation we’re facing – but wecan increase our own self-worth. Next time a stressful situation has you down, clean out your closet or reorganize kitchen shelves. The act of accomplishing something and seeing the results of your work can help to transform your mental state and remind you that you can accomplish anything (even if it’s making your sock drawer more attractive).
Work It Out:
Besides making you even more beautiful on the outside and healthier on the inside, exercise releases endorphins that take your mental mood from sour to sublime. Even taking a brisk walk for just 30 minutes can make a difference. Try listening to “Feel Good” music that lifts your spirit while you’re walking. And don’t forget to pump your arms, pay attention to your posture and suck in that tummy for extra benefits from the walk (besides just strutting the stress away). For a few tips on effectively walking the stress away, click here.
Do you have personal stress busters that you rely on during times of mental turmoil? If so, I’d love for you to share them below with a comment. Or, if you dare, share an actual stress. I promise to help you ‘Ommmm’ your way through it!