“I’m so stressed.” How many times have we either said that phrase ourselves during the week, heard our friends repeatedly mention it, or read it through e-mail or text message from someone? The answer is probably more than we’d like to admit. Stress can be caused by almost anything. Traffic on your way home from work, or just the thought of the tiring day you’ve had at work, with the notion of the additional daily responsibilities waiting for you when you get home.
Having to make dinner for your family after a long day at work, making sure the children get their homework done, arguing with a partner or spouse, or even a simple disagreement at work that keeps running through your mind, even after the workday over. It’s always something, for everyone. Although stress is something we all wish we didn’t have to encounter, it seems it’s waiting for us at every corner, so the real question is, how do we deal with it? First, we need to keep in mind, in each and every stressful situation the fact that we can only control our own behavior, thoughts and actions. We cannot control or change other people. In addition, we cannot control how they act or behave.
As we all know, other people’s behavior often spark our own daily frustrations. If it’s not our own stresful schedule or life, It’s often the emotions, words or actions of someone else that has created stress in our lives.
So how can we kick back, and forget about what’s bothering us in order to just be happy and carefree?
Here are 5 ways that you can alleviate daily stress and keep yourself emotionally happy and balanced, even if everything around you and in your life may not be going the way you'd like, or creating happiness in your life during that particular day, week or moment.
1) Treat yourself to something small every day. It doesn’t have to cost money. It can be something as simple as a hot, relaxing bath, or some time alone in your favorite room of the house painting your nails or reading your favorite magazine or book. Whatever you decide to do to relax yourself, remember to pick something small, and it can cost money or not, but use that time to wind down, and value yourself, do not think about whatever is causing you stress at that moment.
2) Make a call. When you’re feeling stressed either from a hard day at work, an argument with a spouse or friend or monetary frustrations, it ALWAYS helps to talk to someone. Even if they have no advice to offer at all, getting your frustrations out there, and saying them out loud can be therapeutic even if it’s for as little as five (5) minutes during your ride home from work when you’re stuck in unbearable traffic.
3) Take a nap. Sometimes even under the most stressful situations, if you take a moment to yourself to cool down, or go to a friend’s house to relax, it can really help
4) Keep a Journal. I’ve found as a journalist, this is one of the best things you can do for yourself, even if you aren’t the writing type. Being able to vent about whatever’s on your mind when you’re in a stressed state of mind is one of the most therapeutic things you can do for yourself in order to maintain your sanity. Keeping a journal allows you to write down everything that’s bothering you and stressing you out, so that after you write it all down and get it all out, you can reflect on your feelings, emotions and thoughts, and at least you’ll understand why you’re feeling the way you do, and afterwards, you can begin thinking of ways you could work on whatever is causing this stress in your life.
5) Go for a ride. Whether it's a bike, motorcycle or car, turn the music up and let your troubles float away. I remember whenever I was having a bad or stressful day my childhood friend Ali would always blast up the music in the car, and we'd ride off and start laughing and before I knew it, whatever i was upset about no longer existed. You can even go for a ride alone and listen to peaceful music to wind down. Go to your favorite little shop or coffee place and just relax for an hour or so, and let your stress subside.
An article featured in Psychology Today called, “Stress: It’s Worse Than You Think,” said that, “Psychological stress doesn't just put your head in a vice. New studies document exactly how it tears away at every body system—including your brain. But get this: The experience of stress in the past magnifies your reactivity to stress in the future. So take a nice deep breath and find a stress-stopping routine this instant.” Even psychiatrists and therapists know how detrimental stress can be not only to your emotional health, but also your physical health, so it is imperative that everyone finds a few little things of their own to alleviate their stress during the work week and on the busy weekends.
Too much stress can have fatal effects, so it’s important for busy mom’s, and working women especially to have five or so little techniques for coping with and alleviating stress tucked away in their purses so that during that stressful moment, you aren’t stressing too much, because you know you have more than a few ways to make the day bright again.
Nicole Sobel is a freelance writer and blogger focused mainly on lifestyle, health and travel. Her passion for writing stems from two loves: the value of words themselves and their ability to touch people all over the world, and the ability for words to shed light where enlightenment is needed. She is a Western Mass native and has an eBook on Israel coming out in 2012.