Worrying about a thing never affected the thing you were actually worried about. In fact, the stress we bring to our own day-to-day worries only compounds the problem (not to mention our health). By adding heated emotions, we cloud our ability to find a solution. The stress only keeps us further away from the power of a clear mind, a mind that may actually be able to do some creative thinking around the problem at hand. So stop stressing! Easier said than done, right?
It seems that everywhere we look these days there is something in the world to stress out about. We may find ourselves feeling victimized by the world’s current events, or the worries and fears of our day, but the one thing we can actually regulate — and still control — is how we choose to relate to the problems.We just need the right tools!
Here are five simple ways to help cultivate more stress-free days.
1.Meditate, Meditate, Mediate
Meditating at the beginning of the day is powerful emotional priming. It’s a way to tune your mind into a peaceful state so it has more “fitness'” for the challenges that come. Upon waking, sit up in bed and close your eyes. You can focus on your breath or simply breathe and watch “the movie of your mind.” People get discouraged because they get “too anxious” or feel like “it’s not working,” but simply accepting whatever comes up during this 15-minute period is what mediating is. This practice will revolutionize your ability to handle stress, and help you to make clear decisions about how to better navigate these moments.
2. 4-7-8 Breathing.
If you’re still feeling resistant to a meditation practice, this is the quickest way to relax on-the-go. If you’re feeling stressed or having an emotionally reactive feeling, try this simple technique: Sit in your chair or on the floor with your back straight. Breathe in for a count of 4, hold your breath for a count of 7, then exhale for a count of 8. Repeat this for five minutes.
3. Purge Your Negative Thinking
Take out all of those hard feelings on… a piece of paper, please. The best punching bag for a hard moment can often be as simple as a quick writing session. Yes, it may sound like the last thing you want to do, but it works! Often, our worst nightmares and biggest fears look a whole lot less threatening when we put them into words. Sometimes the only way to move past a hard moment, is directly through it. Write your heart out!
4. Take A Walk
One of the biggest factors of emotional overwhelm is our microscopic (obsessive) thinking. Most of us spend our days working in a small cubicle, or staring into a tiny computer screening. This kind of isolation can increase our ability to obsess over our concerns. A quick walk through the good ol’ great outdoors will quickly remind us that there is a big bright world out there beyond all that head noise. A 2o-minute walk will energize your day and revolutionize your life.
5. Find A Way To See The Funny Side
Laughter is one of the biggest de-stressors, and it’s actually proven to increase health and longevity. Find ways to let the funny vibes in. Listen to a podcast that makes you laugh while driving to work, or watch a quick clip of your favorite stand-up comedy act when you have a break. Life is hard, but it doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be funny.