There is so much to be stressed about, but there’s so many other things I rather fill my mind with today. I understand that stress is a normal response to a state of unbalance. Signs that I look for when my stress is unbalanced are in the areas of cognitive, emotional, physical and behavioral. Our brains may react by experiencing increased forgetfulness, poor concentration, increased worrying, poor judgement and seeing only the negative. The emotional aspect of stress may present with moodiness, feelings of being overwhelmed, isolation, difficult to relax and increased irritability. Physical signs of stress may include aches & pains, nausea, easily catches colds, decreased sex drive and increased heart rate. Behavioral signs may appear in the form of less/more eating, too much/too little sleep, isolation, neglecting responsibilities and using alcohol, drugs and cigarettes to relax. These various symptoms if not addressed can lead to increased mental health concerns as the majority of these symptoms parallel with depression and anxiety. In efforts to increase mental wellness and prevent further stress, make an active effort to reduce stress today to improve overall mental health. These are the ten things I chose to use today to support my mission towards eliminating stress:
- I will participate in some form of meditation or relaxation (4-square breathing, progressive relaxation, visualization and/or stretching)
- I will eat balanced meal (at least 5 servings of fruits, veggies and 8 glasses of water)
- I review how I typically think about stress. Explore my “what ifs”? catastrophic thoughts? discounting the positives?
- I will take a break when I need one (I will leave the office for lunch).
- I will manage my time by planning my day so that it doesn’t run me.
- I will take about my troubles with close friend and end the conversation with a positive story.
- I will live a balanced life today. After work, I will make time for my hobby, me-time, a social event or watch a movie with the family.
- I will develop a realistic goal and break it up into smaller realistic goals and then break them up into even smaller realistic goals.
- I will evaluate possible future stress and identify what can I do to reduce it.
- I will ask for help. I will get in touch with my therapist if I’m having difficulties getting through my STRESS-FREE day.
Feel Free to use these ten ways to have a STRESS FREE day. Note: Please do not feel disappointed if your day is not completely stress-free by using these tips, if you reduced one of your signs or decreased your symptoms of stress, you have made strides. Let’s Celebrate our progress!!!
Balancing the Stress,
Shayla Peterson, LCSW