What exactly are the worst things we often do when stressed? First, we may make irrational decisions. Multiple studies have shown that, when under stress, people typically don’t make good choices. When your mind is preoccupied, you don’t take the time to fully evaluate a question or decision and instead make a rash choice.
Another common mistake is to do the opposite – instead of making a decision, we procrastinate. Sometimes when we get overwhelmed, we try to ignore the problem and hope it will disappear or solve itself. However, delaying the problem just means we’ll stay stressed longer and have something dwelling over our heads.
And lastly, stress often causes us to ruminate over every detail and lose sleep. When our minds are spinning, we can’t fall asleep. We may watch television late into the night or lay in bed, wide awake and dwelling over the problem. This only makes the stress worse. When we’re tired, we’re more emotional and the stress will only get worse.
While “stop being stressed” is easier said than done, there are tried and true ways to help you de-stress.
It may sound silly, but taking a deep breath can do wonders for several reasons. First, it forces you to slow down and calm your mind. Second, it can actually release endorphins and make you feel more relaxed and happier. You don’t have to take a meditation or yoga class to master the art; just start by breathing in slowly for four seconds and breathing out for four seconds.
Smell Lavender or Citrus
When you’re feeling stressed, take a whiff of lavender or find an orange or lemon to peel. Aromatherapy is known to help reduce stress and, while you likely don’t have essential oils always on hand, you may be able to find lavender or citrus fruits. Lavender is a great way to help you calm down (and is great to smell before going to sleep). Citrus is another soothing scent. If you often get stressed at work, keep a lavender scented candle or hand lotion at your desk or keep a stock of oranges at home.
Listen to Your Favorite Song
Whether it’s classical, hip-hop, or country, listening to your favorite song is a great way to relieve some stress.
When you’re feeling stressed, close your eyes and think of a soothing scene. It may be a beach, your favorite holiday spot, an empty field, or your very own backyard. Whatever or wherever the scene, the key element is to visualize an appealing location (real or fictitious) that is quiet and soothing. Try to hear the waves crashing, the birds chirping, or the wind blowing. Just spending a few moments visualizing peace can actually help you feel more at peace.
Stress is inevitable, but there are ways to handle and reduce the anxiety that comes with it. Like this article if you plan to use these tips the next time you’re feeling stressed!