Do you ever have times where your heart always seems to be pounding, you’re anxious, can’t sleep and the littlest things seem to set you off?
Are you ever amazed how some people always seem to stay composed during trying situations that would make mere mortals fall apart?
Accepted wisdom says that the ability to remain calm is a character trait that most of us lack, but recent studies have revealed that staying calm under pressure isn’t a trait you are born with, but a skill that anyone can learn. n this post we will share 12 ways to relieve stress.
First we must understand what why it is important to remain calm in stressful situations.
In many cases stressful situations may cause fight-or-flight response (also known as fight, flight, freeze, or fawn response, hyperarousal, or the acute stress response) is a physiological reaction that occurs in response to a perceived harmful event, attack, or threat to survival.
This can have a negative effect of the stress response in humans.
The stress response temporarily suppresses various human processes such as your sex drive and digestive systems. This is in an effort to focus on the stressor situation. While the fight or flight response is an adaptive reaction, prolonged increases in stress can cause a variety of negative physiological and psychological effects, including:
- Muscle tension and pain
- Chest pain
- Changes insex drive
- Upset stomach
- Problems with sleeping
- Urinary problems
- Lack of motivation or focus
- Irritability or anger
- Overeating or undereating
- Drug or alcohol abuse
- Social withdrawal
So how can we learn to remain calm?
Follow the next steps
1. Slow your breathing.
Begin by breathing slowly and deeply and count from 1 to 10 as you inhale, then count from 1 to 10 as you exhale. Repeat this breathing pattern until you feel comfortable with it.
These deep breaths bring more oxygen into your lungs and thence into your bloodstream, which is the exact opposite effect of the fight or flight reaction. You’re telling your body and brain that it’s no longer necessary to increase the intensity of your fight-or-flight reaction.
2.Re-label your emotions.
In this step, you eliminate the emotional impulse that created the fight-or-flight response.
Here is a sample list of emotions that have been assigned labels that are positive rather than negative.
- Fear → Anticipation
- Frustration → Desire
- Worry → Concern
- Dread → Caution
- Flustered → xcited
- Alarmed → Curious
- Pressured → Courted
If you are feeling other emotions, do the same.
Reflect on your feelings and labeling them so you can free up energy allowing you to think more clearly about the issue at hand, instead of worrying.”
3. Identify the cause of your stress
Try to figure out what’s really bothering you.
Sitting around worrying is a good way to procrastinate. Getting stressed is not going to resolve the situation, but delaying will prolong or compound the stress.
Confronting your stress head-on is a way to shake off a bad situation that you cannot or should not dismiss. If you can, change the outcome of a situation that is important to you. It is the quickest way to overcome that fear or to empower yourself is to take action as quickly as possible. Once you’ve resolved the underlying problem, you can shake off the stress because it no longer matters.
And if you are helpless to change the origin of your stress, you have the ability to decide how you’ll respond to it.
In order to choose your response, ask yourself some questions.
- Does it matter? If it’s all small stuff, think about how long the source of stress will affect you. If not long, let it go.
- Can you control do you have over the situation? If it is something you can control, look for options, if not move on.
- Decide whether the cause of your stress is past, present or future. If the source of stress in the past, you can’t change the past, so let your past troubles fade. You can respond to the present and prepare for the future…
- Priorities and focus on the important things in your life. Your life is important, so don’t let the unimportant things interfere with more important things in your life.
4.Disconnect from the situation
Get away from the cause of the stress. If you can physically escape the stress trigger, do so. Leave the room or pull off the road for a moment.
Get your mind off the stress by thinking about something that makes you happy, such as your kids or spouse (provided they’re not the cause of the current stress), or by concentrating on the things you have planned for the day.
Visualize relaxing things, your happy place, such as a deserted island or a country road. Close your eyes and try to picture even minor details about the imaginary place, and you can put yourself in that situation instead of the one you’re in.
By disconnecting you are giving yourself the opportunity to put things in perspective.
5. They Limit Their Caffeine Intake
Caffeine triggers the release of adrenaline. Adrenaline is the source of the “fight-or-flight” response, a survival mechanism that forces you to stand up and fight or run for the hills when faced with a threat. Thus side-steps rational thinking in favour of a quicker response. Super when chased by a lion, but not so much when dealing with an angry customer.
6. Stop Asking “What If?”
“What if?” statements are like throwing gas on the fire of stress and worry. Things can go in a million different directions, and the more time you spend worrying about the possibilities, the less time you’ll spend focusing on taking action.
7. Overcome Negative Self-Talk
Overcoming negative self-talk in its tracks is a big step in managing stress. The more time you spend on negative thoughts, the more power you give them. Most of our negative or pessimistic thoughts are just that—thoughts, not facts.
So what can be done?
Stop what you’re doing and write down what you’re thinking. Once you’ve taken a moment to slow down the negative or pessimistic momentum of your thoughts, you will be more rational and clear-headed in evaluating their authenticity.
If you use words like “never,” “worst,” “ever,” etc. take them to a friend or colleague you trust and see if he or she agrees with you. Then the truth will surely come out.
Identifying and labeling your thoughts as thoughts by separating them from the facts will help you escape the cycle of negativity and move forward.
8. They Use Their Support System
You might feel that you can do everything by yourself but to be calm and productive, you need to recognize your weaknesses and ask for help when you need it. This means drawing on your support system when you to feel overwhelmed.
Identify individuals in your life who are supportive and seek their insight and assistance when you need it. Something as simple as talking can provide an outlet for your anxiety and stress and supply you with a new perspective.
Quite often, other people can see a solution that you can’t because they are not as emotionally involved in the situation.
Asking for help can ease your stress and strengthen your relationships with those you rely upon.
9. Get exercise
Go for a run, or a walk, do calisthenics, yoga, or lift weights. 10-20 minutes of physical exercise every day can relax you and help clear your mind.
When you sleep, your brain literally refreshes, shuffling through the day’s memories and storing or discarding them (this is the cause of dreams), so that you wake up alert and clear-headed. Your self-control, attention, and memory are all reduced when you don’t get enough—or the right kind—of sleep.
11. Making a Plan
Be Proactive and make a plan.
Sometimes you can resolve a stressful situation right away with one action, but often you’ll need several steps, perhaps over a long period. A complex problem can be overwhelming, so write out a plan with attainable goals and a reasonable time line for reaching those goals. Take one step at a time and focus on one small goal at a time.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
12. Be realistic
If you continue to experience stress because no matter how hard you try you can’t take the steps quickly enough, then you haven’t set realistic goals. In our can-do attitude culture, it can be hard to accept that sometimes you can’t do something, at least not within a specific time frame. If that’s the case, revise your time line or lower your expectations. If you can’t do that, the situation qualifies as one which you can’t control.
Learn from your experience, but let it go.
Everyday stress is a part of life but you don’t have to let it take over your life.
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Until next time, have a fun day.
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