Sometimes, life feels like you’re stuck on a hamster wheel. You constantly move from one task to another. While the feeling is doable in short spurts, the longer it gets, the more significant toll it takes on your daily mindset. Constantly feeling strained isn’t good for your mind or body, so prevent it with the below tips for efficiently dealing with stress.
During times of stress, it sometimes feels like our mind is a broken record reiterating the same thoughts. As you try ignoring these thoughts, they become louder and increase your stress. One way to purge your brain of this is through a stream of consciousness. During this type of journaling, you’ll write thoughts as they come to your mind.
When you finish writing, close the journal and set it aside. You don’t need to read everything you wrote since the stream of consciousness is all about letting go of those intrusive thoughts and getting them out of your mind.
Try Aroma Therapy
Different scents trigger areas of the brain and help you relax. Many spas and wellness centers use eucalyptus or lavender essential oils so that clients feel relaxed right after entering the facility.
Think about the smells you like most or reflect on sentimental aromas that make you happy. There’s an interesting link between scents and nostalgic memories, thanks to the way we store information in our brains. For instance, your parents may have made cookies whenever you felt sad during childhood; as an adult, the smell of sugar and vanilla reminds you of this and puts your mind at ease.
Prioritize Your Needs
If you’re a people pleaser, one reason you may feel stressed is you spread yourself too thin. When you feel overwhelmed, take a step back and make more time for yourself. For example, you may have to turn down an invitation to go to dinner so that you can take a hot bath. Rather than just saying “no,” ask the other individual if a different day works since you feel burnt out.
Do Deep Breathing
Stress comes in ebbs and flows. There may be moments when you suddenly feel overwhelmed but can’t do one of the above coping techniques. This anxiety may result in you taking shallow breaths, which increases stress levels. Deep breathing is a wonderful coping skill that you can do anywhere. Inhale for four seconds through your nose, hold your breath for three seconds, and then exhale through your mouth for six seconds.
During your exhales, the goal is to push all the air out of your lungs. To do this, imagine you need to blow out all the candles on your birthday cake in a single breath.
Talk to Others
The final tip for efficiently dealing with stress is to ask for help. Sometimes, the best thing we do can also feel like the most challenging. Vulnerability is a significant sign of strength and allows you to ask others for coping skills and new ways of thinking. The people you love most are there to help you with whatever support you need.