How to Change Your Mindset & Cope With Stress
April is Stress Awareness Month! While stress can be unavoidable, learning how to manage and prevent stress can be a helpful contribution to living a healthy, happy life.
Stress isn’t always a bad thing – it prepares our bodies to react physically and mentally to situations by increasing our energy and focus. However, constant stress and anxiety can lead to a multitude of health issues.
Most of us are familiar with the common symptoms of stress; frustration, sadness, difficulty concentrating, headaches, stomach problems, and back pains. However, not only can stress cause immediate bodily and brain reactions, but stress can also have long-term effects on the body. Long-term stress can increase your risk for many health problems, including but not limited to, strokes, heart disease, digestive problems, anxiety, depression, and even high blood pressure.
So – what can you do? Some stressful situations cannot be changed! There will always be some level of stress in our lives. But with some mindset shifts and coping strategies, you will be well-prepared to deal with stressful situations that may arise.
Changing your mindset on stressful situations can be a great place to start.
- Focus only on what you can control, let go of what you can’t.
- Try to cope with situations that you cannot change and minimize anxiety in these cases.
- Gain a sense of control by taking control of your reactions.
- Develop a mantra that makes you feel calm and in control, which you can use in stressful situations.
Furthermore, it’s vital to develop coping strategies for when stress inevitably does arrive. Here are some ideas on how to cope with stress daily.
- Exercise regularly: moving your body can increase endorphins and lower feelings of stress.
- Practice self-care: whatever that means for you, do it! Maybe it’s carving out time to practice a hobby or getting a massage.
- Get plenty of sleep.
- Practice abdominal breathing: place one hand on your chest and the other on your abdomen. Inhale slowly and deeply through your nose. Keep your shoulders relaxed. Your abdomen should expand, and your chest should rise very little. Exhale slowly through your mouth. Repeat!
- Think positive thoughts: many of us are quick to be critical of ourselves when a stressful situation arrives. Remind yourself that you’re doing your best!
- Eat healthy: lots of fruits and veggies are ideal! Food is fuel, fuel your body correctly.
- Journal: write out your feelings and practice gratitude.
- Practice relaxation techniques: yoga and meditation are great examples.
- Use aromatherapy: essential oils are proven to boost the health of the body, mind, and spirit. Some calming scents include lavender, rose, bergamot, and geranium.
- Smile: Laughing and smiling is shown to reduce stress. Fuel yourself with something that makes you laugh!
- Consider sharing your feelings with a counselor or therapist.
- Accept help from others to lessen your load.
- Talk to your doctor if you continue having difficulty coping with stress.
We hope you’ll find more peace of mind and an improved quality of life with these strategies implemented.