Stress. Just when you think you have things under control and feel like a queen, something pops up to knock you off your throne. I have a pretty uptight and anxious personality. They call it Type A, but I call it necessary for high achievement. From a distance, it actually looks like I am really good at dealing with stress and don’t let much of anything bother me. Unfortunately, that is not really true. I’m just better at hiding it because I’ve been working for a very long time at absorbing stress like a sponge and burying it so deep that even I can’t really find it. Not healthy at all. Sometimes I don’t even realize I’m stressed out.
When I finally come to the realization that the stress is bubbling up, there are a few things I try to do to let it go. Experts say that the best thing to do is to talk it out. It’s probably true because you can get the things that bother you off your chest and gain perspective by sharing with others who care about you. Unfortunately, I am not programmed this way. So, these are my second-best stress management techniques:
- Pray. Although I find it hard to talk to other people, I will share the things that bother me in prayer. Maybe it’s easier because in prayer you can share your heart and do not have to share words. When I allow it, this never fails to bring me peace.
- Comfort Food. Some people eat when they are stressed. I am not a stress eater and would not recommend eating junk while you are feeling a lot of stress. Junk food will not help your body process stress effectively and will only leave you feeling worse. Try to eat healthy food and drink a lot of water so that your body can efficiently rid itself of the stress.
- Exercise. One of the things I love most about running is how it clears stress out of my body. A good run lets your muscles work the tension out of them. It does the same thing for your mind. When I run, I let my mind wander through issues with the kids, research projects, and plans for the future. Your brain can think about problems in a whole new way when the blood is pumping harder and all of your muscles are moving. It’s okay if you’re not a runner because any exercise will do. Plus, the endorphins are great for stress management.
- Distract your mind. I don’t mean to distract your mind with drugs and alcohol. Read a good book. Listen to music. Play a game. Work on a puzzle. Make a craft. Watch a tv show or movie that makes you really laugh (I like Impractical Jokers). Focusing your attention in a place that does not bring you stress can be incredibly therapeutic.
Adorable animal pictures and funny memes can’t hurt either. What are your tips for dealing with stress?