Have you ever thought to yourself, “I’m so stressed out!” Maybe you even feel that way right now. Stress is a warning sign that something isn’t right. And while it can be unpleasant to experience, it’s helped us survive through generations of dangers. Still, if you notice there are no active threats in your environment, stress isn’t helpful and may cause more problems than necessary. In this article, we’re going to share how to stop stress in it’s tracks when you feel stressed out.
I’m So Stressed Out: 13 Ways to Stop Stress
1. Practice meditation
Guided meditation is a great way to manage feeling stressed out. There are numerous types of meditations you can practice that’ll help you stop feeling so stressed out. You can practice a meditation for anxiety if you struggle with feelings of anxiousness. You can do a body scan meditation if you’re trying to find the exact location of the tension in your body. Or a loving kindness meditation if you want to put out more positive energy out there. A meditation for anger can help if your anxiety is causing feelings of rage or frustration. Meditation can help calm the mind and quiet the mental chatter so you can manage your anxiety with a clear mind. That way, you could actually stop stress in its tracks.
2. Practice deep breathing
Shallow breathing is a common reaction to being so stressed out. However, shallow breathing isn’t healthy. It’s a common reaction to feeling anxious, though. When you’re having a panic attack, slowing and deepening your breathing will help you overcome the feeling of anxiety flowing through you. When you’re anxious, you breathe through your chest. However, the normal and healthy way to breathe is from your stomach. So, whenever you feel stressed out, change your breathing by doing deep breathing from the stomach to slow your heart rate down and relax.
3. Exercise more
When feeling stressed out, sometimes it causes us to feel amped up. You might feel like anxiety is coursing through your veins. When this happens, and you notice your fight or flight is activated, it’s best to exercise. After all, your body literally wants you to move by fighting or running away. You could do an online boxing class or go for a run in your neighbourhood to let the stress out. Be mindful of your thoughts during workouts. It’s common for ruminating thoughts to occur, and sometimes people can get stuck in thought loops. If possible, use your time to focus on your movements as you exercise instead of being stuck in your head. Chat with others if that helps you focus on your workout better.
4. Do some self care
There are numerous self care ideas you can try when stressed out. From relaxing in a hot tub to running out your rage, you can find activities to suit your mood and energy levels. There are plenty of relaxing activities, such as meditation, reading, gratitude, or prayer you can do when feeling tired or mentally drained. However, sometimes our stress makes us more amped up, and so doing activities like dancing, running, weight lifting, or social activities helps us feel more relaxed. Think about what kind of energy you have and considering self care activities for that energy level. It’s not a one size fits all approach. Choose the self care activities that make you feel revived and nourished after a bad day.
5. Delegate tasks
When feeling stressed out, consider delegating some of your tasks. Having someone who can share your workload can help give you more time to invest in your mental health. If you have work stress, delegating some tasks to a coworker can help alleviate some stress. If you’re stressed at home while raising young children, asking for help from family members can help you take a break as needed. There’s always someone out there who’s willing to help you if they know you need support. Find an ally you trust to help you with some of your responsibilities, especially if you feel so stressed out. If you feel like you have too much to do and not enough time to do it all yourself, prioritizing your tasks and delegating some of them will help you complete your to do list without feeling overwhelmed.
6. Turn off your brain
Turning off your brain for a bit can be helpful for those who are stressed out. Often, when feeling stressed out, our minds become very active. It’s common to experience ruminating thoughts that spiral you out of control. Turning off your brain in the evening by scrolling on social media, watching tv, or reading a book can help you unwind. However, this mindlessness can become a bad habit if done too frequently. Some people take a social media detox when they realize how mindless they become on social media. So it’s a balance between finding things that turn off your brain without turning it to mush. You can also turn off your brain by resting when you feel mentally drained.
7. Vent to friends
Being stressed out can make you feel a range of emotions. Sometimes, you just need to let it all out. You can vent to your friends about things that are stressing you out. Remember that your friends aren’t a therapist. When going to them, ask them for comfort instead of solutions. You don’t necessarily want to follow your friend’s advice as some people don’t know the best solution for you, even if well intentioned. Instead, go to your friends for moral support. Tell them you just want a listening ear with no advice. They can be your sounding board to prevent you from ruminating thoughts. But that’s all you should be using your friends for when you’re feeling stressed out. If they offer to help you with some tasks to ease your burden, be grateful and accept it. It’ll make them feel like they’re helping out and you’d do the same for them.
8. Speak with a therapist
Finding a therapist you can trust is helpful for those who are feeling stressed out. Having a professional you can discuss your stress levels with can be a great way to get things off your chest with someone who is impartial. Friends and family might sway your decision. However, typically, a therapist will ask you questions to help you come to your own conclusion about what you should do. It’s not about your therapist giving you the solution to your problem. It’s about helping you frame your situation from a different perspective to help you see the next steps more clearly. Sometimes, even with the best intentions, family and friends don’t provide the support you need to make the best decision for you. A therapist typically won’t cloud your judgment. It’s about making sure you do what’s best for you.
9. Remember stress is temporary
When feeling stressed out, remember that stress is temporary and fixable. Avoid making permanent decisions to temporary problems. You can change many aspects of your life when feeling stressed, such as your job, where you live, your partner, and so on. There’s no need to feel trapped in the life you’re in. It can be hard making big life decisions, especially if you have low self-esteem or struggle with confidence. However, you know deep down how to fix your problems, even if you’re scared of taking that first step. You can fix anything that causes you stress. Whether you take a leave of absence from school or work or switch schools or workplaces is entirely up to you. You’ll know when it’s time for a break and when it’s time to leave. Just don’t question yourself. You’re worthy of good things.
10. Find a new job
It’s easy to tell when your job is causing you to stress out. However, we often punish ourselves by staying longer than we should, especially in toxic environments. We might feel like the pay is good and it’ll be hard to find another job that pays well. However, there are many high-paying jobs with less stress out there. You just need to apply. Making the switch can be just what you need. If you feel like you’re about to have a nervous breakdown or feel depressed, there’s no point in staying in a miserable work environment. Your mental health and well being should be prioritized over any and every job. Jobs can be replaced, you can’t be. Not all work environments are toxic, find a company culture that you easily fit into. You’ll need to ask some tough questions in interviews to examine the culture, read online company reviews, and get insights from people currently working there to determine if it’s a good place for you.
11. Hire a babysitter
If your home life is causing you to feel so stressed out, it may be time to call in some reinforcements. Having a babysitter, a grandparent, or a friend’s parent take care of your kids for a couple hours each week, might be just what you need to get some much needed time for yourself to relax. Raising young children can be stressful, especially if most of the parenting falls on your shoulders. The stress can put a strain on your work relationships, marriage, and mental health. Having a couple of hours each week to unwind, clean, or run errands can be a huge relief for yourself. It can be hard to find someone you trust to take care of your kids. So choose someone responsible and that your children like. You can take turns with other parents of children to help one another find time to themselves as needed.
12. Get some time alone
When feeling stressed out, it’s time to carve out some alone time. Sometimes, you just need to recharge those batteries and get some time to yourself. You might use your spare time to play video games, watch movies or shows, scroll through social media, or read a book. Whatever helps you improve your mental health, take a break, and relax is what you should consider doing when alone. Do activities you enjoy. Whether it’s taking some time to paint, workout, or sleep. There are countless activities you can do when stressed out that’ll help you de-stress. Sometimes being alone to heal is just what you need to feel ready to tackle your problems again. Not being influenced by the opinions of others will allow you to make the best decision for yourself.
13. Practice self-compassion
When feeling stressed out, it’s time to practice some self-compassion. Often, when stressed out, we treat ourselves poorly. We beat ourselves up, fill up our mind with negative thoughts, and spiral. Be kind to yourself. You can try some self compassion exercises, such as loving kindness meditation, positive affirmations, or practicing gratitude. Replacing negative thoughts with positive thoughts can also be helpful at transforming your attitude when stressed out. The world can be harsh and cold. There’s no need to treat yourself that way too. Fill yourself with kindness and find joy in yourself when there’s chaos around you. You can’t change what happens to you, but you can control how you react to it.
Feeling stressed out every now and then is normal. However, if your stress levels rise for a long period of time, it’s time to stop them in their tracks. Meditation, self-compassion, and making tweaks to your environment can help you reduce stress to make this temporary chaos go away. Remember that reducing stress is possible and it’s a fixable problem. Looking for solutions that’ll help eliminate your stress will be crucial so you can live comfortably and as stress-free as possible.