Today is national stress awareness day, yo. And I know just what you’re thinking: How DOES a hard-working mofo such as myself go about diminishing the detrimental emotional and physical effects of stress?
Well, allow me to help you and all the other boss-ass-ladies-and-gentlemen who read my blog. I offer, for your educational and entertainment value, 15 scientifically proven ways to make stress your biatch:
1) Acknowledge how powerless and meaningless your stress is. Tell your stress, “You have 7 minutes to give me the worst you can give me.” Catastrophize, worry, pull your hair out. Then, after the time is up, notice with relief how you are still standing and the stress does not in fact have any tangible power over your life. Here’s why.
2) Put a fence around your stress (figuratively). Ask yourself what SPECIFICALLY worries you, bottom line, without adding anything to it. Read this to know why this works.
3) Empower yourself to accept how you feel and make direct requests to meet your needs. People who stifle their feelings and needs are more stressed than people who advocate for themselves assertively.
4) Get present with the moment. Notice 3 things in your environment that you can hear, smell, and feel. Check this out.
5) Remind yourself that stress is adaptive, often helpful, and consistent with species survival (This mindset ironically reduces subjective distress.).
6) Seek solutions. If conquering your stress is way too overwhelming, break it into small goals and reward yourself (with a show, a treat, etc) after you complete each task. Read this.
7) Put it in perspective: ask yourself: Is this really important in the big picture? Will this matter in five years? Read this.
8) Give yourself credit. You may tell yourself “I CAN’T handle this.” But that is rarely, if ever, true. Instead. Tell yourself you CAN do it. Read this.
9) Call on your resources and supports to face the distress, vent, distract yourself, and/or problem-solve. A friend/therapist can help make the seamingly insurmountable a little more managable. Read this.
10) Be kind to yourself. Show yourself compassion/understanding and give yourself credit for tiny victories. Read this.
11) Stop with the comparing and self-judgement.Intentionally shift focus to positivity and gratitude. Read this.
12) Exercise is a natural way to minimize subjective distress. Even if it’s just a walk around the block. (Or a Missy Elliott routine.)
13) Mindfully observe your stress with detachment. Describe it and notice it without giving it any power or meaning. Check this out.
14) Get out in nature. Being outdoors has measurable positive effects on well-being and is known to reduce stress.
15) Listen to music. Wanna feel more calm and content? Music is known to alter feelings and arousal state.
And that, fine folks who read this sometimes-strange-yet-always-helpful blog, is how you conquer stress. As told by someone who has an emotionally-heavy job, and who also didn’t need a research study to tell her that a whole bunch of silliness and a little bit of 90’s rap never hurt the stress situation either.
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