Adopt These 7 Habits To Manage Day-to-Day Stress
In the hectic modern world of today, most people complain about being stressed out! But did you know that stress is just a “fight or flight” response of the body? I am sure you are wondering if the former is true, then what’s the big fuss about stress management?Well! The biggest worry about stress is that it’s astonishingly unrelenting, sometimes even seductive – one can get used to the feeling of being tense and tight. And even though stress in itself isn’t harmful, it can create a physical degradation of the body over time.
The challenge is that most of us keep all our stressful and negative emotions locked up inside of us. We even judge our own emotions and stop ourselves from experiencing them completely. In doing so, we forget that the energy once created cannot be destroyed. It can only be transformed. So all the bottled up emotions eventually show up in our body as psychosomatic diseases. The pain we refuse to deal with emotionally, eventually shows up in the body as physical aches, begging us to “PAY ATTENTION NOW (PAIN)!”
According to research, some common physical manifestations of stress are aches and pains, a constant low energy level or always feeling tired without a good reason. Emotional responses include feeling anxious, angry, depressed or vulnerable. And prolonged feelings of stress means that you are not dealing with stress in an effective way. In fact, most people have unhealthy coping mechanisms of dealing with stress - binge eating, alcohol or smoking, being a workaholic or procrastinating things that need to be done, sleeping too little, too much or both and trying to do too many things at once. Engaging in any of these behaviours indicates that you are not dealing with stress well.
So what’s the solution?
Although positive thinking has its contribution in dealing with stress, unless it’s supported by practical wisdom, it is likely to get overpowered. Therefore, the most effective way to reduce the amount of stress in your daily life is to establish fun habits that relieve tension and completely change your emotional state.
Here are seven easy, practical and enjoyable habits that can help you manage day-to-day stress. Try these out and pick your favourite one. You would be able to repeat your favourite one, week after week.
Habit #1 – Listen to Music Exclusively, At Least For 15 Minutes
Habit #2 – Get a Massage
Habit #3 – Take A Relaxing Bath
Habit #4 – Play A Mentally Stimulating Game
These are all games that engage the brain and can really “suck” you in. They’ll take you out of whatever is troubling you and get you fully engaged into a task completely unrelated to work, family, relationships or life in general. Getting away from your problems is a great way to reduce stress. Unfortunately, taking a vacation every weekend isn’t feasible. But playing a mentally engaging game for just a few minutes a day, certainly is!
- Habit #5 - Progressive Muscle Relaxation For A Sound Sleep
Here’s how to do it: Start by taking a deep breath in and exhaling. Then pick a muscle in your face, such as your jaw muscles, and tense it as strongly, as you can. Hold it for 10 seconds, then relax your muscles. Move on to another muscle group, such as your eyelids. Repeat the process for the whole head area, then move down your body. Strongly tense your neck, shoulders, triceps, biceps, hands, chest, abs, back, buttocks, thighs, calves, and feet. Move through every muscle group in your body, progressively tensing it and relaxing it. By the end of this process, your whole body will feel like rubber. You’ll likely be feeling only a fraction of the stress you were feeling when you began the process. Do this before you sleep at night, for a peaceful and sound sleep.
- Habit #6 - A Five Minute Stress Meditation
- Habit #7 – Journaling
These are the seven habits you can develop to manage your day-to-day stress. It’s best to pick a few that you can “default” to and use anytime you feel stressed. Try out all seven, then choose the ones you find to be most effective.
Nidhika Bahl is a Celebrity Life Coach, TEDx Speaker, International Bestselling Author, Entrepreneur, and Strategic Interventionist. She is also a Health Council member at Healthhunt.