So I was supposed to upload a blog post last week but that didn’t work out as I had the most stressful week of my life. Nope, not an over exaggeration. I ended up watching two whole seasons of Jane The Virgin in five days, just to forget what was going on in my life. Yeah, I know. But, as easy – and great – as it was to just binge watch Netflix in my PJs, it didn’t really help me feel any better or less stressed.
Being told to “calm down” or “don’t worry about it”, definitely did not help. I won’t lie, I usually find myself snowballing when it comes to dealing with stress. I overthink to the point of imagining the absolute worst which makes the situation a hell of a lot worse.
So what should we do when we feel stressed? There’s no right or wrong answer here, but there are some things that we can all do to help us feel better and hopefully prevent a total meltdown.
Inhala… exhala… I told you I’ve been watching too much of Jane the Virgin. But focusing on your breathing whenever you’re feeling super stressed/worried about something is incredibly helpful. During the past week, I made an active effort to go out for a walk – whenever I could – to just clear my mind and to practice some deep breathing.
Don’t underestimate this piece of advice at all; it didn’t make me feel instantly happy, but it definitely made me feel more in control of my thoughts, which were seriously spiralling out of control. According to UOM Health, deep breathing is one of the best ways to lower stress in the body. This is because stress has a very physical impact on your body (increased heart rate, fast breathing, etc.) and breathing deeply can help mitigate these effects.
So next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, just remember to take a couple of deep breaths and tell yourself that you are in control of the situation. The best part is, this can be done absolutely anywhere. At home, at work, at school, in your car – the limit does not exist.
‘IT’S ONLY TEMPORARY’ RULE
Repeating to myself ‘it’s only temporary’ over and over again is my mantra whenever I’m feeling super stressed about something. I like to remind myself that whatever I am going through, will not be permanent, and I shouldn’t let it take over my life. During the lowest points last week – the most stressful week of my life – I would just tell my self ‘it’s won’t be forever’ and it really did help, even if it was only 15%, it was better than nothing.
If you’re going through a rough time or are feeling overwhelmed, I just want to remind you: it’s only temporary. These are some powerful words for whenever you’re feeling like there’s rock bottom, then 50 feet of crap and then you (major props if you got the reference, we can totally be BFFs).
SHARING REALLY IS CARING
Some people when they’re stressed, lock themselves away from the outside world and minimise all contact… but me? I’m a talker. I feel like if I could just talk and talk about my problems, maybe they’ll just go away – if only ey? But even though this may not be possible, I do feel a lot better when I share my problems, just like Jane! Okay, I seriously need to start watching something else.
But seriously, it’s so healthy and refreshing to be able to talk to someone about what’s bothering you. Which is why it’s so important to surround yourself with people you know you can rely on. It took me a long – long long long – time to realise that some “friends” just want me around to make themselves feel better about their own lives. And as difficult as it was to break-up with toxic friends, I feel so much better knowing that I can 100% rely on every single person in my life when it comes to sharing my problems.
If you don’t really like talking to anyone about your thoughts and feelings – even after your morning coffee – then write them down on paper and then throw them away, literally. It sounds silly, but trust me, it works! The act of physically throwing your problems away = mentally discarding the thoughts as well.
We’re all going to go through some stressful periods at some point in life – sad but true – but rather than letting those moments take over, we should instead take control. Next time you’re feeling stressed, overwhelmed or worried, try and take some time to focus. Also, stress speeds up the ageing process, and we don’t want that, right?