We all have a friend who worries about everything and anything, a friend who over thinks each situation, a friend who complains about general life. A friend that have a little raincloud above their head. Or could this ‘friend’ be you? 🌧
We are all such lucky human beings living on an extraordinary planet. But with privileges, comes problems. Social media causing self-consciousness. Filters causing insecurity. Money causing greed. Higher education causing high expectations and pressure. Relationships causing heartbreak (sometimes). We’ve developed a culture of problems. So no wonder we have a little moan now and again!!
When you focus on, talk about, and stand in the negative, you get more negative. Suffering only happens when we’re focused on ourselves. And man, we’re a self-focused nation.
Every single individual experiences situations differently. Each situation, event, conversation, means something different to all those involved, and also to those not involved. We give different meanings, according to our belief systems, and how we are affected by the event.
The familiar images of two straight lines (of equal length) and a candlestick or wine glass (or two faces) show us that things are often not as they first seem, and there’s almost always a different perspective. We also all deal with what life throws our way in our own individual way.
Everyone feels stressed sometimes. In fact, 62 percent of Britons are concerned about the level of stress on their daily lives. Sooooo, I’ve come up with a list of my best ways to decrease stress levels (in the next 5 minutes and long term):
• Recall happy memories –
Studies show that thinking about happy times boosts serotonin levels in your brain. Try visualizing a joyful time in detail or even writing it down.
• Mindful breathing –
This exercise can be done standing up or sitting down, and pretty much anywhere at any time (This is what makes it so good). All you have to do is be still and focus on your breath for just one minute.
Start by breathing in and out slowly for approximately 6 seconds. Let go of your thoughts for a minute. Let go of things you have to do later today or pending projects that need your attention. Simply let yourself be still for one minute.
• Listen to meditation music-
I do this during stressful exam revision. Yes, it helps me focus whilst I study but I also listen to it for a few hours afterwards. It makes me feel so calm and I forget about any anxiety I may have felt.
• Remind myself not to worry-
Worry is essentially a control issue. It’s trying to control the uncontrollable. We can’t control the economy, so we worry about the economy. We can’t control our children, so we worry about our children. We can’t control the future, so we worry about the future. But worry never solves anything! It’s stewing without doing.
• Forgive whoever isn’t sorry –
Every single one of us has experienced pain from a situation where someone has hurt us and you don’t get the apology you feel you need. Holding grudges is such a tiresome task, it is a lonely experience and it only just makes you angry.
I once had a boyfriend who left me for another woman.The fact that he willingly broke my heart was a tough pill to swallow, but swallow it I must. It was heart breaking but help was there. I was one of those people who would forgive anyone, for anything. I was always giving second chances. I was happy doing this, and then one day, I had to forgive someone who wasn’t sorry. I had to, because I couldn’t be happy otherwise.
Talk therapy helped me! Talk therapy involves discussing your problems and how you feel with a trained therapist. Your therapist can help you detect patterns of thought or behaviour that contribute to your mood.
Just remember you will heal. The person who hurt you will eventually just be a distant memory.
• Exercise –
That post-exercise endorphin rush is one way to sharply cut stress. You don’t need to do a hard-core workout to feel these happy effects. Simply walking on an incline with my headphones in makes me forget all my worries and I can zone out for a while. It costs nothing so you can’t go wrong 🙂
You feel better, you’ll look better. It’s a win win situation!
• Go for coffee-
Go for a coffee in your favourite coffee shop, even on your own. People watching is my favourite! It gets you out the house which is a bonus and you’re bound to have a smile with coffee and cake in front of you right?!
• Write it out-
Keeping a journal may be one way to effectively relieve stress-related symptoms due to its meditative and reflective effects. There’s nothing I love more than jotting down my ideas and bullet pointing my thoughts.
Write down what’s on your mind then afterwards rip it up. Once it’s in the bin you have to forget about the problem. Kind of like a ritual!
• Take a bath and turn your mobile off –
Buy your favourite smelling bubble bath (coconut is my personal favourite) light some candles and run a super-hot bath. Close your eyes and remind yourself what you love about your life!
•Have a cry –
Crying is a natural way to reduce emotional stress. After a good cry, I always feel cleansed, like my heart and mind just rubbed each other’s backs in a warm bath. So go on People! Let it out.
Live that beautiful life and people will want to know what you have that they don’t. Get out there and find your happy!