Yesterday, I got the shock of my life when a woman suddenly stood in front of me as I waited in line inside my favorite coffee shop. The woman was in her mid-40s and apparently was a top business executive. For the life of me, I could not understand why she had the gall to cut in line. I felt my blood rush to my head and my heart thumping so loud — this time, because of anger. For me, it was another moment of anxiety in an already stressed out week. The good thing about the incident was that I was able to maintain my composure and did not allow Ms. No Manners to get to me. I just calmed myself and decided not to make a big deal out of it. After all, that woman may be just like me — a stressed-out career woman.
Like that career woman, all human beings are wired to feel various emotions whenever they encounter tense situations. A flood of stress hormones course through the bloodstream and trigger a rise in blood pressure and heart rate. The release of stress hormones also cause the intestinal muscles to contract. In fact, stress and anxiety accounts for millions of dollars spent for psychiatric care and counseling.
But you can fool your brain into thinking that your are in control and somehow decrease the stress response.
The most effective ways to control stress include the following:
ｷ Laugh till you drop!
Laughter is still the best medicine. People with stress should try to laugh more and maintain their sense of humor.
ｷ Breathe and do some meditation
Take slow, deep breaths especially when you are in a situation like being caught in traffic or when you are in a stressful situation in the office. To meditate, find a quiet place and sit comfortably. Close your eyes and focus on clearing your thoughts and removing worries. You can also try to imagine being in the middle of a beautiful garden while having positive thoughts.
ｷ The Write Stuff
Writing is a good therapy which allows you to literally scribble away your fears and apprehensions. By keeping a journal or a diary, you can record your negative thoughts and use the pages of your diary to reflect on your situation.
Inhaling, sniffing, or just smelling essential oils can be a stress relief method. Known as aromatherapy, the specific scents are used to induce feelings of relaxation or calmness. Lavender oil, chamomile, eucalyptus, tea tree,citrus are just one of the scents used to promote calmness and serenity.
ｷ Have a Pet
Having a pet is another effective means of stress relief. Many people choose to have a dog or a cat to keep them company. Based on research, pets help people feel more comfortable and a bit happier.
Stress management can be very simple to undertake. It can be as simple as getting a pet or breathing slowly. Stress and anxiety need not cause you to spend money on psychotherapy or anti-anxiety pills.