We are all guilty of this: Stress. Spring is a good time to seek mental clarity and rejuvenation. We often think of spring cleaning as a time to get rid of clutter and unwanted items which have accumulated over the winter months. We can do the same with our mental health. This clutter accumulates everyday. Spring is a good reminder to start clearing the clutter. If we don’t get a good grip and clear out our stress, it can take control of our lives. Stress can fill our lives with anxiety, depression, sleep problems, bowel problems, irritability, anger, worry, strained relationships, poor health, exhaustion and overall dissatisfaction with life. Sounds like a long, ugly list right? Most have experienced at least one or more of the above symptoms when dealing with stress.
De-stressing is easier said than done. To clear out our stress, we have to first understand the source of our stress/stresses. Once sources are identified, we can work towards regaining control which in turn will lead to a happier, healthier you. The next thing which will be helpful in reducing stress is limiting negative thinking and learning to identify and stop negative thoughts as soon as one crosses our mind. It is all about mind and body balance. If you encounter a negative or stressful situation during your day, the first thing to do after this happens is take a few moments to process. Breathe. Once you’re in a position to think clearly, process what just happened and decide how you feel about it. If it’s something that has bothered you immensely, make a decision to take control of that feeling ( and thought) and tell yourself it is not going to ruin your day. Again, easier said than done but with a little practice you will get better at it. If the stressful thought keeps entering your mind, is persistent and continues to upset you, another option is to distract yourself. Call a friend/family/co-worker/partner and vent. Choose wisely here so you don’t end up feeling worse than you did at the start of the phone call. Another option is get some physical exercise for stress relief, eat a healthy meal and try and have an early bedtime. Seek joy. The more actively you seek joy, the more your life will be filled with positive energy and good things. Positive thinking is a skill. The more you practice, the better you will become at it. Eventually, it becomes part of your life. Until you experience this positive change, you wont fully realize how stress and negative thinking has been cluttering and burdening your life. You will not want to go back. Seek balance. Balance will create harmony in your body and mind. This is a struggle many of us face as we go on with our busy lives and never-ending to do lists. Again, like positive thinking, practice makes perfect and once we learn to find that balance we never knew we wanted or needed, we will want it to stay.
Often our negative reactions to people and situations are driven by stress. Be aware and be ready to take control so stress does not.