When life feels overwhelming, it’s hard to find ways to deal with the stress
These days, most of us are dealing with stress in our lives. So much to get done in too little time, so many people demanding your attention, so many things to remember.
If you feel like you’re drowning under the pressures of life, you’re not alone. Most of us have been there at one point or another, and there are a few things you can do to stay in control.
Here are six tips for staying grounded when life feels overwhelming.
1. Take a deep breath
It’s more than an expression – deep breathing is a quick and effective stress relief method.
Breathing deeply triggers a relaxation response in your body that helps decrease the physiological symptoms of stress. You know the ones – heart racing, muscle tension, skyrocketing blood pressure.
So, whether you’re stuck in traffic, having an argument with your partner, or frazzled by a stressful presentation at work, take a moment to take a few deep breaths.
Make sure to breathe from the diaphragm, taking long, slow breaths from your abdomen. The most effective relaxation breathing is done when you’re sitting or standing, and you’re able to focus for ten full breaths.
Experiment with deep breathing and see how it can help you when you need to calm your racing thoughts.
2. Learn how to say “no”
It’s always good to have well-defined boundaries, but it’s absolutely essential when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Taking on more than you can reasonably handle will leave you rushing to get things done in time. Know your limits and respect them.
You may feel obligated to always say “yes,” to requests for your time and resources, but the truth is that you shouldn’t agree to more than you have time for. Even if you have a genuine desire to take on that extra work project or help a friend, if you don’t have time to juggle an additional responsibility, you’ll be adding to your stress. Learn to say, “no” to anything that is not a priority.
3. Focus on what’s really important
If you find yourself staring down a mile-long to-do list, consider paring it down to the essentials. It’s important to accept that you cannot do everything all the time.
Take a look at your tasks and decide which is truly important and vital at this point in time. Assess your list to see if there is anything you can delegate to other people.
Is there room for your family to pick up a little slack around the house? Projects your team at work can take responsibility for? Asses where others can help you and then ask for their help. After all, you don’t have to do everything!
4. Don’t hold in your feelings
You may find that in times of high stress, you struggle with resentment toward those around you. When you’re dealing with a lot, communication can be an important part of helping you stay grounded.
It’s good to express what you’re thinking and feeling. Even if you can’t change the situation, it’s helpful to get your feelings off your chest.
Let your family know how you’re feeling. Meet with a friend to commiserate. Have that awkward conversation that you know you need to have at work.
If something is bothering you, be assertive and communicate. You’ll be much better able to deal with stress in your life if other people have a clear understanding of your needs and concerns.
5. Take care of your body
Another thing that can be difficult to maintain when you’re stressed is your physical health. Stress is very damaging to your mind and body, and there are a few things you can do to lessen the impact.
Even though exercise is probably the last thing you want to do, try to stay on track with your workouts. You don’t have to be fitness junkie or spend hours in the gym – a quick 30-minute workout can boost your mood and distract you from your stress.
Avoid lots of processed or sugar and junk food. Limit nicotine, caffeine, and excessive alcohol. Feed your body with nutrient-dense foods and drink lots of water. This will help you stay energized and keep your mind clear.
6. Practice gratitude
Finally, do your best to cultivate an attitude of gratefulness. Even if you think there’s nothing very great about your current situation, there’s always a silver lining to be found.
Take a moment at the end of each day to jot down one or two things that you’re thankful for. This can help you stay in perspective and keep a positive outlook.
If you would like to learn how to become unstoppable like Gigi and find out how to get beyond your limits and fears to really start living with fulfillment, contact her today.