Stress accumulates, growing as you encounter everyday problems. Your angst expands when your alarm fails to go off in the morning or your boss is cranky at the office. Here’s how to release anxiety despite the setbacks you meet and stop it building.
Pause to breathe
Have you noticed stressed people panic? Challenges trigger their behavior, but the way they respond increases their burden. When you panic because your plans go awry, you can’t think straight. You stay in fight or flight longer than necessary as your behavior signals you’re in danger. Then, you produce stress chemicals.
Take deep slow breaths and you’ll gain the time to take stock. As a result, handling situations will be easier and stress won’t build. Follow your breath and have a short break when the potential to worsen anxiety strikes. You’ll stay balanced and clear-headed.
Find the silver-lining in problems
Yes, the photocopier’s on the blink again, and you’ve missed your appointment at the hairdresser, but look on the bright side. Maybe you can enjoy an extra cup of java while you wait for the maintenance guy to fix the office copier. Plus, you won’t have to go through the rush-hour traffic to get to the salon today.
There’s always a silver lining in each experience. Sometimes, you learn how not to do something. At others, you gain unexpected bonuses. Seek the advantages offered by unwanted events and focus on them. Your positive mindset will reduce stress.
Eat good mood food
Some foods make you lethargic and irritable while different ones give you a mental and physical lift. Processed foods offer little in the way of nutrition, and although you may get an initial high after eating them, a low soon follows. High-energy snacks like whole-grain crackers and peanut butter, dried nuts and fruit, or a banana will help you fight flagging energy and stress.
Boost confidence with a power pose
When you lack poise, little problems fester. You don’t think you can handle setbacks or cope with challenges, and insecurity creeps into your head. However, studies show striking a power pose can generate the confidence you need.
Remember how Batman and Spiderman stand with their hands on their hips, legs apart, and faces pointed straight ahead? Copy them and assume a similar stance. Stay in your power pose for a few minutes, and you’ll feel you can conquer the world, or, at least deal with your prickly customer and a full in-tray.
Record aspects of your day for which you’re grateful. Write each blessing on a post-it note and put it somewhere prominent. For instance, if a stranger smiles at you, a friend calls to brighten your day, or a client praises your work, mark the event and recall it now and then. Your mind will be set to pay attention to blessings rather than problems.
You meet plenty of opportunities to encounter stress throughout the day. Be mindful of the way you handle them, though, and develop a calm attitude, and everyday challenges won’t worry you.