Let’s talk about taking it easy. In life there will always be times that we feel we are not at our best, falling behind, have too much on our plates, etc. No matter how prepared we are for what life throws at us or stable we are feeling, problems will arise-that’s a fact.
The most important thing we can do during these times is to recognize that problems occur that are not always within our control. What is within our control is how we allow these situations to affect us. Struggling with the need to hold yourself to high standards all the time can be tiresome and lead to a decline in overall physical health as well as emotional. When we engage our “fight or flight” response, our bodies go into defense mode until the source of the stress has been resolved. So, it can be detrimental to constantly put our bodies in a state of stress performance and in some cases lead to some of the symptoms listed below.
- Muscle Pain
- High Blood Pressure
- Weight Gain/Lose
- Difficulty Concentrating
- Sleep Disturbances
Individuals who experience constantly elevated levels of stress are more likely to be diagnosed with ulcers, cardiac disease, diabetes- just to name a few. It is stressful to experience stress, truly! The good news is that we have the means necessary to reduce the amount we experience.
We have many different methods of reducing stress if we know where to look. We start by checking in with ourselves to identify the source of our stress and begin using some of the techniques below.
BREATHE! Give yourself a minute to just breathe. Taking slow and deliberate breaths can not only help to reduce your heartbeat and focus, but it helps to expel the negative carbon dioxide leftover when we exhale. Our bodies need to get rid of the carbon dioxide to bring in the life sustaining oxygen to keep our bodies and brains running at full speed.
Take it one step at a time. There will be times when you must assess what is of the upmost importance to complete today versus, what can move to a future date. Give yourself space to remember that you control your life, so choose what is important, inspires and recharges your batteries. What offers you the ability to choose rest over stress!
Replace ‘should’ with ‘could’. The word ‘should’ leads us to believe that what we do is never enough. It causes us to live by that perfectionist mindset that does not allow space for our own needs. Replacing ‘should’ with ‘could’ allows you to feel you have a choice in what you do and can help to reduce even the stress of stressful things.
Treat Yo-self! Practice setting boundaries and establishing a safe space to feel your emotions, identify your stressors and implement self care techniques. Self care can be as simple as taking a break from social media, taking a hot shower/bath, eating your favorite meal, taking time to simply be with yourself in the quiet. It doesn’t mean you have to go out and spend money on things or activities, it means focusing on what brings you peace and recharges you.
So, the next time you find yourself stressing out, remember you are in control. Take a second to breathe and practice these tips to reduce your stress and remember to Go Easy On Yourself!