Stress sucks! And when it shows up, it affects every area of our life.
Have you ever been around someone that has hit their limit? They’re no happy camper. We’ve had our share of bad days from overloaded schedules, the kids constantly fighting with each other, to finding out that a I need root canal! Early on in our marriage, we got really good at using each other as emotional punching bags, which come to think of, is very counter productive. My best friend, my team mate, the one person who has my back, I am absolutely destroying with my tone and choice of words all because I’m stressed out.
Here are ideas on how to soothe the raging beast inside when stress comes:
1. Learn How to Take a Deep Breath
Breathing exercises are incredibly helpful when you feel stressed or anxious and work immediately. Controlled breathing not only keeps the mind and body functioning at their best, but it can also lower blood pressure, promote feelings of calm and relaxation, and help you de-stress.
2. Get Rid Of Unnecessary Spending
Financial stress can lead to a lot of fear and anxiety, especially when you’re married. Get on a budget, stop over spending, and we money wise.
3. Create a Bed Time Routine
Before you go to bed, stretch, meditate, or read a light hearted book. Turn off technology before going to bed to help the brain settle down for sleep.
4. Limit Your Caffeine Intake
The problem is that caffeine has been shown to inhibit levels of serotonin in the brain, and when serotonin levels are suppressed, you can become depressed and feel irritable. If you still need a pick up in the middle of the day, switch to green tea.
5. Get Rid of Clutter
A messy home or office can make you feel out of control and anxious. When there are messes everywhere, it’s difficult to know where to even start cleaning and then you just feel overwhelmed. Start with one area and move to the next. Small wins are still wins!
6. Get Enough Sleep
Sleep deprivation is one of the biggest factors of stress. For those of you who have a hard time shutting off your brain at night (that’s our big problem ) make a rule to turn off your phone after 9pm and if your brave enough, leave it outside of your room. Consider purchasing a sound machine and investing in some ear plugs if you’re a light sleeper.
7. Give Yourself Alone Time
I know most of you are reading thinking, “Yeah right, how is that ever going to happen?” And what I have to say to that….you can’t afford NOT to create the time to be by yourself. Carve out at least 15 minutes of alone time a day for just you to unwind. No exceptions to this rule! Mediate, pray, sleep, read, laugh, or take a walk.
8. Lavender Oil
Lavender’s aroma is great for relaxing and winding down before bedtime. Add to your bath or diffuse to create a calming and comforting environment. So simple but this seems to work at our home and with many of our friends.
9. Know That Your Feelings Are Not Facts
Negative thoughts cause negative feelings. Just because you feel a certain way, does not mean that it will happen.
- Don’t blow things out of proportion by going over them time and again in your mind.
- Try to be reasonable – accept that bad feelings are occasionally unavoidable and think of ways to make yourself feel better.
- Learn – notice how grief, loss and anger make you feel and which events trigger those feelings so you can prepare in advance.
- Let go of the past – constantly going over negative events robs you of the present and makes you feel bad. Choose forgiveness.
10. Think Positive Thoughts
Every time your brain starts thinking of the bad memories, write down 5 positive things about your life.
11. Exercise Regularly
Aerobic activity lowers your level of stress chemicals and allows you to cope better with negative emotions. You don’t have to join a cross fit gym or learn how to Zumba to get active. A hike, a swim or a yoga video are all great options.
12. Listen to Quiet Music In The Car
Studies show that listening to classical music is best while driving. It instantly releases fear, doubt, worry and anxiety.
In the right context, negative emotions like anger, grief, sadness or jealousy are perfectly normal. Long lasting bouts of negative emotions can stop you from enjoying life. Coping strategies can help to curb persistent negative feelings. We encourage you to start implementing all of these to your daily routine. Allow yourself to slow down, share your fears with your spouse, and ask them to give you a back rub.