Mental stress is something we all deal with. While there are positive and negative scenarios surrounding the source of the stress, our bodies react the same way regardless. Being chased by a tiger has the same physiological reaction as the first day of your dream job. Our physiological reaction is a good thing, in fact. Both from an adaptation perspective and from a biological perspective. The problem is that we aren’t designed to be chased by a tiger from the moment we wake up to the moment we finally fall asleep.
“What can be done though?” the reader thought aloud with rapt attention.
I get it. There are some stresses that are unavoidable, but there are ways to minimize the effects they have on us. If you are required to commute, you can see if public transportation would be a good fit. The train or bus will likely take longer than driving yourself, but you can read,or catch a nap, or text or go on social media or get work done (this isn’t the post deriding poor posture—though they have found our posture affects our mood). If you must drive, a trick that works for me is staying in the right lane and accepting the flow of traffic. I tend to get very frustrated with people not following how roads were designed and slow traffic in the left lane stresses me out. When I drive in the right lane and just accept the flow of traffic, I find myself much less worked-up when I get home or work.
Sleeping is another thing we all seem to do. From what I gather most of us sleep. Many, though, don’t get enough sleep, or the sleep they do get is poor-quality. We’ve heard all the tips, but they can stand to be repeated. Set a bedtime for yourself and your family and stick to it. The bedroom is not for reading or watching television or social media. When it’s time to go to sleep, go to sleep. Keep your devices out of your reach. Buy an actual alarm clock: they’re cheap and they still work and keep your phones and laptops and tablets our of your room completely.
|Note: keeping your devices out of your bedroom won't keep you children's YouTube songs out of your head...just saying|
Oh, my goodness, the news. Stop watching the news. Please. Set aside about 30 minutes a day if you must to get caught up on current events but stop with the 24 hour news stations who only make money because they get your attention through fear. You want to decrease your stress, stop watching the news.
On that note, stop worrying about celebrities. They are people, just like you and me. Keeping up with the Joneses when the Joneses just got paid 20million dollars for literally nothing, creates a sense of lacking in our lives. Fun fact: A brand new Lamborghini will not make you happy. I promise. The celebrity who just bought it isn’t happy… or even worse, they are temporarily happy because they want you to feel inferior to them and this is a way they can make you feel like less. Stop obsessing with what drama is flying around people you’ve never met and probably wouldn’t like if you did meet; we all have enough going on in our own lives to not have to worry about the divorce du jour.
How about planning? I posted a tip on Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/tunechiropracticelkriver/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel&eid=ARC42YC-Z3Xk4p9XYXYGIIl61czSoEA7kX0se0sXbET1ZPOAhPJf8VNIgm7OIkGiiRbRWbR6e04LR9hN, discussing how organizing your to-do list actually decreases stress. Taking five to ten minutes a day to plan out the next day and a little longer on Sunday to plan out the coming week will allow you to prioritize and delegate tasks. Sure, Addison may disclose that a project is due tomorrow that she hasn’t started… but that isn’t every day and realistically, she should do it herself anyway (you had your chance at school). You can do this organization with chores, projects, meal planning, exercise and extracurricular activities… you can even schedule time with you partner. The trick is doing it, and then assigning a grading system to help you determine it’s priority. Maybe “A” is highest priority to do ASAP; “B” is should be done that day; “C” is can wait a day or two; and “D” is either not important or delegate.
We are bombarded with stressors these days and when they occur short-term to help us avoid danger or rise to a challenge, it’s great. If your daily life seems like a never-ending stream of stress and you’re drained mentally and emotionally every day, any or all of the tips provided may be able to go a long way to helping you get back to center, which if you’ve read some of my other posts, is key to healing and growing.