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Shooing Stress Away

Posted by in Health: Mental Health  ~  July 22, 2012 08:31:11 PM

Peace of mind seemingly elusive? Feeling like you’re running on empty? Ready to explode or break down at the slightest provocation?

There’s a remedy for stress, so take heart. And it doesn’t require you to enroll in a stress management clinic. In fact, it’s free, it’s effective, and it’s bound to become your best friend whenever you feel like your life and everyone in it are conspiring against you.

First things first, however, you have to bear in mind that stress doesn’t come in capsule or packaged form and lobbed neatly at you to catch. Watch how others react to what you think is a stressful situation: do they exhibit the same reactions? Or do they find ways to deal with this supposed stress? It’s highly possible that it isn’t really a problem until you find yourself reacting toward the situation as if it were. It’s the same with rollercoaster rides. Some people scream themselves blue when the ride goes into gut-wrenching loops, others just close their eyes and stiffen, and still others are yelling their pleasure at the rush they’re getting from the ride. Still others exhibit the “ho-hum, been there, done that” expressions. It’s basically the same experience, but with different reactions. Perhaps it’s time for you to analyze if you’re creating your own stresses.

Secondly, you can choose to shut down and think about something else other than what is causing you stress (or distress, as the case may be). You can actively distract yourself until the very thing that has been trying to catch your whole attention is placed at the mental back burner. The secret is to break the very chain of thoughts leading to that which is stressful. And while you’re at it, think positive thoughts, will you? For heaven’s sake, don’t go about distracting yourself with gloomy, depressing stuff. Reaffirm yourself. Think back on previous situations where you conquered stress and came out much improved for it. If you’d done it before, you sure can do it this time.

With that said, you can also go on a mental mini-break. It can be to a far-away and exotic locale, or just to the park bench you’ve relaxed and eased your weary form into umpteen times before. Wherever it might be, make sure it’s somewhere quiet, and with all the trimmings of a relaxing situation you’ve come to associate with taking a vacation or a quiet break. It’s highly doubtful you’ll find an Ultimate Fighting Champion arena relaxing, but really, go delve visually into what spells out peace of mind for you.

Finally, having affirmations holds the key to a relaxed, stress-free disposition. They don’t have to be prolific, flowery prose to be recited to high heavens. They may just be a couple of key phrases you can repeat over and over the same way you’d chant a mantra. “I can do this,” “I was given this job because I’m qualified,” or “This isn’t new to me, I’ve handled this before” can work wonders for your self-esteem and confidence. Do this with conviction, along with the other exercises mentioned above, and you’ll be calming down and keeping stress at bay before you can say “anxiety attack!”