Hey Baddies, this next statement may surprise you…
“The truth is that stress doesn’t come from your boss, your kids, your spouse, traffic jams, health challenges, or other circumstances. It comes from your thoughts about your circumstances.”
Oof, that’s a tough quote.
Essentially, its saying that we have more control over our lives and how we react to stress, than we think.
Stress is a feeling of emotional or physical tension which can stem from our reactions and thoughts to an event or circumstance.
Did you know that we sometimes subconsciously choose to think in a way that causes us to feel stressed (usually out of habit) and that, with some practice, we can change and decide not to feel those stress emotions?
Easier said than done right?
There are a lot of ways that we can begin to start to control or regulate stress but like with any muscle, it takes some time to build up that control.
One tool is mindfulness. Beginning a mindfulness journey and becoming aware of your triggers will help slow down the knee-jerk reactions. Another tool is separation. Removing yourself or separating from situations, conversations, or circumstances that you know cause those feelings to come up for you.
Remember we are aiming for emotional regulation…not repression.
- We want to start by identifying what you are feeling. Give the emotion a name. If you do not know the name start big (with simple words) and zone in. Example…I feel sad, scared, or mad.
- Accept the emotion. Make peace with the fact that the feelings are present. Breathe and do not be too hasty to change your emotional state.
- Be kind to yourself and non-judgmental. Watch your inner dialog. Do not talk negatively about how you feel and start to regulate.
Below I have come up with 30 ways to relieve stress and emotional pain and begin to reframe situations and self-regulate.
- Breathe – take a few deep, calming breaths and collect yourself
- Therapy – talking to someone who is trained in helping is always a great idea
- Read – take your mind elsewhere for a moment
- Make an action plan – decide on what you will do if/when you are in a similar situation again
- Research how others overcame – there is someone out there who has gone through the same thing. Figure out how they coped
- Reorganize – clear out clutter or clean your space to help clear your mind.
- Look at childhood /limiting beliefs – figure out where the habits come from
- Work on goals – put that extra energy into something worthwhile
- Create art – express through different mediums
- Validate yourself – remember that you are valid
- Re-channel energy- figure out an outlet that works for you
- Write – another form of expression
- Give yourself time – take a moment
- Allow yourself to feel – sit in your feelings without judgment
- Don’t overanalyze – sometimes the best thing you can do is to just let it be without thinking too hard
- Don’t pressure yourself – relax and know that the strong emotions will pass
- Cry – let it out if that’s what feels right
- Scream into a pillow – let it out if that’s what feels right
- Sing – sound is very cathartic
- Dance – physical movement is healing as well
- Exercise – the endorphins will have you feeling great and accomplished
- Get in the sun – Vitamin D is necessary
- Look at your triggers – learning what sets you off can help you in the future
- Drink water – cleanse your physical body
- Read – start reading self empowerment books
- Seek friends – talk to your closest friends
- Change perspective – think about things from a different point of view
- Meditate – breathe deep and re-focus
- Journal – write about the problem or use the journal to switch focus
- Consistently care for yourself – making sure to care for your mental and physical health regularly will help ensure you are not drawing from an empty well
Consider this: The Latin derivative for the word emotion, ’emotere’, literally means energy in motion.
These 30 ideas are literal ways for processing emotions and moving the energy through your body. As you practice and become more aware of triggers it all will get easier. Sooner or later, you will find that what used to set you off doesn’t phase you anymore. Get excited! Better days are coming!!
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