We all have days where we get that uncomfortable feeling in our stomach; we tense up and have that nagging stressful feeling that we can’t totally pinpoint the source in our body. We could know exactly what is causing the stress and nerves or we might have no idea at all. When you have no idea, that is the worst, you can’t figure out why you are feeling this way so you can’t combat the root of the trouble. I get those episodes sometimes and they used to be quite crippling. They were mixes of panic and stress attacks and they would knock me out for the rest of the day, leaving me exhausted and almost fragile feeling. I finally had enough though and decided I needed to find different ways to combat these attacks. Ways that helped clear my head and helped me not stop the attacks or stress entirely, but they definitely combat and make me feel like I can conquer the day ahead. So here are some of the ways I combat stress and I would LOVE if in the comment section you left the ways you combat stress as well!
Classical Music– Listening to calming instrumental or classical music when you are feeling overwhelmed definitely helps to bring about a calm environment for you. I love to listen to Spanish guitar because there is something so relaxing and peaceful about the guitar playing. Find some type of music that calms you down, music that you can close your eyes to, and just focus on your breathing. Music that will not make you feel more panicked and can instead you feel more of a calm coming over you while listening. Spotify has so many different playlists for peaceful classical music to listen to. I have several I have marked that I bring up when I need that calm environment. Piano, guitar, plus other classical pieces.
Working out– This is a given for so many people! Working out gives you endorphins and just makes you feel so much better overall. When I am stressed though I recommend really going for your workout. Really taking out the nerves on the weights, the cardio machine…. Whatever it is that helps you, but really focus on taking out your stress on your exercise. Push yourself so you tire yourself out, because usually when you have pushed yourself you’re too tired to be overwhelmed and stressed anymore! You can go outside and run too if that is another way that helps you!
Hang out with someone– I find when I’m stressed being by myself really sucks. I overthink and then feel even more miserable. So find someone who you care about and hang out with them. It can truly be doing anything, but be with another person. I find I calm down pretty fast even when I’m just sitting by my mom for example. Just being near another person you care about really helps. You don’t feel alone and overwhelmed by all the cares of the day. You can talk about what you’re stressed about or you could just get a hug, whatever works best for you!
Go to your happy place– Go to the place that you can feel whole and at peace in. Where you can think, meditate, pray, etc. For me that is by water, for others it could be out hiking, it could be at the gym, or elsewhere. Just go to that place however, and allow yourself the time to think, to breath, to regroup. Pause what you are doing and make time for your thoughts in that special haven of yours. That is your special place and no stress should destroy or disturb that place for you, so take the time to escape to your happy place.
Gratitude journaling– When you are feeling overwhelmed write down a list of what you are thankful for. Journaling is so freeing! Take the time to be grateful for all you have going on for you. It really puts everything into perspective and you realize your actually have a lot of awesome things going for you! Make it a daily habit if you can, if you can’t try to do it as often as you can. The positivity’s definitely outweigh the negatives after a while and you are reminded of your blessings!
Play Music– If you can play an instrument or sing DO IT! I LOVE being able to unwind by playing the piano and taking my feelings out in the music I’m making. It is really freeing to express yourself in your music and create beautiful masterpieces at the same time! If you can’t play a musical instrument do something else you are talented and passionate about. A talent you can really pour your feelings into! Very freeing. Xoxo
Pamper yourself– Take the time out of your busy day to treat yourself for a little bit. Take yourself out of whatever stressful situation is just wearing you down too much and step back. Allow yourself to do something nice to help re-center and feel rejuvenated. I actually wrote a blog post last week of fun ways to pamper yourself when you need some self-care! Here is the link if you want to go check out some of my ideas. (Link)
Pray/Meditate– Whichever of the two works for you take some time out of your day to do just that. I find praying really helps me calm down, because I’m reminded God has the bigger picture in His hands and this little stressor is just a piece of the bigger plan and I’m not alone. Even if you don’t believe in God believing there is a higher power really helps put our stressors into perspective. There is a bigger picture, we just might not see it right now, but everything will eventually work out, and what is best for us in the long run will happen!
Breathing– This is a HUGE one for me when I’m feeling super overwhelmed and stressed. Focus on your breathing! Close your eyes and focus on that low and slow deep breath of air. All the air filling your lungs and bringing life to your body. Focus on keeping the breaths regular and not rushed, and that really will help you calm down. You will feel so much more centered after doing this exercise!
Do you have other ways that help you when you’re stressed that I left out?? If so please share them in the comments because I am always open and up to learning new helpful ways to combat stress. Stress and nerves are nasty, and we often get them when life throws us surprises, but we definitely can find ways to help ourselves in the long run! xoxo
Photo by Michael Holt