All of us want to stress less. And all of us have different stresses of varying degrees. What is interesting is the fact that a particular experience that may cause one individual stress and anxiety may be taken in simple stride by another. For example, a new employee who was incessantly demeaned by her supervisor ended the day in near tears, whereas, another employee whose boss treated him in a similar manner, left work for the day whistling a happy tune. Circumstances can truly take hold of our emotions and feelings. How we react to varying situations determines our experience of stress.
Although it often feels automatic….automatic anger, automatic fear, automatic apprehensiveness, there are coping mechanisms we can use to not let people and situations cause us stress. I am not talking about stress from traumatic situations or grief. I am talking about stress from that workplace bully, stress from a deadline, stress from traffic, stress from a confrontation, performing in public, stress from a spouse, stress from children, stress from money, stress from stress!
Just a few tips and reminders can go a long way in reducing your stress level:
1. Decide to have a positive attitude and use the “I can handle this” mantra. Repeat this phrase to yourself whenever necessary.
2. Breath deeply and slowly. Try using the app ‘Calm.’ Choose your scenery and engage in minute long meditations or choose the length of time. The benefits have a lasting calming effect.
3. Wake up every day and focus first on what you are grateful for. You’ll soon realize it is a never ending list. Keep this gratitude list on your smart phone. Add one entry every morning. Doing so will help reduce negative emotions and you will have a more mindful perspective as to what is truly important.
4. Yes , of course exercise is one of the best stress relievers, but I highly recommend incorporating nature. Whether you commute to the city, are a stay at home mom, police our community, handle difficult customers, perform surgeries, beautiful nature is all around us. We may not have access during the same hours or the same days, but get to one of your local parks. Walk around the lake, hike in the forest, walk your dog. Nature truly has a way of bringing calm and minimizing the absolute petty things that go on throughout our days.
There will definitely be stress, but you deserve to stress less!
Bio: Shari LaRosa, licensed social worker, has her Masters in Social Work from Monmouth University, and a Bachelors and Masters in Education from Boston University, and Hunter College. Shari, a busy mom, lives in Holmdel with her husband Adam and two teenage daughters. She has fostered friendships and learning among women in the area through her group The W Forum which focused on many topics relevant to women, parenting and relationships. Most recently working as a clinician for adolescents, she maintains her passion for helping others.