You’ve obviously been wondering how to bring your stress level down lately, otherwise you wouldn’t have clicked on this article. Stress can feel like we no longer have control over a situation but the truth is, we can practice new responses to what feels like uncontrollable stress and take back our focused mind. Let’s dive in!
First off, know that you’re definitely not alone. We all get stressed from time to time ESPECIALLY during 2020. It’s been an interesting year to say the least.
While we all feel the weight of the world some days, we can learn and practice giving ourselves the proper time, attention, and resources to combat that stress.
We need a clear mind, we need a focused mind, we need a mind that doesn’t think it’s in constant turmoil and sometimes stress takes that away from us.
When stress hits you, there are a few things you can do to manage it but I want to go over the BIGGEST way to calm down and focus.
Managing Stress in 5 Steps
1. TAKE A DEEP BREATH. Before you do anything, take a moment to come back to yourself. Stress tends to take our thoughts and attention away from us so slow down your racing mind. A big breath stemming from your diaphragm (not your chest) will do you some good. Next…
2. RATE YOUR STRESS LEVEL. Give your stress a rating from 1-10, 10 being out of control and 1 being minimal. It’s important to identify where you’re at so you can begin working on it. Let’s say for example that today you’re at a 7 on the stress scale. It seems like everything you’ve got going on is more than an average day.
3. MAKE YOUR OWN DE-STRESSOR LIST. So now you need to pull from your list of things that help you de-stress when it’s starting to feel overwhelming. Here are a few things I do that help me personally:
Make a cup of tea
Take a shower
Go for a walk
Call my friend
Drive to the beach and watch the waves crash along the shore
Brain dump! I write down everything that’s stressing me out to reduce the cloud of overwhelm
Set a timer that allows me to freak out for a minute or two about the situation (sometimes you just have to take your moment)
Listen to a video or podcast or music
Hug my dog
Attempt to meditate if I can
Set down my phone
Have a glass of water
4. RATE YOUR DE-STRESSORS. In order to make this effective, you have to know how much each de-stressor contributes to your relaxation and refocus. Just like how you rated your stress, rate the items that diminish your stress.
5. SUBTRACT YOUR DE-STRESSORS FROM YOUR STRESS LEVEL. Okay so your stress level is a 7 right? That means that you need to cut it down as much as possible through your de-stressors. If having a cup of tea is only a 2 for me, that means that I’m still at a 5 on the stress scale. Try to bring your number down as low as you possibly can. For me, I’d like it to be at a 1 (sometimes it doesn’t go away completely). So I’d still need to do other things that help me de-stress like maybe a walk or a phone call.
Working Towards Personal Happiness
Work at bringing down your stress level until you’re at a number you feel comfortable operating from. If a 3 works for you and you’re able to focus at that level, that’s great. This is customized to what you can work with. Just give yourself the time and tools to slow down and focus.
Everyone handles stress differently. If you are able to identify its magnitude and start taking it down a few notches, you’ll be able to bring back a clear mind and focus on the more important things, like the actual cause behind the stress.
Don’t let the stress and overwhelm fog your brain. Acknowledge it, identify its magnitude, reduce it through de-stressors, and work on the real solution to what caused the stress in the first place.
If you’re still confused or need guidance, I encourage you to look into my 1:1 coaching program where we can work through this together!