We all have different ways of coping with stress. Some people go for a run, while others like to curl up with a good book.
But what do you do when the stress starts to feel overwhelming? There are times when stress can take over your life, making it hard to concentrate, sleep or even enjoy the things you normally do. This can be debilitating and leave you feeling miserable.
Stress doesn’t have to be all-consuming. There are ways for you to relax even when stress becomes overwhelming.
Here are six ways you can relax when stress becomes overwhelming.
Engage in relaxing activities
Everyone should give themselves a well-deserved break and do something that helps them relax. There are plenty of relaxing activities you could choose to do—some people like reading, writing, or having a nice meal.
There are also activities specifically designed to help you relax. For instance, going to a spa is a popular activity that can help you de-stress and relax. Another popular activity is getting a massage. Different massages offer various benefits to help you relax. For example, some Swedish massage benefits include the release of happy hormones such as serotonin and dopamine.
Write out your stressors
It’s important to take a step back and list out your stressors. You don’t have to list them in any particular order, but some people like to list them according to what gives them the most to the least stress. Once that list is compiled, seeing the stressors in front of you can make them seem more manageable.
From there, you can pinpoint solutions of action that can help reduce these worries. You might realize some of these stressors are easier to fix than you would’ve imagined. Others might be harder, but from there, you can form a plan of attack to tackle them one at a time.
Focus on your breathing
Your breathing can be a powerful tool for relaxation. Studies have shown that focusing on your breath can reduce stress and anxiety and give you more control over your body when dealing with difficult emotions.
When feeling overwhelmed, take slow deep breaths in and out through your nose. Counting can also help here – count to four as you inhale, hold your breath for four counts, then count to four as you exhale. This will help slow down the breathing and keep it more even, which can be calming. When done often enough, this practice can become an invaluable skill that helps manage overwhelming thoughts and emotions gracefully and easily.
Exercise can bring many physical benefits, but it is also essential for mental health. Taking even a few minutes out of your day to fit in a small exercise routine, such as a walk around the block, can be hugely beneficial to overall wellness.
Exercise releases endorphins that help make you feel good and can give you an immediate sense of accomplishment, so no matter how small the task is, it’s helpful towards your overall well-being. While intense workouts can be great for getting in shape quickly, regular bouts of low-intensity exercise like walks can prove helpful for staying fit in the long term.
Talk to someone
Having someone to talk to can be one of the most beneficial and comforting things when times become tough. Reaching out and talking to someone, whether a friend, family member or therapist, can ease stress and help you feel supported.
It may be challenging to take this step, especially if you feel overwhelmed or scared. However, you need to recognize the harm that comes from keeping your stress bottled up inside you. Additionally, it’s important to remember other people want to help and want you to feel well.
Get enough sleep
Most of us understand the importance of a good night’s sleep, yet many of us still struggle with inconsistency in our sleeping habits. Stress can be a very real factor making it hard to fall asleep, but don’t let that prevent you from trying. Getting enough sleep each night has far-reaching benefits such as reduced stress, improved concentration, and a healthier immune system.
Aim for at least seven hours of sleep each night and create a consistent routine. Having a routine will help your body transition into its natural sleep cycle, resulting in more restful sleep. If you feel like your stress is interrupting your sleep, try some relaxation techniques before bed to help calm the mind and body.
Everyone experiences stress sometimes, but it is important to learn how to manage it before it gets out of control. With these tips, you can start taking control of your stress and learn to cope with it healthily.
Always remember to be kind to yourself. Even if your stressors don’t immediately go away, you can still work to build resilience and find ways to cope. Everyone has their own way of dealing with their worries and anxieties, so find what works best.