You can't control everything going on in your life, but you can certainly control the way you react to situations. Here are 3 ways to reduce overwhelm and stress that are pretty simple. This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are so many other things you can do to help with stress. You just need to find a few that work for you. These are my favorites!
When I'm in a state of overwhelm or an extremely stressful situation, deep breathing is definitely the quickest fix for instant relief. It can really change almost any situation. Taking long deep breaths makes you feel the same way your body feels in a state of relaxation. It helps lower heart rate, blood pressure, and muscle tension.
For all those people who have kinda tried with no luck. I'm here to tell you it is scientifically proven to help you calm down. Slow deep belly breathing stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, this is the one that calms us down. The opposite of the sympathetic nervous system AKA fight or flight reaction. When you do this type of breathing it actually sends a message to the brain that everything is fine.
Getting our body in the right state isn't always easy and might take a little practice. It's not just about taking a few deep breaths and then everything will be fine. You need to try to focus on breathing, close your eyes, and really try to slow down your stress reaction. It might take a little practice but soon enough you'll get the hang of it and it will be a valuable tool in your toolbox of stress relief.
The good news is, you don't have to be an athlete to take advantage of this tool. Virtually any form of exercise from running, walking, hiking, and yoga is a stress reliever.
Exercise increases the brain's production of the feel-good neurotransmitters called endorphins. Other side effects of exercise besides happiness and stress relief are improved health, increased self-confidence, and improved sleep. This is just to name a few.
So why is that this wonderful activity that has a lot of people making the longest list of excuses know to mankind? What is your excuse?
I have no time
I'm always tired
I don't feel good
My old sports injury is acting up
I have no time
I don't have the money
I don't know how
I don't like it
I have no time
I'm not an athlete
I travel a lot
And once again, I have no time
I'm just going to be straight with you. This list totally sounds like it was written by my teenage children thinking of ways to get out of school gym class. I would also like to add that all of it is total bullshit.
There are so many different free things you can do to get moving, there is something for everyone. Hey, dance in your living room for 10-15 minutes if you want. Totally counts!
Walk during your break or lunch at work, take the dog for a walk. All of these things are great and better than doing nothing at all.
The “no time” excuse is the one that bugs me the most and it's the one that most people use. Everyone gets the same amount of time in their day. You do have the time, you're just not making the time for your own health and happiness. Let me repeat that because it's 100% true. You do have the time, you're just not making the time for your own health and happiness. That really makes no sense at all, right?
Next, you're going to say “But Tina, you just don't have my schedule. I'm so busy!" Once again I call bullshit. I was a single Mom raising 3 kids by myself selling real estate. I found the time so I'm pretty sure you can too! Stop playing the victim, make time to take better care of yourself. No more excuses! You really deserve it.
This is one of my favorites, super easy and it works best if you do it at night before bed. Just take a notebook, any notebook, and dedicate it to your mind dump practice. Now just write down everything that has been pissing you off and everything you have been worrying about at that moment. Write it down with no filters and also, screw grammar. Just write. This alone can be enough, or you can take it further. If it's something you're worrying about write down what the possibility of this worry actually happening is on a scale from 1-10 with 10 being, it's happening. If it's over 5 think of some possible solutions and write them down. If it's under 5 then you should realize it's most likely just not going to happen and hopefully feel a little better. Take a few deep breaths and go to sleep.
Example Mind Dump
I wonder if my daughter had to work tonight and has to walk home by herself or worse yet take the subway I should text her, yes im going to text her why is my dog throwing up now im going to have to go to the vet and $450- later nothing will change why do I have a dull pain in my right side do I have appendicitis I dont have time for that oh no I have to pay that bill tomorrow or ill be charged a 1,000,000 late fee I cant forget ill add that to the list what is with this serious food baby I got going on I look 6 months pregnant wait can I be pregnant oh hell no thats not happening im seriously too old my god all my hair is falling out why am I shedding so much is this it am I finally going bald maybe I need more vitamins when am I going to work out tomorrow maybe ill just get up and hour earlier yes ill do that I suppose I should go to bed I need at least 7 hrs or im a serious crank pot..... and so on. You get the idea.
When you're trying to go to sleep with so many different things going on in your head it's no wonder you have some trouble sleeping sometimes. So, get it all out and then you can get a great night's sleep with fewer worries.
I hope these few tips help. Remember, these things might take a little practice and time to get used to. Be patient with yourself and don't give up because the alternative kinda stinks!
Take care of you,
P.S. Want to learn more tips like this? Join the empowering women 40 and beyond FB Group where we talk about all things empowerment, mindset, health, and self-care!