6 Ways You Can Conquer Stress Today, According to the Experts
True story: Everyone gets stressed. Even those people who seem so cool and collected all the time. As much as you wish you could just make that anxiety magically disappear, it’s probably more realistic to learn to manage it (before it brings you down).
Luckily for you, it’s possible to combat the problem and take charge of how you feel. Take note from these famous people on how they balance their busy schedules, crazy successful careers, and other assorted issues. If Oprah and Obama can handle it, you can, too!
1. Spend Time With People Who Matter
I’m very consistent about spending time with family...and when you have dinner with your daughters—particularly teenage daughters—they’ll keep you in your place and they’ll teach you something about perspective.
Spending time with people you care about offers an easy way to re-evaluate whatever’s stressing you out. Positive people who are invested in your health and well-being will help talk you through your situation and determine if all your worrying is worth it. (And if so, what you should do next.)
‘Restore connection’ is not just for devices, it is for people too. If we cannot disconnect, we cannot lead.
You’ve heard it over and over again, but as difficult as it is, disconnecting is just so necessary to adjust your mindset. Not only will you be able to think more clearly, but having some “me time” can give you the boost you need to get through the rough patches.
If you’re not sure how to actually disconnect, check out our tips on how to step away from technology.
3. Go to a Quiet Place
So when I want to scream out loud, I usually go to a quiet place. A bathroom cubicle works wonders. I close my eyes, turn inward, and breathe—until I can sense the still, small space inside me. It’s the same stillness you can find in yourself. I breathe until I can feel this space expand and fill me.
Sometimes the best thing to do when you’re about to pull your hair out is to find a place where you can be alone, you know, literally step away from the situation. Find a quiet place (and if a bathroom’s good enough for Oprah, it’s good enough for you, too) and focus on your breathing. It’s amazing how much taking a few deep breaths can change your mindset.
4. Stay in the Present
If you just sit and observe, you will see how restless your mind is. If you try to calm it, it only makes it worse, but over time it does calm, and when it does, there’s room to hear more subtle things—that’s when your intuition starts to blossom and you start to see things more clearly and be in the present more.Your mind just slows down, and you see a tremendous expanse in the moment. You see so much more than you could see before.
When you stress, odds are it’s because you’re worried about something that has yet to happen. You can learn to enjoy the present by practicing meditation, or even heading to a yoga class. Whatever you choose, use the time to pay attention to your breathing and mindfulness. Focus on what you hear, then on what you feel around you to really calm your mind.
Training gives us an outlet for suppressed energies created by stress and thus tones the spirit just as exercise conditions the body.
It’s no secret that exercise can help you deal with stress physically, but it can also do so much good for your brain. So go to the gym and work out your frustrations. If you can’t get there, or even away from your desk long enough to take a walk, try to squeeze in a few stretches to release some of that nervous energy.
6. Distract Yourself With Something You Enjoy
I find meditation in sitting on the floor with the kids coloring for an hour, or going on the trampoline. You do something you love, that makes you happy, and that gives you your meditation.
When the pressure’s coming down on you, take time to do something that you genuinely enjoy. Maybe it’s heading to a cooking class or delving into a good book—whatever it is, make sure you love it enough that it’ll distract you for a good hour or two. At the end of it, you’ll either be less stressed, or at the very least see everything a little more clearly.
Photo of pencils courtesy of Shutterstock.
A UNC-Wilmington grad born and raised in North Carolina, Kaitlyn always knew she would end up in NYC to pursue writing. As a summer editorial intern, she contributes career advice to The Muse. In addition, she also writes for other publications, such as USA TODAY College, Her Campus, and The Huffington Post. You can find her searching the city for the best eats, binge-watching Netflix, or catching up with friends at dinner. Say hi on Twitter @KaitlynRussell_More from this Author