Stress trespasses into our lives no matter where we live and work. Since living a stress-free existence is virtually impossible, the next best thing is to know how to dilute the toxicity of the stress-inflammation response. The next time you have an inexplicable headache, a churning stomach, a backache, a pain in the neck, or experience quick shallow breaths and walk around distracted, try these stress-busting strategies.
How to dilute the toxicity of 10 common stressful conditions
- Angry at a family member, friend, colleague, or salesperson? Instead of sitting on a hotbed of anger, try doing an exercise to squeeze the anger out of your body. Put your palms together in prayer position and press. Then go do something creative with all that tumultuous energy.
- Irritable and frustrated? Don’t stand with your hands on your hips ready to lash out. Instead place your hands behind you on your lower back and stretch gently backward. This will help you consider what you are not seeing about the other side, signaling you to re-frame your irritation into a kinder state of being and let it go.
- Fatigued at work? Get up periodically and move around, to avoid compression of the spine and achy joints. Stretch your eyes by looking out a window. Take a coffee break with a co-worker for energy synergy – coffee plus being social will elevate your mood and make you feel alive and alert.
- Feel anxious every time the phone rings – place a post it on the phone to remind you to breathe deeply before you speak. Breathing deeply oxygenates your brain to think clearly and your voice will sound natural without the quaver.
- Feel like an impostor because you have lost your self-confidence? Rotate your shoulders back and down to achieve good posture for an immediate confidence boost. The body signals the brain to feel empowered with this postural shift from a slump to attention.
- Headache due to over-analysis? Close your eyes; place your forefingers on each temple and rotate your thumb gently over your eyebrows and under your eyes – like windshield wipers.
- Has your life turned into a soap opera? Dilute the drama by embracing the ordinary; simplify and keep your expectations reasonable.
- Feel that you are outside the inner circle of the queen bee? Aim to be a soul climber instead of a social climber. Volunteer and think about what’s right with your life and be very grateful for all that you do have. Realize that you can have it all, just not all the time.
- Are you overwhelmed with info which is causing you to be distracted and depleted? Tune out daily to restore your natural rhythm. Do what meditators do – they narrow their focus.
- Are you spinning out of control, whether a project at work, or in a relationship? Know when to stop what you are doing – often as important as knowing when to begin.