“Ships don’t sink because of the water around them; ships sink because of the water that gets in them. Don’t let what’s happening around you get inside you and weigh you down.”
In the hustle and bustle of modern society, stress is a widely recognised reaction to a situation or experience. Whether it be linked to family, personal, professional or financial factors, stress is a commonly identified reaction when individuals are faced with hardship. Although many will persist to react to the feeling of stress with negative energy – you may be shocked to understand that stress shouldn’t be entirely unwelcome!
We all respond to elements of life differently and that has been proven across the board, however, the basis of research is our awareness and how we deal with stressful environments. As human beings, when we are exposed to something that is deemed as a threat, our bodies and emotions mould into a defence mechanism – for some it may be to fight and some to flight. What about “It is impossible to give a generalised description of this process because each and every individual will manage and cope with stress in a unique manner. However, we can all encapsulate a healthy relationship with our responses and reactions to every day occurrences. By adopting the perseverance and willpower to approach and understand your own stress, you will be one step closer to that ultimate place of mental tranquillity.
Why wait until it all feels unbearable? If you are not managing your stress it can become chronic. This can lead to chemical changes in the body that increase blood pressure, heart rate, and blood sugar. Mental and physical health problems can also result from long-term or high levels of stress. The only person that can invest in stress management is you- trust yourself and allow yourself to float down the stream of understanding. A positive perspective can truly change everything.
How well do you know you?
Many individuals can rapidly identify when they are feeling stressed but not what has pushed them towards this bodily response. How many times have you experienced a rising of stress-related symptoms but felt in the dark as to the cause? Scientific research has allowed us to point you in the direction of self-awareness. Observe your own reactions and monitor your feelings – symptoms and emotions to look out for could be: irritability, tension, worry, anger or even the physicality of an upset stomach.
It comes with great importance to be aware that although we are all different, we are never entirely alone with our emotions. In the modern world, there is a similarity of experiences. For example, many of us deal with pressures at work, financial instability and relationship issues. However, it is also beneficial to remember to never undermine what has produced these unsettling feelings – small triggers are also ones to look out for. A worry is never too large or too small to address.
How to: mindfully manage your stressful moments
Stress is not something that can simply disappear from the scene, however it is possible to guide your own body to accept and feel in a appropriate manner. By developing and adopting the concept of stress management into your everyday life, it is possible to feel more at ease when those emotions arise.
The concept of mindfulness has ignited interest amongst a lot of us in recent years. Although it has always been practised, it has definitely flourished over the lockdown periods as many of us were deprived of our normality. Mindfulness covers the realms of physical, emotional and mental wellness overall and can be embodied in plenty of ways. Some examples are: yoga, meditation, dancing, being amongst nature and giving yourself the time and space to immerse into what makes life, life! Unsurprisingly, mindfulness is linked to compassion, positive emotions and the overall love of life – with happiness oozing from those that prioritise mindfulness and self-understanding, it is impossible to oppose it.
Stress management strategies
Battling with the idea of stress seems to be a pointless energy waster – instead of rejecting it, why not embrace it? Acting mindfully and being self-aware allows you to accept the feeling of stress and understand why it has blossomed inside of you. Instead of suffocating it, here are some ways to breathe it in and give it the understanding that it deserves.
Take a mindful walk
By breathing in some fresh air and embracing the natural environment around us, it brings an essence of calm to our body. By moving your muscles and allowing your mind to ponder over the beauty of the world, the feeling of stress has nowhere to live. You filled its spot with positive thoughts – wasn’t that a smart idea?
Maximise your senses
Can you bake something that smells of roses, listen to a piece from the piano – heighten the wonder of your senses. Stress often harbours in our minds, why not set it free into the daylight to show it what it is missing? Often our thoughts are holding onto memories or predictions – give that feeling of stress a taste of the present!
By falling in line with your breathing pattern, it is known that you are becoming more in sync with your body. Feel where the disruption is and let it know that you are aware. Your body will listen to you. Keep breathing.
Eating a healthy and balanced diet
Prioritising your general health is a proven technique to bring a positive approach to the rest of your soul. By consciously making healthier choices and feeding yourself with wholesome meals, your overall mood will be heightened. Taking control of your own needs will prove how capable you are to be the best version of yourself.
To be grateful is an approach that everyone should adopt into their everyday life. If you cannot be grateful for the minimal moments, how can you appreciate the present moment? Life is made up of small moments and we should all embrace every single one of them.
Practising relaxation is one that many invest their time and energy into as it is a release of positive feelings. By giving yourself the time to wind down and relieve the negative energies of the day, your body and mind will be freed of all that should not be there. This includes stress!
Take the time to do what you love
Life is lived by us – why shouldn’t we do what we love? Invest yourself into something that makes you smile. Read a book, go for a walk, bake a cake – we all have those guilty pleasures that we know will raise our mood in an instant. Love yourself enough to do it!
Stress is a feeling that often overwhelms us- the trick is to befriend and embrace it. Our emotions, responses and reactions are all elements that make up the canvas that is us. Don’t allow yourself to be guided into a place of negativity when you know it is not where you should be. By feeling stress, we don’t have to be low, we just need to understand what allowed us to be there and how we can comfort that part of us. Human nature is a beauty that we can learn to control.