Dealing with Stress

With the cost of living causing an increasing level of pressure on household budgets and Christmas only a matter of weeks away, it’s a stressful time for all of us. To manage stress levels during this period, it helps to have proactive strategies and reactive strategies (otherwise known as coping mechanisms). Here are three simple tips to better manage stress:

Tip 1: Have at least one mindfulness technique you engage in daily

When we’re stressed, we’re usually overthinking, and most of our energy is going to our head rather than our bodies. By reconnecting the mind with the body, we are cultivating mindfulness and bringing our attention back to the present, rather than worrying about the past or stressing about the future. A simple mindfulness exercise like 3-3-3 breathing can help to calm our thoughts and slow a racing mind. Breathe in for 3 seconds through your nose, hold the breath for 3 seconds, and exhale out through your mouth for 3 seconds. Repeat at least three times.

Tip 2: Check in with yourself regularly

Checking in with our emotions regularly and identifying how we’re feeling can aid emotional regulation and keep us calm during tense situations. Keep a mood journal and write down how you’re feeling on a scale of 1-10 (1 being extremely calm, and 10 indicating severe anxiety). Do this at least three times per day and see if you can identify any patterns with your emotions. Are there particular situations, environments, or people that trigger you emotionally?

Tip 3: Write out your stressors in the Circle of Influence

The Circle of Influence and Control by Stephen Covey assists us to visualise our concerns, and all the things we’re stressing about in a three-circle diagram. It does this by categorising tasks or thoughts into three areas; things we can control, things we can influence, and things we are concerned about but don’t have control over. By focusing our efforts on the things we can control and influence (the two inner circles), we’re more likely to engage in productive tasks that have an effect on our reality, rather than putting energy into things we have no control over (e.g., the weather).

For more information on how to better manage your health, visit www.astutesimplicityhealth.com.au.

Information sourced from The Wellness Workshop.