Stress junkie? Here are natural ways to get rid of stress
Yes, there are many natural ways to get rid of stress, and I have tried them all! I write about stress quite a lot because I am a self-described “stress junkie” who comes from a family of high-achieving, alpha-type stress-heads. Often people who are perfectionists, tend to stress out. They have high expectations of themselves, and high expectations of others. They load themselves up with (sometime unnecessary) tasks, and stress until the tasks are done. It can be lonely, suffocating, tiring and in some cases, even fatal. Here’s what happens when I have a meltdown.
Sometimes you wake up in a low, demotivated mood where the world seems against you and everything is getting you down. It can be down seasonal changes, issues at work or in your personal life or even just natural hormonal changes. But knowing the tips and tricks to get yourself out of this state can prevent a bad day spiraling into a worse week or a miserable month. Finding some mood management techniques that you feel comfortable with is half the battle.
Look online and you will see thousands of studies on stress. In just one example, a recent global survey of 1000 corporations across 15 countries, found that the levels of stress have risen over the last two years. According to The Regis Group, “The survey found 6 in 10 workers in significant global economies experienced increased stress.” No matter which group surveyors look at; children, Gen X, the elderly… we are all stressed out and getting more stressed by the day.
Because I am a stress-head, I have learned a few techniques to let go of stress, the natural way. Some of these ideas are instant, while some will take some time to practise and implement.
Hang out with people that make you feel good
We all have people in our lives who energise us and lift us up, and equally we have those who have nothing good to say and just seem to drain us, or act aggressively towards us. As far as possible, focus on cutting these negative influences out of your life and spend your time with those who uplift.
The point of friends is to be each others champion, so if there is someone in your life who doesn’t do this, seek to minimise contact. Don’t be guilt tripped into spending time with those who don’t improve your mental wellbeing – time is too precious for false friendships. Focus on the positive ones and you may be surprised at just how re-energised you feel.
Be very protective of your time
This has been a very big lesson for me to learn, since I became a mother 10 months ago. My time with my family is now the most valuable thing, and I have had to learn to say no to work projects, meetings I can’t make, and people I really don’t have time to see.
Although it’s really our most important resource, a lot of us waste huge amounts of time by agreeing to things we don’t actually want to do. There’s a lot to be said for learning the power of saying no and rejecting the guilt that misguidedly comes with it. Be realistic with deadlines for completing projects and don’t take on too many tasks at once or you will feel drained. It’s okay to take time to ‘do nothing’ – downtime is an important part of balancing your energy and being more productive when you are working on something.
Hang out in nature more often
I love my smartphone, but it’s a trap. In the modern world, it’s easy to become very divorced from nature and it’s rhythms, and the further away we get from them, the worse we can feel. I hate to admit this, but lately I have been coming home from work, and feeling so tired that I just want to flop on the couch and zone out and meaninglessly scroll for hours. Last night I realised that my baby was craving my attention, and I was giving time I should be giving to her, to meaningless apps on the internet.
Make sure you’re spending time outdoors everyday. Daylight and fresh air are underrated but they help to regulate mood and energy. Try to fit in a brisk walk at lunchtime or see if you can move your workout regime from the gym to the local park. Could you survive the great outdoors if you had to? Check my list here to see. Remember, natural ways to get rid of stress are usually quite simple.
Develop a wind down routine
Just like babies, we really do respond well to ‘wind down’ routines before bed. For a baby, it might be a bath, put on pyjamas, and read a bedtime story. As adults – our routines will be similar! If you have ever climbed into bed with your brain still working furiously, then you’ll know what I mean.
Not being able to relax and switch off is a chronic problem in today’s hyper connected, 24 hour world. This damages your sleep duration and quality, which will quickly make you feel terrible. The key lies in developing a nightly ritual that works for you. Whether it’s an aromatherapy bath to wash away the stress of your day, making sure you read a chapter of your book or jettisoning social media in favour of a mindfulness app, work out what helps you unwind and make a ritual of it each evening.
Make time for things you love, that feed your soul
Don’t allow yourself to get so busy that you aren’t doing whatever brings you joy in life. Even it means blocking time out in your schedule, you need to make time for your passions. Be it spending time preparing, cooking and eating a delicious meal, pulling out your yoga towels and getting in some downward dog time or taking yourself off to the cinema, space in your life for your own pleasures and needs should not always be bottom of the list. This one of the best, natural ways to get rid of stress
Have a look at my post on How to Get Rid of Stress By Getting Creative where according to Quartz Media, “The common traits that people across all creative fields seemed to have in common were an openness to one’s inner life; a preference for complexity and ambiguity; an unusually high tolerance for disorder and disarray; the ability to extract order from chaos; independence; unconventionality; and a willingness to take risks.”
So, try all these natural ways to get rid of stress
The most important thing to remember about stress is that it spirals, and gets worse, if not attended to. Remember, your thoughts are not reality. Just because you are “thinking” something, does not make it true, and does not mean it will definitely happen.
This is important: remember to ease up on yourself. A lot of us manufacture immense pressure on ourselves to live life in a certain order or look a certain way. This leads to very harsh internal dialogue that can get us down over time as we feel that we’re constantly failing our own unrealistic standards. Remember to always speak to yourself as you would a best friend. Encouragement and support are on the agenda. Stacks of criticism is not.