This article originally appeared on Sunday scaries
We are all fully aware of the dangers and implications of letting stress get out of control, but we seem to forget about the fact that no matter how stressed we are feeling, there are always steps we can take to help ourselves experience some relief. Getting creative, even when it’s the last thing on your mind when you are feeling stressed out can offer you the perfect opportunity to take a deep breath and let go of the negative thoughts that are plaguing your mind.
When we think of being creative as a tool to cope with stress visions of tortured artists or sad songs come to mind. But actually, there are many more ways to find a creative outlet for stress than just picking up a paintbrush or writing a song. Exerting your creativity means thinking outside the box and if traditional methods for stress management like squeezing a ball or a kickboxing session haven’t worked so far, it’s time to broaden your horizons for the next time you find yourself in a stressful situation.
Find A Healthy Crutch
Intense feelings of stress and anxiety can often lead us to hit that self-destruct button we have inside of us and lash out at ourselves by binge drinking, chain-smoking or taking drugs. Whilst we have been influenced by television shows and movies to believe that getting blotto ends with a wild night out and eventually a happy ending, the harsh truth is that excessive alcohol consumption as a coping mechanism rarely does the trick to placate feelings of anxiety and stress. People have been using illegal substances as a crutch since before the prohibition, yet we still haven’t managed to realize that alcohol is a depressant and instead of relief from pain, we often experience the opposite and end up creating more problems for ourselves.
A creative crutch can provide you with a healthy obsession that will distract you from your woes and help you to rediscover the beauty of life’s simple pleasures. Sometimes, taking a step back and removing ourselves from a difficult situation mentally and physically enables us to be able to see the bigger picture, rather than just focusing on the immediate issue. Painting and writing can be fantastic ways of unloading the negative emotions you are experiencing and because you are not engaging in these activities for anyone else other than yourself, you can let go of any fears you might have of judgment and disapproval from others.
Make Yourself A Priority
Stress can become incredibly consuming and if we aren’t careful about how to cope with stress, it can be all too easy to fall into the abyss of self-pity and frantic worrying. If you are experiencing intense levels of stress and anxiety you will most probably be putting everything else before your own needs and the reality is that without self-care and prioritizing your physical and emotional health, you will really struggle to pull yourself out of the slump you are in. “Dress up, show up and never give up,” with the emphasis being placed on the latter part of this popular phrase.
If you work in a pressurized industry and your stress is work-related, fast food can be a huge temptation as a regular source of nourishment. Making sure that you are providing your body and brain with proper nutrients and you are at least trying to get enough sleep each night are the two essentials everyone needs to successfully overcome their issues and see the light at the end of the tunnel. Adopting a healthier lifestyle that includes a balanced diet and exercise can dramatically help you combat symptoms of stress including nausea, fatigue, and anxiety.
Finding a work-life balance is essential for coping with stress. Making time for physical activity outside of work is important, as it can provide stress relief and regulate your heart rate. Agood night’s sleep is also essential, so try some relaxation exercises before you get tucked in for the night.
Try Alternative Healing Remedies
Natural supplements such as CBD tincture and essential oils are becoming hugely popular especially amongst millennials and research is quickly revealing just how much potential CBD holds as a treatment option for a vast array of issues, especially stress! When everything else in your life seems to be completely out of balance, CBD allows you to feel relaxed, centered and many people say they have never slept better than they do now they are taking it on a daily basis. Essential oils are also gaining significant traction and like CBD, they too seem to be a current natural fad and for thousands of years, people have relied on these tinctures to help them to relax and calm down. Finding the relief you crave from a natural source such as CBD is the best way to ensure that you won’t have to deal with any harmful side effects and there is no risk of addiction.
This may sound like a bit of a joke to many of you, but meditation really does work to temporarily disconnect from all the stress happening around you. You don’t have to get into the lotus position, or start chanting–just lay back, close your eyes and relax; focusing only on the sounds you are hearing. Controversially, although meditation is used for relaxation purposes, many people report feeling like they have more energy after a deep meditation session and sometimes, the answers you have been looking for will suddenly come to you after a well deserved mental break from your problems.
Ultimately, the fate of your ability to manage your stress levels is in your hands. Effective stress management is different for everyone, so try out some of these techniques strategies and see what works for you. Also, reach out to friends, family, and your doctor to discuss the best way to work with the stress in your life.