Coping Mechanisms for Managing Stress
Though it can be challenging to see past the aggravation we feel and the problems we’re facing when stressed, healthy coping skills can be the key to getting through hard times. Today’s society runs on pressure and stress, making healthy coping mechanisms an essential part of a healthy, happy life.
Since stress affects everyone differently, it’s important to experiment with coping techniques that resonate with you and help relieve your symptoms. Whenever you’re feeling stressed or experiencing tough times, try these methods for tolerating, minimizing or facing your stressors more effectively.
Find Your Creative Outlet
Think about your five senses. Consider what’s most comforting and brings you joy while also tending to your creativity. Whether it’s listening to or playing music, drawing or painting, baking your favorite treat, dancing or taking on a DIY project, shifting your attention to your creative side offers catharsis and can relieve stress. When you find a favorite creative outlet, incorporate it into your life more often to self-soothe and boost your creativity.
Breathing & Relaxation Techniques
When circumstances are beyond your control, emotion-based coping techniques, which often require looking inward, can be helpful. For example, mindfulness meditation is a useful, de-stressing tool to ground you in the present moment and prevent drifting into concerns of the past or future. Find a quiet space, close your eyes and take four profoundly deep breaths. It’s okay if thoughts try to pull your attention away; simply refocus your attention to your breath. Activities like massages and aromatherapy are also great ways to relax the mind and body and cope with stress.
Engaging in daily exercise is necessary for a healthy life and also an excellent method for managing stress. Walking, running, swimming, dancing and cycling are all activities that allow you to focus on the body’s sensations, produce endorphins (feel-good brain chemicals) and concentrate less on negative stressors. Choose activities you enjoy, and you’ll be more likely to create a routine where you can transcend stress and tune into your body and mind’s tranquility.
Letting stress spiral out of control can lead to a host of ailments, including insomnia, back pain and headaches. Through its focus on poses and breathing, yoga is a great, natural stress reliever. Shifting your concentration away from the external demands on your life will help you look inward to your place of serenity. Poses like downward-facing dog will eliminate back pain while others like child’s pose will help calm your mind. If you want to feel your stress melt away, local yoga centers, online yoga classes and Internet guides can help you learn more about improving your health and letting go of stress —one pose at a time.