If you’re finding yourself stressed daily, whether from work or from personal issues, the number one thing to do is identify the cause.
If you can’t see where your stress or anxiety is coming from, there’s very little you can do about it. Identifying that root cause will help you manage the effects much more confidently.
Watch what you consume
In times of high stress, it’s not a great idea to consume as much caffeine, nicotine, or alcohol as we normally might. Caffeine and nicotine in particular are stimulants, so if you are stressed they aren’t going to help calm you down, they are more likely to exacerbate the issue.
Alcohol is more complicated in that in small amounts it acts as a stimulant, and in large amounts is a depressant. Ultimately, using alcohol to help with stress is a losing proposition, because consuming large amounts of alcohol over a period of time is likely to cause more harm than the good it would do calming you.
When you’re finding yourself highly stressed, drinking more water, herbal teas, or diluted fruit juices is a better way to stay hydrated. Making sure your body has the water it needs is important, especially if you’re changing your normal fluid intake.
Taking a few moments, even if it’s once per day, to regulate your breathing and make a conscious effort to focus on the air as it moves in and out of your body can really assist with calming down and relieving stress symptoms.
One method is called the 4-7-8 technique. One proponent of this technique is Dr. Weil, who says that the 4-7-8 breathing method can help reduce anxiety, help someone get to sleep, manage cravings, and deal with anger.
Stress we receive from issues such as anxiety, insomnia, bouts of anger, or cravings, is something that we can make efforts to change in our own lives. These aren’t wholly controlled by outside forces and making these changes will help with overall stress.
Write it down
Sometimes, when we’re feeling stressed it can be because we don’t have an outlet for the things that we’re thinking. This might be because we don’t want to tell anyone specifically what things we’re thinking about. In these cases, we still need a place to vent our frustrations or fears.
Keeping a stress diary is as easy as accessing a Note app on your phone, or picking up a cheap paperbound notebook for a few dollars.
Write down the things that you’re thinking about, don’t worry about punctuation, proper grammar, spelling or anything. You don’t even have to go back and read it yourself, this is about getting those thoughts, worries, and words down on the page/screen.
Stress can be caused by problems seeming larger than they are. No issue is impossible to solve, but anxiety can make a problem seem insurmountable. Learning how to take control of these issues and breaking them down into manageable portions is a good way to relieve stress.
If a problem seems too large to deal with, one method of dealing with it is to write down the problem and come up with as many ways to solve the problem as possible. For each solution you think of, write down the good and the bad points of each one and eventually select the best one.
With that, write down every step you need to do to complete the best solution to the problem: what will be done, how it will be done, when it will be done, who is involved, and where it is taking place.
This structured approach is a way of taking back control of a large situation that seems too complex to deal with.
Talk to someone
Finally, we also recommend talking to someone about your stress and anxieties. This will help bring down your overall stress levels, and speaking about your issues will give you the opportunity to gain perspective, either through the talking itself, or through the advice given.
Here at Pacific CBT, we use the tried and tested method of talking therapy known as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to tailor the treatment to the individual needing help. In this way, we can effectively and quickly get to the root of the problem.
Pacific CBT offers free 15 minute phone consultations with our therapists, so you can decide if CBT is something you’re interested in pursuing. Studies show that it’s highly effective, so call today and book your free consultation with our expert therapists.
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