Every day stress is extremely common. It is easy to encounter many people in your day, irrelevant of where you meet them, and hear them tell you that they feel ‘stressed’. What is the cause of this stress? Well for each person it may be a different cause. It could be an unplanned visit from a family member that throws you off course. It could be an unexpected work presentation that you need to present in two days and you do not know where to start. It could be your child having to have dental treatment and you need to soothe and calm their nerves.
Stress can hit us in any way. Some people feel sluggish and more tired than usual. Some people feel more irritable and snappy around their family. Some people feel their concentration is not as usual when under stress. There are tips that can help to tackle every day stress.
Exercise Away the Stress
As always, please be responsible for your health and consult your doctor before trying any new exercise if you are concerned that it is not in your best interest. Exercise is a fantastic stress buster as it increases mood and helps to change your mind set. After a long work day, a client said to me the following: “I was tired and stressed after a long day at work. I decided to walk around the block and when I got home, I felt ready to prepare my next day’s work. I don’t think I could have done it straight away if I would have gone straight home.” This client realized that exercise can make a shift in our thinking and feeling, and release stress. As you can see from my client, you do not need to join an exercise class in a gym to beat stress. Exercise that helps tackle stress can be a simple walk around your block, or perhaps you could skip with a skipping rope at home for a few minutes. It needs to work in with your work and home life. Once you start building exercise into your week, observe if you notice a difference in your stress levels.
Music can alleviate stress dramatically. If you play musical instruments, you will notice clearly how you feel before you play your instrument, and how you feel after is always different, right? If you do not play a musical instrument, you can still use music to increase mood and battle stress. Which music should you listen to you may wonder? You can listen to any music that you enjoy and observe whether you feel lighter and less stressed. If you are not really sure, then I would recommend starting with calming relaxation music. Music that is relaxation music has no lyrics and often has sounds of nature – e.g. rain or birds chirping. This kind of music has special tones that induce relaxation. It is the kind of music beauty therapists use in their clinics for this specific reason.
Write it Out
Writing out lists can help you feel less stressed even if in reality nothing has actually changed. A white board with a marker can help you write out lists and wipe the errand off once completed. If you prefer pen and paper, you can check off the job once you have done it. Shopping lists are created to take the stress our of grocery shopping. You do not need to hold everything in your mind, so try writing it out and then it is off your mind and on paper.
Aviva Keren Barnett (PgD, M.A ) is a UKCP registered existential psychotherapist and counselor. Aviva holds a Master of Arts in Existential Psychotherapy and Counselling. Aviva, a very passionate therapist, works with individuals on a private basis.