Stress can really take a toll on our mind, body, spirit, and the people we interact with. For me, it’s been a huge wake-up call because , I start to complain and annoy the bejeezus out of my husband. This unproductive, negative habit spirals out of control and I don’t even realize I’m talking his ear off. I just have to let it out, I think to myself. This has become such a problem over the years that I have made it my mission to change my habits.
I feel that I’m a work in progress, but have figured out steps to control myself. Every day, if and when something bad happens to me, I don’t complain. I acknowledge what is happening, and if I can’t productively resolve it, I begin taking steps to get over it by letting it go. This is a huge 180 from my former tendencies of worrying myself silly to the point of crying my eyes out. Now when things get too stressful I find a way to lift up my spirits. Sometimes it’s a simple comedy other times is attending a concert donned in like the millennials.
To paraphrase Maya Angelou's words: whenever something displeases you, it's best you change and when that’s not possible change your view on it but never utter a complaint.
This quote has really stuck with me recently. I think about it often and try to adhere to it as much as possible. So, if I can’t change what’s stressing me out, I challenge myself to think about what happened differently and not complain for 24 hours about it. In addition to changing my thoughts, I walk daily for 30 minutes during lunch, speak with someone who has a calm spirit, call my mom after work if I’m still worried, or go grab some tea. All of these things help me to NOT think negatively about the stressful event(s) I’ve experienced over the last 24 hours. It may sound silly, but it actually works!
Here are some more helpful tips my friends have shared with me (and ones that I swear by):
An awesome friend and colleague of mine at work is a huge advocate for this powerful herb, which studies have shown to ease anxiety and improve mental clarity and alertness. Warning: Sage has a very bitter taste, so try a little at a time or simply add a little to your tea for a boost of energy and stress relief.
Drink plenty of water!
I drink 3–4 liters of water a day, and let me tell you — it has not only improved my mood during work days, but it has also done wonders for my skin. And I’m not the only one.
Eat mood-boosting foods + exercise.
What do you do to relieve stress? I’m sure it’s not easy for any of us, but as with anything, practicing healthy stress management tips are key!