How To Manage Stress and Reduce Anxiety - The Real Basic Steps
Tip #1: STOP!
What do you do when you are stressed? Eat? Shop? Isolate? Vent?
Everyone has different coping mechanisms when it comes to managing stress and anxiety. Some seemingly work so well that we become dependent on them. Some are constructive, some are not. Some do alleviate the stress, some only bury and facilitate stress accumulation.
How do you know yours is really helping? The key is to notice if you give yourself a pause, the moment you notice any form of anxiety.
Mentally allow yourself to pause everything else and refocus on yourself, on how you feel. In our coaching method, we call it “Active Experience”. Allow yourself to fully explore all the thoughts, feelings and emotions that arise in this very moment.
𝑫𝒐𝒏’𝒕 𝒕𝒓𝒚 𝒕𝒐 𝒄𝒉𝒂𝒔𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒔𝒕𝒓𝒆𝒔𝒔 𝒂𝒘𝒂𝒚, 𝒅𝒐𝒏’𝒕 𝒕𝒓𝒚 𝒕𝒐 𝒉𝒊𝒅𝒆 𝒂𝒏𝒙𝒊𝒆𝒕𝒚, 𝒅𝒐𝒏’𝒕 𝒕𝒓𝒚 𝒕𝒐 𝒓𝒖𝒏 𝒂𝒘𝒂𝒚 𝒇𝒓𝒐𝒎 𝒚𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒇𝒆𝒆𝒍𝒊𝒏𝒈𝒔 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒆𝒎𝒐𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏𝒔. 𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝒎𝒐𝒓𝒆 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒕𝒓𝒚, 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒉𝒂𝒓𝒅𝒆𝒓 𝒊𝒕 𝒘𝒊𝒍𝒍 𝒃𝒆 𝒕𝒐 𝒎𝒂𝒏𝒂𝒈𝒆, 𝒐𝒗𝒆𝒓 𝒕𝒊𝒎𝒆.
Stop everything else, stop letting your external environment further interfere with your inner world and listen to your body, your breath, your thoughts.
Tip #2: Breathe
Take a conscious breath.
Conscious breathing is a way to listen to your body.
Is any part of you feeling stressed, anxious and unheard? You may be nailing that important meeting suppressing your own feelings. But the feelings will linger and accumulate until you address it properly.
After “stopping” everything external (Tip #1), bring yourself back to your breath. 𝑵𝒐𝒕𝒊𝒄𝒆 𝒉𝒐𝒘 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒃𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒕𝒉 𝒄𝒂𝒍𝒎𝒔 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒎𝒊𝒏𝒅. 𝑵𝒐𝒕𝒊𝒄𝒆 𝒉𝒐𝒘 𝒊𝒕 𝒂𝒍𝒍𝒐𝒘𝒔 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒕𝒐 𝒔𝒆𝒑𝒂𝒓𝒂𝒕𝒆 𝒚𝒐𝒖𝒓𝒔𝒆𝒍𝒇 𝒇𝒓𝒐𝒎 𝒚𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒐𝒘𝒏 𝒄𝒉𝒂𝒐𝒕𝒊𝒄 𝒎𝒊𝒏𝒅. Observe the breath, be fully present for yourself.
Now, you have the space, to choose to see your anxiety and stress in a different light.
Tip #3: Gratitude
Gratitude is a powerful tool. However, it could be deceiving.
Many may disagree with me but I believe gratitude when used inappropriately could create illusion.
I am grateful for a good day yesterday. But I can’t use gratitude for yesterday to cover up how I feel today.
I am truly grateful for the good things in my life, but I can’t use this gratefulness to shield myself from my own stress, anxiety and pain.
It is just as important to be grateful for the part of us which is experiencing stress and anxiety. Without this part, we may not even know how to appreciate joy and peace.
𝑺𝒐 𝒘𝒉𝒆𝒏 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒇𝒆𝒆𝒍 𝒔𝒕𝒓𝒆𝒔𝒔𝒆𝒅 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒂𝒏𝒙𝒊𝒐𝒖𝒔, 𝒔𝒕𝒐𝒑, 𝒃𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒕𝒉𝒆, 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒏𝒌 𝒚𝒐𝒖𝒓𝒔𝒆𝒍𝒇 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒔 𝒐𝒑𝒑𝒐𝒓𝒕𝒖𝒏𝒊𝒕𝒚 𝒕𝒐 𝒑𝒂𝒖𝒔𝒆 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒔𝒊𝒕 𝒘𝒊𝒕𝒉 𝒚𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒇𝒆𝒆𝒍𝒊𝒏𝒈𝒔, 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒏𝒌 𝒚𝒐𝒖𝒓𝒔𝒆𝒍𝒇 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒔𝒆𝒍𝒇-𝒂𝒘𝒂𝒓𝒆𝒏𝒆𝒔𝒔 𝒐𝒇 𝒚𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒐𝒘𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒐𝒖𝒈𝒉𝒕𝒔 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒆𝒎𝒐𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏𝒔.
When you stop feeling self-conflicted or resenting yourself for how you feel, you’ll become much more connected and resourceful to overcome your own stress in a constructive way.