Stress, stress and more stress. It is all we seem, myself specifically, to talk about and focus on. For some of us, that's what our world revolves around. We write blogposts about it, we laugh at memes involving it. Heck, we practically allow it to control our lives. But what if we stopped allowing it this control? What if we actually started working to manage our stress levels and enjoy the things we're doing. According to a lot of psychologists, most stress can be prevented with better planning and time management, but before any of that can happen we have to learn to tame the stress we currently have. Here are six solid ways to start relieving your stress:
1. Listen to music
When I sit and think of all the great times I've had in life, a majority of them had a catchy song playing in the background. In the words of the great Taylor Swift, "people may not always be there for you, but music always is." Once you find your genre/artist/band/style/soul song it is almost impossible to not allow it to affect your mood. When you find yourself drowning in the demands of your world, take a minute to pause life but play your music.
2. Call a friend
You don't have to talk about your stress, it would probably be better to talk about something completely unrelated. Call up your guys and gals and ask them about how they're doing or what is going on in their life. Sometimes distractions are the best way to advert your stress and calm yourself down. If you can't avoid the topic of stress coming up then feel free to get it off your chest. The power of saying how you're feeling is relieving and a good friend is the perfect way to do this.
It sounds painful (to me at least), but too many studies have shown the positive correlation between a healthy mindset and a healthy body for me to ignore this one. Maybe you're in to lifting weights, maybe you're a runner, maybe you're into something of slower pace like walking or yoga. Whatever your workout fancy is, take an hour to escape from what's causing you anxiety and allow your body to release all those healthy endorphins.
4. Take a deep breath
It sounds silly, but sometimes a simple long breath in and a long breath out works magic. Just taking a few minutes to sit back and relax allows for better oxygen flow, your muscles to relax, and for your mind to clear up.
5. Start enjoying the simple things
Find pleasure in that short conversation you had on the concourse or that candy bar you snacked on a few minutes ago. It is so easy to let the larger things like school assignments, club commitments, and friendship woes to control our mind that these little breaths of fresh, sweet air, get lost in the shuffle. Make a conscious effort to find joy in your storm.
6. Read scripture
Nothing makes me calm like the word of our Lord. Start your day off with a devotional, write encouraging scripture in your planner, and make time during the day to turn to God. The bible is full of advice for the troubled heart and always does wonders for my stressed soul. Above all, if anything can conquer the monster of stress in your life sweet Jesus can.