Stress is toxic. It can consume our lives if we allow it and it's fairly easy to do.
When we are stressed, our immune systems don't work as well which is probably a contributing factor as to why I was always so sick at school. We don't perform as highly and we allow ourselves to sink into depression or live in a state of anxiety, or both.
Learning to calm yourself and manage stress is so important. Let's be real, we can't walk through life without some stressors. But in learning to manage this consuming emotion, we can grow and move forward. Here are a few ways I like to destress.
1. Breathe. I use to use breathing for dance. When I was trying to get my splits or catch my breath after a routine, I'd take a huge breath. I didn't really believe it could help my stress levels honestly until last year. I was going through a tough time when I quit my job and started a new venture and I'd find myself so worked up. My mom told me to breathe, I rolled my eyes and I tried it. And guys... it worked. So now when I find my stress levels increasing, I take a huge deep breath and repeat until I can feel my heart rate slow and a sense of calm come over my body.
2. Jam to music. When stress meets any other emotion, generally anger, I like to jam. I sing and dance around the room until my heart is content. I think this has to do with my years of dance and show choir, but honestly I love using music to destress. I love to pick a genre that gets exactly how I'm feeling and knows just the right songs to play.
3. Realize no one is going to get hurt if I don't finish a task. This is probably one of the biggest things that has helped me balance all I do. No one's life is at stake if I don't post a photo on Instagram. It's all going to be just fine.
4. Shut off my phone. I spend so much time on my phone and on social media. So much time, in fact, that it is causing back and neck problems. Sometimes I just need a break from the technology so I shut it off or put it in an area where I won't be for a while.
5. Have a glass of wine and watch a good movie. Generally on Friday night's I like to disconnect, pour myself a glass of wine, and watch a movie. it's important to take time to zone out and do something you love.
6. Go to a workout class. The reason I go to Shred, aside from getting exercise, is to reduce stress. For one full hour, I stare at myself in a mirror and push myself as hard as I can. No phone, loud music, and the feeling at the end... it's the best ever.
We all handle stress a little differently, but there are so many ways to reduce this awful feeling. This article from Huffington Post is also really great and might give you some other ideas that can help you.
Stress is normal, but don't let it control your life. Life is way too short to live in a constant state of tension.
Cheers to calming ourselves and learning to destress,