According to the American Institute of Stress, 80% of American workers need regular and ongoing help to manage life stress, and 42% believe their co-workers need stress management assistance. Most people are aware that daily tension can easily transform into headaches, mood swings, and relationship problems. But it can also cause weight gain, psychotic breaks, and even heart attacks or other cardiac concerns. It’s no wonder stress is known as “the silent killer.” While stress may never be completely eliminated from your life, there are some simple measures anyone can take to harness their emotions and keep their health and life under control. But what are some of the most challenging emotions or feelings and how can they be handled?
Annoyance, Irritation, Anger, Rage
Everyone gets upset, but some people are better than others at recognizing and reversing the triggers. Emotions are cognitive, so the first step is considering the actual weight of the issue. From there, you can decide whether it really deserves the attention it’s receiving on your end or if your emotions are magnifying the situation. The choice is always yours. So stop, breathe, think, and decide.
Sometimes life makes it hard to label your emotions. Suddenly everything’s falling apart, and it’s hard, if not impossible, to function. Irritation is at an all-time high while patience is at ground zero. How you handle yourself in these situations is all that matters. You can scream and cry, become irrational or violent, laugh like a crazed lunatic, crumble in a corner and end up in a straight jacket… or you can stop, breathe, accept life goes on, and make a plan to get through whatever is causing such emotional turmoil at the moment.
If you’re not depressed or on the brink of dangerous thoughts, take a long hot bubble bath or soak in a hot tub to relax. Leave the residence or situation briefly if necessary and go for a long, peaceful walk alone or visit a day spa. Shut yourself in a room and meditate or do some yoga. And if none of that is an option, or if you just prefer to hang out on your phone, try this coloring book app for seriously addictive fun and stress relief.
Sadness, Depression, Self-Loathing, Betrayal
The blahs happen to everyone, but oftentimes it’s more than simple melancholy or a random case of the blues. It’s easy to say “stay positive”, but following through is another matter altogether. The act of smiling to the point where it reaches the eyes, stretches the lips, and lifts the cheeks, helps balance the neurotransmitters in the brain. Even forcing a smile daily and holding it a few seconds can trick the brain into thinking you’re in a good mood. Once the emotions settle enough to feel like you can function, try exercising to upbeat music to continue the free dopamine release.
Pessimism, Burned Out, Boredom, Frustration
Continual negativity, losing momentum or interest at work, chronic boredom, or feeling like you’re forced to do far too much all the time can make life unbearable. It’s important to take control of these feelings and own them. Create a journal and write down your inner thoughts until you discover the root cause.
Take time for yourself even if it means using a sick day or calling a babysitter. Go see a movie and treat yourself to a tub of popcorn. Stop by a used bookstore and buy something that jumps off the shelf. Look for a comedic solution. A sitcom, funny Netflix special, or even a visit with an especially animated friend can clear the negative air and balance your focus.
Just remember: you can beat stress and you don’t have to face it alone. There are always simple and effective ways to combat stress and regain control of even the most challenging life issues and emotions.
Alright mamas, here’s some advice just for you. Check out 7 Ways to Prevent the Stress of being a WAHM.
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