6 Strategies for Managing Stress and Anxiety
Mar 08, 2022
A pressure cooker is a sealed chamber that traps the steam generated as its contents are heated. As steam builds, the pressure increases, until the boiling point of water is above 212°F.”
As humans, metaphorically, we can function like pressure cookers too. We start our day with our stress or anxiety level at a certain point, however, things can happen throughout the day that continue to fuel our stress and anxiety. If the stress or anxiety continues to build, we hit a “boiling point”. It is often too late before we notice that we are almost at our boiling point, which can make it much harder to bring our stress and anxiety back down. In addition, once we hit that boiling point, we sometimes say or do things that we regret, which increases our stress and anxiety even more.
We have over 60,000 thoughts per day, so there is no way we can be consciously monitoring all of the thoughts we are having in response to what is happening throughout our days. Because of this, it is helpful to intentionally check in throughout the day and release some of the pressure that is building, so that you keep bringing it back down, instead of allowing it to continue to slowly creep up.
Some quick and easy ways to check in with yourself and manage anxiety and stress throughout the day are:
- Take 10 deep breaths. Breath in for 4 counts, hold for 4 counts, and breath out for 8 counts. When you breathe out you can also say a phrase like “release” or “relax”. Doing this will slow down your nervous system if it is starting to get revved up throughout the day.
- Move your body. Get up from where you are and move your body around for just 5 minutes. You can take a walk, do some squats, do a quick yoga sequence, jump in place, do some knee lifts, dance...really anything will work so do what you enjoy.
- Put on some music. Either put on music that will hype you up and change your mental state (combine this with a little dance for even more impact), or some soothing music that makes you feel like you are at the spa or somewhere relaxing. Music can have a big impact on how you feel, so if you are someone who connects, with music use it to support you in managing your mood and stress level.
- Dump your thoughts on paper. Take a piece of paper and write out everything you are thinking without censoring your thoughts. The goal is to get them out of your head and onto paper so that you give your brain some relief from the thoughts that are causing you stress or anxiety. You will also be able to identify some of those unconscious thoughts that may be lurking in the background negatively impacting how you feel. Once they are on paper, you can take this a step further and challenge some of your thoughts. Are they 100% true? Is there a different way you could be thinking about a situation that would result in less stress or anxiety?
- Write down one thing you are grateful for and one win you have had for the day. Our brains are designed to focus on the negative things happening around us and to us. Being intentional about writing down what you are grateful for and the wins you have each day (they are there, even on hard days), will help ensure that your brain is logging the good things and not only the things that are causing you stress and anxiety.
- Practice mindfulness meditation. This practice will help you learn to tune into your thoughts that are causing you to feel stress and anxiety. Once you are able to recognize the thoughts, you are then able to manage them and change them so that you change the way you feel. If you want to learn how to do this practice, grab my free guide by clicking HERE for my 5 Minute Mindfulness Meditation Guide.
Give one or all of these a shot. Use the control you have over your mind and your nervous system and you will feel much more in control of your stress and anxiety. I recommend setting a timer a couple times per day so that you do this proactively to bring rising stress levels down before they reach a boiling point.
Live your best boss lady life!
Karen Vincent Solutions
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