how to cope with stress and anxiety

Instead of complaining about the ebb and flow of tough times, we need to learn how to overcome them. We often let bad news cast a pall on our day, but taking it in and moving on with life is what we need to do and that’s a challenge.

Let’s look at 6 ways on how we can deal with the stresses and anxieties we face in our daily lives:

1. Deep breathing

If your schedule has you feeling compressed by unexplainable and intangible forces, stop everything and start taking in deep breaths.

Nobody takes this clichéd advice seriously, however, from a scientific perspective, deep breathing causes your metabolism to decrease, slows down heart-rate, relaxes the muscles and calms you down. So, stop everything for a minute and start breathing!

2. Write down what you’re stressed about

When there is too much going on in your head, you can never get work done. Doing a simple task can seem frustrating if your mind is just a labyrinthine tangle of negative thoughts and demotivating voices. The moment you are not 100% invested in your task, you would catch yourself being stuck for hours and it’s ultimately undue stress.

To avoid this, write down everything that bothers you, however big or small it is. Visualize and envision what you are going to do and remember that worrying about accomplishing a series of tasks will be futile. Don’t punish yourself by getting into a mess of unproductivity and negativity; write it down and clear it out.

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin

3. Yoga

Forcing yourself to contort your body into pretzel-like forms is not what yoga is about. Throughout the asanas, you need to breathe deeply and feel your muscles stretch. Listen to your body and feel every moment. The increased blood circulation to all parts of your body and the stabilization of hormones will calm you down.

4. Caffeine could increase stress levels

This is tragic news for the caffeine-lovers but you don’t need to panic about giving up on coffee. You need to bite the bullet and restrict coffee consumption to once-a-day. Caffeine can inhibit the absorption of adenosine (hormone) and cause a chaos in your biological clock if consumed excessively or late in the day.

Caffeine injects adrenaline into your system which may give you a temporary stimulation but later in the day you would feel agitated and fatigued. Take baby steps in controlling your addiction and when you have successfully reached the ‘one-cup-a-day’ stage, try to consume that cup of caffeine-loaded drink before 2pm.

5. Exercise and clean eating

Healthy meals and an active lifestyle go hand in hand in dissipating stress effectively. The psychological benefits of exercising have a neurochemical basis, which is the decrease in stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol, and the increase in the endorphin hormone which is the body’s natural painkiller and mood elevator.

Parenthetically, you will achieve a toned-looking body, your favourite clothes will fit you perfectly and you will be in the pink of health. All of this will collectively enable you to exude confidence and work efficiently. It’s simple, if you take care of your body, your body takes care of you.

Now that we have discussed handling daily-life stresses and anxieties, let’s talk about failures and how to overcome them:

1. Dissect the experience

Staying positive in the teeth of every difficulty sounds almost preposterous and unrealistic, and it is true that remaining happy all the time is impossible. What is essential though is to accept that you are a human, complain if you have to and feel free to be upset but don’t whine all day long and get over-emotional. Think about how that failure had played out.

Think about why you made the decision you made, recognize where exactly you went wrong and take ownership while not blaming others. There are many things in your control, and it’s up to you to make sure you conquer those factors and utilize them to your advantage. Be in tune with yourself and put things into perspective instead of dwelling on emotions.

2. Stop comparing yourself to others

No two leaves are the same and hence it’s ridiculous to compare yourself to your peers. Your experiences, talents, desires, attitude and everything else is very different as compared to another person and hence there is no basis for you to compare and evaluate.

Always work on becoming the better version of yourself and surround yourself with people who support you, empathise with you, respect your decisions and believe in you.

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

3. You are equipped

Chances are if you are reading this article, you have the access to a laptop or a computer. You have the privilege of owning a device which basically encompasses the entire world. You have the resources and support to rise from a setback so be grateful for what you have and concentrate on progressing.

In conclusion, be it daily life stresses or an occasional failure, take it with a pinch of salt emotionally. Like glow sticks, we don’t shine until we are broken. Remember the world doesn’t owe you anything so work hard, treat problems as learning experiences, and never underestimate yourself.

How do you deal with the stress, anxiety, and failure? Let us know your tips below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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