10 Ways to Kick Stress in the Butt
When we are stressed, it’s easy to develop negative thinking patterns because we become frustrated by our challenges. We can become overwhelmed. We can even develop a negative outlook which makes it even harder for us to manage those challenges and move forward and break through the stress cycle. Practicing positive thinking can help to focus on our strengths and accomplishments and increase happiness and motivation. Then we spend more time making progress and less time feeling down and stuck. Try these ideas for to help you shift into more positive thinking patterns:
1. Take Good Care of Yourself
It's much easier to be positive when you are eating well, exercising, and getting enough rest.
2. Be Grateful
Stresses and challenges don't seem quite as bad when you regularly remind yourself of the things that are right in life. Taking just 1 minute a day to stop and appreciate the good things can make a huge difference.
3. Avoid Making Assumptions
A fear of not being liked or accepted sometimes leads us to assume that we know what others are thinking, but our fears are usually not real. If you have a fear that a friend or family member's bad mood is due to something you did, or that your co-workers are secretly gossiping about you when you turn your back, speak up and ask them. Don't waste time worrying that you did something wrong unless you really know that there is something to worry about.
4. Avoid Using Absolutes
Have you ever told a partner "You're ALWAYS late!" or complained to a friend "You NEVER call me!"? Thinking and speaking in absolutes like “always” and “never” makes the situation seem worse than it is and programs your brain into believing that certain people are incapable of delivering.
5. Let Go of Negative Thoughts
Your thoughts can't hold any power over you if you don't judge them. If you notice yourself having a negative thought, recognize it but don't follow it.
6. Squash the "ANTs"
In his book "Change Your Brain, Change Your Life," Dr. Daniel Amen talks bad thoughts that are usually reactionary, like "those people are laughing, they must be talking about me," or "the boss wants to see me? It must be bad!" When you notice these thoughts, realize that they are nothing more than ANTs and squash them!
7. Practice the Art of Touch
You don't have to be an expert to know the benefits of a good hug. Positive physical contact with friends, loved ones, and even pets, is an instant pick-me-up. One research study on this subject had a waitress touch some of her customers on the arm as she handed them their checks. She received higher tips from these customers than from the ones she didn't touch!
8. Increase Your Social Activity
By increasing social activity, you decrease loneliness. Surround yourself with healthy, happy people, and their positive energy will affect you in a positive way!
9. Volunteer for an Organization, or Help another Person
Everyone feels good after helping. You can volunteer your time, your money, or your resources. The more positive energy you put out, the more you usually receive in return.
10. Interrupt Negative Thinking Patterns (ruminating)
Rumination is like hyper-focus on something negative. It's never productive, because it's not rational or solution-oriented. It's just excessive worry and stress. If you find yourself ruminating, a great way to stop it is to interrupt the pattern and force yourself to do something completely different. Try changing your physical environment - go for a walk or sit outside. You could also call a friend, pick up a book, or turn on some music.
It’s important to understand the signs of stress and react with a positive way of handling it like some of the ways listed above. The key to busting stress is to make sure that you look after YOU. As your happiness levels increase, your stress levels decrease. Have a look at your work, personal and social to see if there are any areas where you can create more happiness. You might be surprised on what you find.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease