Emotional stress, something that I personally find more draining than any other forms of stress I encounter.
This post is not written so much from my professional training but more so from my own experience of dealing with an over active and anxious mind for as long as I can remember.
We all deal with emotions on a daily basis, some mediocre, some that elate us and are totally incredible to experience and then there are the ones that trigger a negative stress response in the body.
For many years I have struggled to deal with the stress response that emotions would trigger in my body, however I have managed to find some strategies that have helped over time to ease or manage the impact.
1. Mindset – this has been an ongoing and continual daily process of monitoring my thoughts and being aware of the direction my thoughts were heading. I could write an entire post about this topic just in itself, however, consciously monitoring my thoughts was one of the key places I started and being aware of how they made me feel.
2. Mindfulness – bringing my thoughts back to the present moment rather than focusing on the past or future is definitely beneficial. Being aware of if there is really anything I needed to feel stressed about in the current moment can be liberating at times, as often there isn’t the need to be feeling stressed at that particular time.
3. Meditation – personally it took me awhile to find the full benefit of meditation, but I do find it peaceful when able to reach that place of full relaxation. However, even just taking 5 minutes to breathe and allow the mind to calm can be beneficial, especially if a thought or situation has caused an emotion to be triggered.
4. Journalling – often when I feel overwhelmed with thoughts, my emotions and the mind on over drive, I find it beneficial to write all my thoughts out to stop them going around and around in my mind. Allow yourself some time to just write anything you need to and allow everything to just flow out and release can be exceptionally helpful.
5. Gratitude – practising gratitude can be so beneficial to our emotions and minds and allows us to focus on what is good in our lives and what we have to be grateful for. This is a great way to start each day.
6. Positive thoughts and changed perspective – similar to gratitude above, changing our perspective on a situation is something that can have a massive impact on our emotions and how we react. This has been one exceptionally key areas that has changed my emotional health. By taking the time to look at the positives of each situation, to evaluate from different perspectives, and be open to viewing each situation from a wider perspective can be life changing. Often we react from just our own perspective, but by being open to consideration from different angles can sometimes change our emotional response.
7. Choice – choosing how you react to thoughts and emotions is a powerful realisations and skill to develop. Obviously this is not always possible for every situation, but can be implemented for milder emotions. We don’t always have to react to our thoughts and emotions. It is possible to acknowledge them and choose not to allow that emotion to impact behaviour.
8. Exercise – something I personally find so beneficial for calming my stress levels and releasing emotions is exercise. For me walking outdoors is my go to, but any form of exercise you enjoy is beneficial.
9. Nature and outdoors – being in the great outdoors can be beneficial for stress levels in general and calming for the mind and soul. I personally find sunny days always assist in making me feel brighter, along with taking time to appreciate all the beauty in nature.
10. Adaptogens – I found adaptogens great for assisting me to work through my thoughts and emotions. For me personally they assisted with energy and mental clarity along with stabilising the stress levels in my body.
11. Rest and sleep – fatigue causes my emotions to go into overdrive and often out of control. So ensuring I have adequate amounts of rest and sleep is essential to maintaining stable emotional health.
These are just some of the strategies I have used over time, although no doubt there are many others that can be added. I would love to hear from others what strategies you find beneficial to help deal with emotional stress?