Your Guide to Letting Go of Stress
Letting go of Stress. It is a phrase that no one likes to hear, but that everyone is familiar with. It can come from our relationships, our work or even our family—and it can be overwhelming and difficult to manage. No matter what circumstances have led you to a stressful state, it is important that you have the tools you need to properly manage the stress you are facing.
While there is nothing you can do to avoid stress or prevent it from happening, if you have the right tools in your arsenal, you can manage your stress much better and make sure that it doesn’t having a lasting, negative impact on your life.
Be Aware of the Consequences
If you want to make sure that you are truly letting go of stress seriously, then you need to remember the consequences of stress and what happens when it seeps into your life. Write down what happens to you when you get overly stressed.
- Do you stress eat?
- Do you not sleep?
- Do you lash out at others?
- Do you get physically ill?
You need to remember what stress does to you whenever you feel overwhelmed, so that you remember that your feelings aren’t worth it.
You also need to remember that letting go of stress can be a slippery slope, and a small feeling of stress that doesn’t seem like that big of a deal can ultimately magnify into something much more seriously. Many of us end up holding on to our negative feelings of stress and the conflicts that we have in our lives. The more we hold on to it, the worse it can feel and the more it can magnify.
You must be willing to let all of that go.
Consider Mindful Meditation
It is a tip that I recommend to virtually anyone, in any situation, and that is because it works. Regular mindful meditation can help with your mental and physical health and provide that much-needed stress relief that so many of us are looking for.
But why does mindful meditation work well for letting go of stress?
Because a key component to successful mindful meditation is being able to focus on the present. This is the foundation of a successful meditation session and what will guide you through your session, no matter how long or short it may be.
When you regularly spend even 15 minutes per day focusing your mind on the present moment and nothing else, it gives you a powerful tool to help you with stress. It will help you let go of negative emotions and teach yourself to stop focusing on past (or future) situations that may cause you stress and instead focus only on what you can do in the present.
Trust me, it will help.
Fake it Till You Make It
Sometimes, the best way to change your feelings, is to start by changing your behavior. This is a great time to implement the “fake it ‘til you make it” approach. Change your behavior and start doing some stress management activities. Even if your mind hasn’t caught up and you don’t feel less stressed yet, these behaviors will help steer you in the right direction.
Stress management activities can include exercise and other hobbies that relieve stress, but the key is to actively do something that will take your mind out of what is stressing you out. Start with the physical actions and your mind will soon follow. Sometimes, you need to be willing to take action first, and then know that the feelings will follow.
Plus, if you are constantly acting like you aren’t stressed, and are telling yourself and others that stress isn’t getting you down, you may just accidentally trick yourself into letting your stress go.
Picture a Less Stressful Future
If there is one thing that regular meditation will teach you—it is how to be in more control of your thoughts. Regular meditation sessions will teach you to control and redirect your mind when it gets distracted—and you can use this training to redirect your mind when you are overcome with feelings of stress.
The next time you feel stress kicking in, use your mindfulness to redirect your thoughts to something more positive. More specifically a more positive potential outcome.
Picture a less stressful future, when your difficult situation ends turning out with the best possible solution. Use this as content for your meditation. Sit and practice your breathing and focus on envisioning a future where your stressful situation works out in the best way possible.
Try picturing this in your head, or even writing it out so that it seems real. The more you can envision this ideal future where things work out for you, the easier it will be to refocus your thoughts and feelings away from the negativity and stress and towards more positive and optimistic feelings.
These are all things that will help put you in a state of mindfulness and you will quickly find that they not only help you battle stress in the moment, but that they can help protect you from the effects of stress before they really kick in.
When you are living in a more mindful state, you will be more aware of your thoughts and find you won’t act as quickly to stressful situations when they arise. When you are more mindful and aware of what is going on around you, you will be able to gain perspective on the situation around you and whether or not it is really worth feelings stressed over.
Taking a more mindful approach to life can help with virtually any and every aspect of your life, if you are jut consistent about living a more mindful way. Take these tips to heart and remember to call upon all you have learned about mindfulness whenever you feel stress kicking in—it will only help you find the peace of mind that you need.