5 Tips to Mitigate Stress in Your Life

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Stress: a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances. 

We have all been there.  Whether it be an overwhelming day or an intense situation, stress is a part of life.  However, stress isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  It’s primarily a physical response that results in a flight or fight approach in how to handle a situation. 

I tend to operate at my best when under pressure, where stress can be a positive force to motivate me.  But there are times when stress can come on during difficult circumstances and your body or mind doesn’t know how to handle the situation.  If you are in a state of stress for long periods of time, it can be detrimental to your health and impact both your home and work life. 

People experience stress differently and in turn handle it differently.  The key is to recognize when your demands are too high. When I become stressed, I notice that I become more agitated and can become aggressive towards others in the situation.  Therefore, I have found ways to recognize when the feelings are coming on and deal with it.

Here are a few things that work for me!

Identify the Stress Triggers:

Pay attention to what causes you stress or removes you from contentment, and write it down.  Determine how to reduce or eliminate anything that creates a negative stressor in your life, or how to react to these situations.  One thing that changed a lot for me this year was my ability to say no to things and feel okay about it.  I was able to more easily manage my schedule and spend time doing what was best for me and my family.

Meditation:

This is my immediate go to when I am overwhelmed or stressed.  Often I will say the word, “breathe,” out loud and then take three deep breaths.  Through meditation, you can attempt to find clarity in your thoughts or what is taking place in the moment.  Let your mind follow your breath, not wander, but align.  It definitely sounds cliché, but I cannot recommend this technique enough.  To find out more information on meditation, check out Headspace!  They have awesome exercises to help with meditating for stress, sleep, anger and more.

Exercise:

Dance it out, hit the gym or go for a walk.  I often lump my love of yoga or taking a walk with meditation, but yoga has saved me countless of times (even prenatal yoga when I was pregnant with both of my boys).  For me to completely forget about what is going on at the moment, I Zumba!  I am too busy trying to be coordinated in dance moves to think about anything else! 
When you are physically active, you release endorphins that boost your mood.  At home, we dance it out.  When my children are worked up or can’t get past something on a project they are working on, we take a break and dance!  Pretty soon we are laughing and more able to tackle the issue at hand.

Quiet Time:

As busy as I am and like to be, I thrive on a little quiet time.  If I can gain a little calm moment by staying up later than I normally would or getting up earlier than everyone else (when the house is quiet), I’ll do it! Even with a little less sleep, I function better with fifteen minutes to get my thoughts in order.  Find something that makes you calm, like taking a warm bath, listening to music or a favorite hobby.  I like to scrapbook or read a book, cuddled up in a nice warm blanket with a glass of wine!

Share:

Talk to your friends and family.  Sharing your thoughts, concerns and feelings with others actually helps relieve stress.  If you know someone else is stressed, check on them and give encouragement.

What are some ways that you handle stress?

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Born and raised in Wichita, full of Shocker pride, Jenna is a boy mom to son's Aiden and Eli. She married her college sweetheart, Danny, and the two keep an active schedule that includes chasing their children and dogs around Northeast Wichita. Jenna is an executive for a local HR Outsourcing organization and a member of the Junior League of Wichita. She likes to spend her spare time helping others or volunteering around the community. You can catch her at local events, supporting entrepreneurs and participating in activities with friends and family. She is a total foodie, loves coffee and craft beer, is an avid podcast listener and is quite fond of a glass of Cabernet to end her day. Keep up with Jenna at @JenMarceau on Instagram!