Stress is something that we all deal with on a daily basis. When we feel overwhelmed, even the most inconsequential things can put us over the edge. Negative thoughts have a way of ruining the entire day, and the physical stress response can have a detrimental impact on our health and well-being.
Finding peace when stressed can be challenging, but it’s essential for positively dealing with stressful situations. Unless you have found a way to avoid stress entirely, having an effective coping mechanism in place is of the utmost importance. Here are some effective ways to de-stress for success.
How the Body Reacts to Stress
Believe it or not, the stress on the body isn’t always a bad thing. Exercise, for example, is a form of physical stress that ultimately has incredible impacts on one’s health and well-being. However, the body is meant to deal with stress in short bursts of time rather than facing an onslaught.
Stress is what releases stress hormones and enacts the fight-or-flight response in your body. It’s what helps you survive when your life is threatened. It helps you run faster and feel stronger in a competitive environment. Your stress response, when acute, is a good thing. In a chronic state, it can cause stress-related illness, such as high blood pressure and anxiety.
Finding Peace of Mind
There are as many ways to combat stress as there are to cause it. Finding inner peace when stressed will help you overcome barriers that get in the way of reaching your goals. Here are a few practical ways to de-stress that you can start now.
Meditation is an ancient practice that has remained a consistent method for combatting stress through the test of time. You can use meditation to calm your mind, let go of negative thoughts, and bring a feeling of inner peace into your daily life. By starting or finishing each day with a mindful meditation exercise, you will feel your stress levels descend, and your anxious thoughts dissipate.
Start by finding a quiet room and laying or sitting comfortably. Close your eyes and inhale deeply over a count of four seconds. Hold for two seconds, then exhale for a count of six. Lose yourself in the moment, letting anxious thoughts come and go while focusing on your breathing. If you wish, you can consider a specific situation and let the thoughts come surrounding it so you can process them in a healthy way.
To use mindfulness meditation as your main stress reliever, you can use one of the many apps available to help guide you.
Fighting Overwhelm with the Experts
If you find that your stress and anxiety is largely caused by being overwhelmed by the different scenarios in your life, consider reaching out for help. A coach or mentor can help you process the many different factors of your existence, set goals, and prioritize tasks to get you there. A coach can help you eliminate unnecessary stressors to help you find peace and happiness while creating coping skills for stress management.
Sometimes, human beings get overwhelmed not only by the factors of their existence but by their potential. Fear of failure can cause stress and anxiety, and even panic attacks. Having someone to help shape and direct their path can be a huge stress relief in and of itself.
Spirituality usually gets associated with religion. While it can certainly be connected to religious practices, spirituality speaks of finding a connection with the world around you and feeling like a necessary piece of a bigger picture. For some, inner peace is found through prayer and dedication to God. For others, spending time walking through the woods and appreciating the natural world cultivates that connection.
Mindfulness meditation ties greatly into spirituality, as it allows people to let go of negative thoughts and be present in the moment. Spirituality is one of the main facets of the Bloom Development Approach, as it impacts all areas of one’s existence.
Finding peace of mind is subjective, as human beings are different from one another and have individual stressors and relaxation techniques. For some, self-help books are the preferred method of finding a way to deal with stressful situations. Those who enjoy physical activity may start the day with a run or trip to the gym to use those stress hormones in the way they were intended. Others might practice self-care and go for regular massages, where they can be calm and quiet.
Whichever method you choose, whether you pray or dive into self-help books, the end goal remains the same: use stress management techniques effectively to find your inner peace and happiness.
Working with a Coach to Combat Stress
There are many ways in which working with a coach can combat rising stress levels. Here are a few that stand out in a coach/client situation:
Prioritizing tasks to reduce overwhelm.
Identifying barriers, both internal and external, that cause stress.
Finding a way to develop spirituality and determine what works for you (mindfulness meditation, prayer, etc.)
Creating a plan, reducing fear of failure in the pursuit of goals.
Finding ways to delegate tasks to other people.
Creating mantras to help build confidence and self-esteem while offsetting imposter syndrome.
Helping you ensure your goals are in alignment with your values.
Act as a confidant with which to discuss your fear, hopes, and dreams of the future.
Your Brand of Inner Peace
Finding inner peace, whatever that means to you as an individual, will help you in times when your fight-or-flight response kicks in and makes it hard to think clearly in a difficult situation. Using relaxation techniques and learning to focus on your breathing will offset the occurrence of stress-related illness that will derail you when you’re on track to reach your goals.
Whether you are an entrepreneur working to get a business up and running or a working mom climbing the corporate ladder, having stress management skills will set you apart from the rest and keep you ahead of the rising tide. Think of everything you could accomplish in the run of a day with a little stress relief up your sleeve.
Meredith Wailes is the president of Bloom Leadership, founder of SEED, and an advisor and builder of women who impact social change. Contact her via Bloomleaders.com or connect on LinkedIn to see how she can help you.