Wholly Living

How to Deal with Stress

"While we are entitled to strong feelings about the events happening around us, it makes sense to label these feelings accurately."

Stress can leave us overwhelmed, irritable, exhausted, and sometimes even physically sick. Stress is not the event itself, but the label we assign to the event; the verbal description we assign to our feelings can influence how we actually feel. While we are entitled to strong feelings about the events happening around us, it makes sense to label these feelings accurately. 

So how do we deal with stress? 

Experience silence.

The world is so full of noise that we often don’t realize how much stress it can cause us. Leave the TV and radio off for an evening; find a quiet path and take a walk.

Listen to music.

Many people find that music helps them reduce stress.

Visit nature.

Activities like walking through a meadow or hiking in a forest can help put life into perspective. If you can’t escape urban life, bring nature to you by purchasing plants and flowers to decorate your space.

Take a hot bath.

A bath can be more relaxing and self-indulgent than a shower, plus the heat will reduce muscle tension. If you fill the tub with a pleasing bath oil or bath salts, you’ll have the added benefit of aromatherapy.

Don’t procrastinate.

It’s too stressful. Whatever you want to do tomorrow, do today. Whatever you want to do today, do it now.

Get a massage.

Massages reduce muscle tension, which can immensely help with stress relief.

Try aromatherapy.

Aromatherapy involves the scientific effect of smell on your body and mind. Relaxing scents include chamomile, sage and lavender.

Talk with friends.

Strong bonds to others can be one of the best ways to get through life happy and peaceful. 

Volunteer.

Aiding others may help you deal more effectively with your own problems by giving you better perspective and a sense of control over your life.

Adopt a pet.

Caring for a pet can help increase your sense of control and reduce overall stress.

Positive talk.

The one person you listen to all day is yourself and if those messages are always negative, you can end up feeling stressed or down on yourself. If you don’t like how you’re feeling, try changing the way you’re thinking.

Be flexible.

Some things are worth not doing perfectly. Some things will work just as well (or better) if you compromise.

Pray.

Sometimes you just need to let go and let God. Speaking to God about your worries can feel like a weight is lifting from your shoulders, leading to decreased stress and worry. 

Illustration by Nuthawut Somsuk

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