Being able to identify when you’re stressed is one thing. Finding healthy ways to manage that stress is quite another.
Just as everyone experiences stress in different ways physically, emotionally and psychologically, there’s no one-size-fits-all technique for processing anxious feelings and calming nerves.
Of course, if your stress levels are constant and impacting on your life and happiness, speaking to a GP or even a counselling helpline (details at end of post) is an important first step. In general, however, finding a simple activity that helps to calm your mind is beneficial for those days and situations that are just a bit punishing on the nerves.
Earlier this week, Redditor Super C_Complex posted a question to the forum: “What do you do to manage your stress in a healthy way? Like, if work has you upset and stressed out, how do you handle it?”
Here are some of the coping strategies they suggested — and you’ll quickly notice there’s a common thread:
1. “Deep breathing, exercise, herbal tea, listen to guided meditation, things of that sort.”
2. “I go for a bike ride. Because of my location I like to go bike to a beach, but biking to any calm/relaxing area is very quaint and calms my nerves (if you don’t have a bike walking is good, or going for a nice drive).”
3. “During exams I use to love nature walks/hiking to relax, there’s some nice bliss about not being able to get a text message.”
4. “I work out. Nothing fancy. ‘These are just weights, life is heavier’.”5. “Go for a walk – try go to a new environment or an environment you don’t visit often, it will help clear your mind, remind you whatever is upsetting you isn’t the end of the world around you.”
6. “Gaming. I frequently lose myself in some RPG. Even board games usually work.”
7. “When at home, I just put on my headphones, turn off the lights, lay on bed and close my eyes to appreciate some of my favourite songs.”
8. “Cooking. Spending an hour or two trying a new recipe does wonders for me when I’m feeling stressed, plus I get to (hopefully) eat something good afterwards.”
9. “Try and do something that’s completely different from whats causing the stress. That at least allows me to ignore it for a while before having to find the root cause of the stress and solve it.”
10. “[Keeping a diary is] very cathartic and therapeutic, especially when looking back on entries from, say, a year ago. You really do see how trivial some thing you worry about are. I’m not disciplined enough with it to do it every day – just on the times where I seem to be overflowing with feels or the stress.”