I’ve been soooo much stressed lately – especially at work – that I can feel my body cells screaming for more sleep each time I get out of bed. My colleagues and I are currently in a very hectic and pressure-packed month that I think we’re all getting so much overwhelmed by what’s happening and how fast things are coming through.
I know I’m stressed because I can’t sleep without thinking of work (it pops up even at the split second before I close my eyes). And what’s even worse is that my work already creeps down my dreams!
I hate stress. I’ve always hated it… For low to moderate pressure… Yeah, I can take it. In fact, I know my body needs it to get my butt going each day. But when too much pressure sinks in, I always have the tendency to just draw away and give up. This sounds strange because back when I was a student nurse, it seems as if stress was actually a part of my daily routine. Well, I was young back then. Now, it’s different.
Stress is Helpful – But Not for Long
Yes, I know that a little doze of stress can be quite helpful occasionally. It helps me focus on what I’m doing and makes my mind and body in-sync in no time. But long-term stress is a form of abuse – and it has several detrimental effects too.
- First, it sucks away the life in you thereby making you “OOOOLLLLDDD.” Gosh, I’m just twenty-three, and I don’t wanna look like thirty next year.
- Second, it cuts down your concentration. This may not be true to all people but being self-aware, I know I can’t think clearly when I’m haggard. That’s the reason why I sleep first before I write, you can never push me to think when my peepers are too darn heavy to keep open – unless it’s a term paper due the next day (that one is another story).
- Third, it makes you miss the meaning of LIFE. If you’re stressed, you’re too busy to even sip your morning drink with gusto or admire the lush green garden outside of your house because all you think about is that deadline you’ll have to catch or that work you need to master.
Anyway, enough for my rants. Let’s just accept stress as a part of life, and most definitely a part of growing up. Sometimes I just say to myself that the stress I feel today is just about the same stress that I feel way back in school every time exams are up. The only thing that makes the present stress I have so big is because I just “magnified” it myself (which puts me into thinking that maybe I’m just stressed because I’m too hard on myself….. eeerh, yeah. I have to lighten up).
Beat Stress Out Before It Knocks You Down
If you come to think of it, five minutes is such a short span for you to win over stress each day. But believe me, you can stretch those five minutes and think of it as 300 long seconds to prepare yourself for the challenges of each day. How? If you’ve got five minutes, you can choose to do the following:
- 1. Breathe in and out. It may sound simple, but breathing “fresh” air in and out of your lungs actually relaxes your body and fills up your oxygen tank, making your cells well-oxygenated. You can stare at a wall, face your garden, or open the windows while you do this. Just be sure you’re not in a polluted area – unless you want to get asthma or you wanna kill your lungs.
- 2. Listen to your favorite music. Listening to a song you really like works wonders to your mind and body. It perks up your day and makes you think of happy thoughts. If your fave song has a sad theme, you can opt for a lighter song instead because sad songs may set your mood low for the day. If the song’s beat is a little too fast, that’s okay. Remember, your brain waves sync to the rhythm of the beat; therefore fast-beat songs are best if you wanna set the mood high. However, if your choice of songs are somehow too loud and heavy (super rock or heavy metal), then we might have a little problem there – your eardrums get stressed too, ya’ know?
- 3. Pop some vitamins or munch on fruits. Take vitamins – this one won’t need your five minutes – perhaps only ten seconds. You can spend the remaining 4 minutes and 50 seconds then to drink your tea (avoid coffee as much as possible) or play around with your pet. Please, you can reserve the newspaper-session some other time (when you’re not that stressed anymore) because reading crimes and inflation rates may get you to worry more.
On the other hand, eating fruits like apples, oranges and bananas are helpful because they’re healthy!
- 4. Smile or have a quick friendly chit-chat with someone. As they say, smiles are so infectious you can spread one in seconds. Upon waking up in the morning, greet your loved one, family members, or neighbors a sweet “Good morning!” and pair it up with a nice big grin. You’ll realize that even by just smiling, you send shocks of positive energy out of the atmosphere, and what’s good about it is that you get twice as much positivity when someone smiles back at you (especially if he’s cute). Just a warning though, don’t go overboard and say “hi” or smile to just about any human entity you get across the street. You might be mistaken for a politician, or worse – you might get weird stares instead, which can add up to your STRESS factor.
- 5. PRAY. Prayer and meditation is the fastest way to beat out stress. Why? It’s because you’ll realize that you’re not alone in your endeavors. It’s so simple, yet so powerful.
Note to Self
I know that a big chunk of also winning over my stressful life right now is by embracing my work wholeheartedly. Yet right now, I am still in the process of learning how to get there.
Just to Add Up
I’ve learned through books and personal experience as well that the long-term resolution to keep stress at bay is by using the “Power of Three.” No, I’m not talking about Charmed here, I am actually referring to these three things:
- Time Management
- Physical Conditioning
Time Management is all about setting your priorities right each day, making sure that these are in accordance to your goals. This also entails allotting your time wisely for things that matters the most so that you’ll not be too time-pressured always.
Physical Conditioning refers to preparing your body to cope with stress by having enough sleep each night (I try sleeping for 9 hours), eating the right kinds of food, and exercising. Stress affects your body a lot, so be careful with the lifestyle you choose.
Meditation is I guess…. self-explanatory, but just for the knack of it I’d like to point out that your mind and spirit is a very powerful tool. Before you can actually command your body to cool down and relax, you’ll have to convince your mind first to stop “over-thinking” (I over think too…always). In addition, prayer will give you the strength to overcome your stress-ors.
Well, I can’t give you any guarantee that these things will work, but if it does for me – why not try it as well?
How about you, what do you do to beat stress?
Note: I don’t own the pictures posted here, all snaps are linked to the source site.