Stressing Out

By Shani Petroff

Some people get stressed and they can’t eat. When I get stressed, that is not the case. Food tends to be my go to. I’m working on curbing that, and I try to make better choices when I can’t seem to stop myself. However, sometimes I still epically fail and the number of SmartPoints® values I ingest are enough to make me cringe—and ultimately stress me out again. It’s a vicious cycle.

So, what I’m trying to do now is let go of some of the stress.

Since, I can’t (and/or don’t want to) give up the things that are stressing me out, ie. deadlines, presentations, commitments, events, I’ve been trying some little tricks to help calm me down and keep me from running to the fridge. Here’s what’s been helping:

Music/Sounds. A few weeks ago, I went to youtube and typed “music to get rid of stress”, and a whole plethora of options came up. I’ve been listening to one with isochronic tones – which are said to reduce stress. I’m not sure if it really does as it claims, it could be the placebo effect at work, but I’ve been listening to it every time I start to feel anxious, and it has been calming me down.

Sleep. When I get a good night’s sleep, I do feel less stressed out. However, falling asleep when I’m anxious is a challenge. I put on more sounds – this time the sound of rain falling, and it’s been helping me get to sleep faster.

Breathing. I always mean to mediate, but often don’t. However, while the thought of sitting in silence for half an hour sometimes seems daunting, stopping and taking some deep breaths throughout the day, has been pretty doable. I’m hoping that eventually I’ll get to the point, where it’s a normal, everyday habit to sit, breathe, and meditate for extended periods of time.

Heart Rate. When I get really stressed, I sometimes feel myself start to panic. I found in addition to the breathing and the music, watching my heart rate helps calm me down. I bought a pulse oximeter online. (It was less than twenty bucks). You put it on your finger, and it shows both the amount of oxygen in the body and your heart rate. It may sound silly, but seeing that my numbers are in a healthy range, helps calm me during moments when I’m having a particularly stressful time. (It’s also a good reminder to slow down and breathe.)

Happy Distractions. All work and no play doesn’t help ease the stress. I found going for a walk, getting some fresh air, movement, reading a fun book, or even painting my nails all help relax my mind for a little while. I’m then able to go back to the task at hand and be much more productive.

Stress balls/ Baoding balls/ Bubble wrap.  Squeezing a stress ball, rolling boading balls around in my hand, popping bubble wrap has helped me get out some frustration. I find having them around are simples ways to keep my stress at bay!

What are your tips to get rid of stress? You can find me on Connect @shani!

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