Are you feeling stressed? Me too. Some days are harder than others and we’re going to find ourselves grasping at straws to make the stress less impactful. Some days we’ll find ourselves googling methods for reducing stress and trying every damn thing that people throw out there. Some days, what we really need to do is ask ourselves what we need and then take our own damn advice. This is one of those times.
The question becomes: what methods for reducing stress work for me? I’m so glad you asked because it’s taken me years to learn how to manage my stress and if I can impart some of my wisdom onto you and help just one person feel more at peace, then it’s all been worth it.
It’s not always going to be easy. In fact, I’m sure you’ll have to work for it every single day but I do believe when you implement a few of these strategies and figure out which ones work best for you, you’re going to thank yourself. I know that I do, every single time.
5 Methods for Reducing Stress
1. Just breathe
There’s a reason I want this saying to be my next tattoo. There’s also a reason why every time I talk to my friends about something stressing me out, they say “Katie, breathe.” I tell them that when they come to me and we all know it works. So start there. Breathe. I’d love to talk more about some specific breathing techniques to help with this in a future post.
2. Yoga / Mindful Movement
This should come as no surprise that it makes my list. Some days this is a longer practice at a studio and other days it’s a short little video in my at-home yoga space. Listen to your intuition and notice if your body is asking for a more vigorous practice, a slow flow, or a restorative long-hold practice. Good news is that I have all of the above on my YouTube channel.
Some days, yoga may not be your choice to move your body and instead, you may find yourself craving a run, long walk with the dog or weight lifting workout. That’s great too! Find a way to move your body that feels good THAT day and do that. Get the endorphins going and I promise, you’ll start to feel better.
I know journaling isn’t for everyone, but I do encourage you to try it for yourself because journaling works! It helps to talk through your thoughts with yourself. It’s great to have friends who are willing to listen as we vent and try to work through what’s bothering us, but sometimes, it’s something we just need to do ourselves and we can do that through writing it out. Whether you’re free-writing or following a writing prompt, writing in a notebook or typing in an online journal, just start to get the thoughts out of your head.
4. Consider what you can control, work on that!
I have a tendency to work myself up into a pretty intense state of anxiety from time to time, whether that be about finances, relationships, my job, my dog, etc. To combat this, I have to remind myself (and often have others remind me), that we can only control so many aspects of our lives and things aren’t going to suddenly clear themselves up overnight. I have to remind myself that I am taking the steps that I need to improve my financial situation every single day, but that’s not going to clear itself up overnight, it’s going to take small efforts every day. I can’t make someone fall in love with me (and me them) overnight, but I can do the work to heal my past traumas and love myself again. The only thing that comes out of me stressing about all of these things is more stress. Instead, I remind myself that I’m doing what I can with what I have and trust, respect, honor and love myself for that.
This meditation practice can be 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes, or maybe even longer, but it’s a great way to start to calm the mind and body back down. You can follow one of my guided meditations or you can just choose to sit in stillness for a few minutes alone. Whatever you do, this practice is sure to help you find ease amongst this stressful situation.
We’re all a bit different so what works for me, may not necessarily work for you. But next time you’re feeling stressed, I encourage you to try one of these tactics for yourself. You never know, they just might help.
What is your best way to reduce stress?