It’s very easy to get worked up about things that are out of your control. Some people call it drama, others call it stress, but no matter what you call it when things are not going right we seem to have increased stress and anxiety. Our freak out sessions could be “mini freak outs”, or they could be big time meltdowns, but unless you’re perfect we all suffer from them from time to time.
At the core of getting worked up about things in life lies stress and anxiety. Regardless of the cause this dynamic duo can do major damage to your mental and physical well-being. The truth is many serious illnesses stem from chronic stress and anxiety. Let alone the more “minor” ones like irritability and the feeling of losing control that plague us everyday. It’s vital that we get these negative emotions under our grasp and learn the secrets of coping with stress and anxiety.
At the end of the day we all experience things which are out of our control and cause us unnecessary stress and anxiety. We must learn coping strategies to deal with the pressures in our life. We can choose not to react to stressful things, and learn how to deal with the stress in a positive and productive way. The whole thing starts with managing our expectations.
The Secrets of Coping with Stress and Anxiety
Creating Realistic Expectations
Setting your expectations at the right level is is essential when coping with stress and anxiety. Expectations can’t be too low or too high; they have to be just right. If your expectations are too low than you never put the right amount of effort in to getting stuff done. If your expectations are too high we you run the risk of never being satisfied.
Instead, your expectations have to be realistic. Your “realistic” will be different from someone else’s. Finding your own personal realistic set of expectations and ideals takes trial and error. If you find that you frequently come up short of achievement you may need to tone them down. But be careful how much they get toned down though. Keep your goals and expectations lofty to push you to work hard to achieve them.
No matter how realistic your expectations are, eventually things might go wrong and you might get a feeling that things are out of your control. That’s usually when anxiety sets in. And if you’re like me and everyone else on the planet, you have felt anxiety during these times. Anxiety pushes us out of our comfort zone. We go into a sort of high alert mode looking for any opportunity to escape the anxious situation we find ourselves in.
In some cases we have to fundamentally shift how we look at anxiety. We can start by learning to be comfortable when we feel anxious. Learning to accept anxiety as a normal part of life and dealing with it rationally as it comes is a big step to getting over it.
Feeling anxiety doesn’t mean your weak or can’t handle your emotions. It simply means you’re human and it’s how you respond to that anxious feeling that can improve your life. Relaxed breathing is the time-trusted way when coping with stress and anxiety.
Breathing to Relieve Anxiety
The most basic form of stress relief is “relaxed breathing”. It takes practice to get good at it, so practice at home before you get into a situation where you’ll really need this technique. It’s extremely effective and can be done anywhere. Like I said, it takes a little practice, but once you get good at it you can really do wonders for your stress levels with breathing.
- Start by lying on your back on something comfortable.
- Rest one hand on your tummy and the other on your chest.
- Inhale through your nose and expand your stomach while you do.
- Then slowly exhale through your nose and push your stomach in.
- Concentrate on the hand on your stomach imagining a wavelike motion as you breathe.
- As you gently inhale the air into your lungs count to four.
- Imagine the air being warmed and sent to all parts of your body.
- Pause for one second before you begin to exhale.
- Exhale slowly for four seconds and concentrate on your abdomen falling.
- Repeat this process for a few minutes. If you feel lightheaded than slow your breathing to something a little less deep.
- Once you get good this can be done anywhere. You don’t necessarily have to lie down to do it.
When things start feeling out of control it’s time to refocus on the things you can control. Simple things like relaxed breathing or taking a walk/break to get away from the stress really help. Keeping a positive mental attitude while the world is crumbling around you can take serious practice. Breathing is a good place to start, but there are so many more strategies for coping with stress and anxiety. Learn things that will work for you and practice them before you need them.
What are your secrets of coping with stress and anxiety – feel free to write a comment below.
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Robert Cordray is a former entrepreneur/business consultant that has suffered many anxiety attacks on his own. After finally figuring out how to deal with it, he decided to become an aspiring life/business/career coach to those who are wanting to help themselves at all. For ore information visit: http://www.noomii.com/life-coach-los-angeles-california. Currently, Robert resides in Los Angeles with his lovely wife and three wonderful children.