How I Deal With Stressful Times and Situations

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

This week has been a particularly rough one. Heck, this year hasn't been a picnic. But with this week's mass shooting in Las Vegas and the destructive hurricanes that have hit over the past few weeks, I've been left feeling sad and helpless.

At times like these I tend to unravel and quickly fall into a downward spiral. The fact that I dwell on the negative aspects of bad events certainly doesn't help either. I've been making an effort to catch myself before that downward spiral happens, and it has helped to keep my mood more positive and less doom and gloom.

Here are a few of the ways I deal with stressful time and situations.

1. Find the positives
When bad things happen to good people, it seems almost impossible to see the good in it. But there is good, and you need to always look for it. In the case of the Las Vegas shooting, there were helpers. There were people who came to the aid of those who were shot and suffering. There were people who helped those who were fleeing the scene to find safety. Always look for the helpers. They are everywhere.

2. Practice yoga and meditation
When I was diagnosed with high blood pressure several years ago, I started practicing yoga as a means to help my blood pressure. I had no idea how much of a calming effect yoga would have on me overall. In the past few weeks, I've gotten back into practicing regularly (3 times per week), and I am better able to deal with these stressful events in a more rational (read: less angry) way. Yoga offers me the chance to drop from my thinking mind for at least an hour, putting all the stressful thoughts on hold.

3. Exercise
Exercise releases endorphins, which are natural mood boosters. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins which cause you to experience pleasure and euphoria. Endorphins give you a feeling of bliss and lift your spirits. Laughing also releases endorphins.

4. Listen to music
Nothing has the power to transport me more than music. When I need an escape, I put on a Spotify playlist and lose myself in the music. Music is one of the best ways to get away from it all without ever leaving your home.

5. Do something good for someone
At times like these, we feel helpless and often hopeless. We know there are people suffering who need help. but we are too far away, physically, from the situation to offer help. Look to help a friend or family member who is closer to home, but still needs something from you. It could be a sick friend who needs cheering up or a fellow mom who might need help shuffling kids back and forth to a sports practice or an event.

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