Stress is defined as a state of mental of emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances. Change is often a cause of stress. Even positive changes, like having a baby or getting a job promotion, can be stressful. Stress can be short-term or long-term.
What are some Signs of Stress:
When people are under stress, they may feel:
- Unable to focus
Stress also affects the body. Physical signs of stress include:
- Back pain
- Problems sleeping
- Upset stomach
- Weight gain or loss
- Tense muscles
- Frequent or more serious colds
Stress is different for everyone. Managing stress is vital in our everyday lives. I am no stranger to feeling stressed. Surrounding myself with positive people and some other techniques have allowed me to overcome stressful situations. I am still learning and want to share how both you and I can be thinking positively and reduce our stress! Positive thinking can reduce your stress level, feel better with everyday situations, and improve your overall outlook.
Here are ways to start thinking positively and reduce the stress in our everyday lives:
- Breath Deeply – Breathing is healing. Breathing will slow down your system and help you relax
- Check Yourself – Periodically during the day, stop and evaluate what you’re thinking. If you find that your thoughts are mainly negative, try to find a way to put a positive spin on them.
- Count your blessings – Train yourself to find blessings in everything.
- Do not complain – try not complaining for your first 24 hours and see how your life starts changing!
- Focus on what you can control – God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.
- Forgive – When we forgive others we free ourselves of our anger, our judgments, our grievances, our resentments, and our bitterness, all of which interfere with our joy and inner peace. Forgiveness decreases our anger, our depression, our stress and our anxiety. We sleep better. We relate to others better. Our general attitude is more positive, optimistic, and joyful. All of this contributes to our physical as well as emotional well-being, and maximizes our potential to attract people, places and circumstances into our lives which will propel us towards our dreams and our goals.
- Follow a healthy lifestyle – Stress affects the body. Exercise is needed at least three times a week to positively affect mood and reduce stress. Follow a healthy diet to fuel your mind and body. And learn techniques to manage stress.
- Positive Thoughts – If you realized how powerful your thoughts are, you would never think a negative thought again. You can not have a positive life and a negative mind – Joyce Meyer. Being positive in a negative situation, is not naive, it is leadership.
- Practice Gratitude – Gratitude strengthens relationships, improves health, reduces stress, and, in general, makes us happier, according to Dr. Emmons. Gratitude helps us realize what we have. This can lessen our need for wanting more all the time.
- Plan ahead – Planning ahead of time can help you manage challenging situations. Keep a monthly planner. Brainstorm and write what you have to accomplish daily. This is what I have been doing since I have been in middle school. For some reason, writing things down helps me not to forget mentally.
- Practice Positive Self-talk – Start by following one simple rule: Don’t say anything to yourself that you wouldn’t say to anyone else. Be gentle and encouraging with yourself. If a negative thought enters your mind, evaluate it rationally and respond with affirmations of what is good about you. The mind is a superb instrument if used rightly. Used wrongly, however, it becomes very destructive – Eckart Tolle
- Pray More, Worry Less – this is the last and most important factor in my life that helps me be less stressful. Pouring out my heart to my God is something that can not be explained. Once you leave all your worries and troubles in His hands, He will do the rest. He will never give us anything we cannot handle. Prayer is a mental process. When you think prayerfully, with Jesus as your guide, you break free from defeats. I believe any problem, any difficulty can be overcome through prayer. “And all things, whatever you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.” (Matthew 21:22)
When your state of mind is generally optimistic, you’re better able to handle everyday stress in a more constructive way. That ability may contribute to the widely observed health benefits of positive thinking.
MayoClinic.org, Healthfinder.gov, Dr Robert Emmons, Vegsource.com
Happy Positive Thinking!