Stress is a part of every one’s life. We are all juggling with so many tasks at hand and tend to forget our needs to indulge in self care and nurture our spirits. The result is chronic anxiety, depressed mood, anger, poor interpersonal relationships, and insomnia.
It is important to take care of our needs and learn to manage our stress effectively. It is not good to feel guilty when you spend some time taking care of your needs, enjoying the moment, and relaxing. In fact you will feel refreshed and more energized when you take the time to de stress and offer comfort to yourself. When we become too busy taking care of the needs of others, we tend forget that there is an inner child in all of us who needs our tending care. The inner child feels deprived when the needs are not met leading to low self esteem.
Following are some effective strategies to make yourself happy and give comfort:
1. Be Grateful.
Gratitude plays an important role in reducing our worries, and low moods. Writer has elaborated on this concept in other blog posts also. As soon as you wake up, think about ten good things you have and thank your Higher Power for giving you those. This practice makes you become more aware of what you have, as opposed to, moaning about what you lack. The shift in the focus from negative to positive is very conducive to making you feel grateful and changing your affect. Look around your room and find what you are grateful for, then touch it and say thanks loud for four seconds. Touch the object and express your gratitude.
2. Be Mindful.
Mindfulness is being used to treat anxiety and depression these days. Mindfulness entails use of your five senses and being in the present. Stay focused on your breath and thoughts along with bodily sensations. Mindfulness meditation can combat several diseases of the body like inflammation and increase the body’s enzyme telomerase, which slows down aging process. So it is important to give your mind and body a gift of being in the present, as opposed to, worrying about the future and dwelling in the past. You actually have no control on past and future but you can control your present.
3. Find Bliss.
Sometimes little things can give us so much pleasure. Happiness comes from within when you feel good about yourself. There are simple ideas that we can benefit from and feel good in the moment. For example, you may think that coffee, book, light music in the background in your porch will give you happiness. By all means, listen to your gut feeling and spend some time just doing that. Everyone has different formula for happiness but it is good to do these little things in order to comfort you. It gives you some time off from your problems and energizes you for some serious undertakings that you are supposed to take.
4. Be a Child Again
There are so many ideas for self nurturing activities Just indulge in any that you feel will uplift your spirits. Going in a park and swinging on the swings, riding the Ferris wheel, jumping off a bench, having a candle light dinner, taking a bubble bath with aroma of your choice, or enjoying your favorite snack with your loved ones. This way your inner child will not feel deprived and you will feel more uplifted too.
5. Be Optimistic.
Optimism is a personality trait that can be cultivated with practice and awareness. We all face adverse situations but there is an individual difference in our perceptions. Negative people will focus on the gloomy aspects of the situation and positive people will hope for some good things in the situation. For example, somebody looks a t the clouds and rainy day and feels depressed but an optimist will make the best of the day by pulling out a board game and making the best of the situation. Research shows that negative thoughts can affect the chemistry of our brain and affect our mental health adversely.
6. Be Flourishing.
Sometimes it is a good idea to have a measuring stick of happiness, by this, I mean that there must be something in life that you absolutely enjoy. When you are too stressed out and do not spend time doing that activity, you will feel sad and neglected. For example, if you love gardening but you did not take care of your plants and they look dry with dead leaves now due to neglect, try to remedy this situation by making an effort to reverse it and begin spending time in your neglected hobby. This will make you happier again. Once you resume your normal activities and pay attention, you will feel more contended.
7. Speak Positively
Try to develop a positive vocabulary by using positive words. Negative and depressed people always think negative and use words that denote negative focus. Practice your positive vocabulary. Flip your language about setbacks and begin to focus what you can learn from these setbacks. For example, stop saying the word, “I can’t” and change it to, “I can”. Have confidence in your capacities and skills. In this context, it is also useful to designate a “Negative jar”, in which you keep all your negative statements about situations that you utter and put one dollar for each negative statement. Pretty soon, you will give up the habit of saying negative statements. Also, when you demean and berate yourself, try to write these sentences and throw them in a trash can. This practice will slowly decrease the frequency of berating yourself and you will become more positive.
8. Be Productive
Writer has written a blog post on procrastination and how to curb this habit. I would refer the readers to read this post on my website and learn effective ways to address this habit. In order to reduce stress, it is important to put an end to procrastination. When you put off important matters, you will not be able to achieve results and outcomes. However, when you prioritize and make an effort to take actions to get desired results, each success will lead you to the road of happiness.
Procrastination is the biggest cause of stress and when you address it you will feel a relief of tension and productive. Productivity generates good feelings and emotions in the person and facilitates high self esteem. One way to address procrastination is to take care of the most difficult thing first thing. If you are putting off calling someone, make a reminder slip on your keyboard and take care of this first thing in the morning. This way you will avoid thinking about it all day long and feeling stressed out. Purge your junk drawer, clean your closet, organize your closet and shoe rack. At the end of the day, the satisfaction of getting these jobs done will make you feel good.
9. Stay in Touch with your Loved Ones
When people withdraw and isolate, they become loners and this gives rise to the feelings of depression. It is very important to stay in touch with your loved ones, call them when you think about them. This gives them a feeling that you care and improves the bond of relationship. It is good to show compassion to your loved ones too. Listening to the feelings works like a medicine when someone is reaching out for help and support.
Listening skills can be developed with conscious awareness and using reflection of feelings. For example, saying,” I understand how you feel”, “It must have been very hard when………happened to you” and so on. Refection of feelings gives comfort to the other person and heals the wound without much effort. Open your arms wide, embrace, hug, send a video message or text a message of appreciation to someone you love and care. These little things may sound very trivial but they work wonders and act as lubricants to strengthen the relationships. Remember special days of your loved one and call them to wish. Offer appreciation to your loved ones for their talent, strengths and competence because they may be too humble to say it. Learn more about someone you love by asking open ended questions like, “What do you believe in?”” What is your biggest fear?”Offer an internal compliment which has more meaning than external compliments. People feel appreciated when they hear a genuine compliment which focuses on their strength.
10. Be Snuggly
It has been found that when we give someone a big hug, it creates oxytocin in the body. Touch the person you love. Human touch is not just for romantic partners. Rubbing feet, back and neck of your loved ones will stimulate oxytocin. There have been studies done on infants and it was found that babies who were given the human touch had a better emotional development than infants who were kept deprived of human touch.
In this way, we see that we can reduce our feelings of sadness, anxiety, and stress when we keep in mind the above mentioned ideas and act on them. After all, we cannot part with stress completely, but we can make ourselves so resilient that the effects of stress are minimized and we can lead a normal and healthy life. Body and mind are inter twinned. If we allow stress to build up, it will lead to so many health related problems like ulcers, cardiac problems, hypertension, and stroke. By engaging in self care and nurturing our souls, we will reduce the overall impact of stress on our lives. Hypnosis has also been found to be very effective in helping us reduce stress. Relaxation exercises make the person go in a trance and suggestions offered in this state of mind are retained better to help make desired changes. Please visit
www.cognitivehealing.com/hypnosis-services to learn how hypnosis can facilitate growth and freedom from stress, anxiety, phobias, pain, and lack of confidence.
Reference: The Happy Life Checklist by Amy Spencer