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Top 10 Stress Management Strategies

“It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.”

Stress is a common side effect of the functional adult life, but in the pandemic affected world, it’s become even more rampant. Top research organizations predict that stress triggered issues like depression, anxiety attacks, domestic abuse, partner to partner sparring has increased by over 50% in the last few months. In the stressful, and unsafe times ahead, stress management is no longer an option, it has become a necessity. The experts at our psychology clinic in San Diego have 10 relatable and comprehensible strategies that will allow you a less stressed existence.

Learn to let go

Mark Manson’s bestselling self-help book, “the subtle art of not giving a fuck,” aptly demonstrates that there are only a limited number of things you can afford to get involved with mentally in life. So choose your areas of an emotional investment carefully; otherwise, you will end up spending away all your emotional energy without any gain. Identify 4 to 6 main issues in your life and focus on them. Everything else, including office grapevines and competitive sparring with loved ones, should go for a toss. Learn to let go, declutter, and clear up your mental space.

Practice Forgiveness

This may seem more spiritual than practical, but in reality, forgiving people leads to a stress-free happy existence with minimum effort. When you lug around anger and resentment with you, your mind never relaxes, and the body keeps on secreting an excess of adrenaline. This curbs appetite immobilizes the kidney and tenses the muscles causing headaches, insomnia, and a poor state of health. Forgiveness lets you relax your mind and cuts the connection between past experiences and illness and stress. Start practicing today by forgiving the relative who passes a sarcastic remark and the person who cuts you off in traffic. And then move on to apply this in larger life spheres.

Invest in relaxation techniques

Invest time and effort in learning therapeutic relaxation techniques like Vedic yoga, breathing exercises, chants, etc. Progressive muscle relaxation exercises, deep monitored breathing exercises, sun salutation yoga and stretching exercises are some common tools for inducing a more restful frame of mind. Remember that any step you take towards better mental health ensures a better future and, therefore, you must never feel ashamed of seeking help.

Reframing your thought process

Reframing is a smart mental technique. It allows an individual to look at a perceived negative situation and then use a realistic approach to re-present it positively. Often, the negatives of a situation affect us completely, and we find ourselves unable to enjoy even the positive points. However, the positives can be seen when you change your vantage point and use the critical thinking process to evaluate the situation realistically.

Use the power of gratitude

Count your daily blessings, and you can enjoy a better future. Spiritual gratitude is a powerful form of de-stressing exercise where the mind is guided slowly to the wells of abundance and goodness existing in our lives. Begin by listing down one thing you are grateful for each day of the week. By the end of a month, you will have an extensive gratitude list that will give you lots of hope and positivity whenever you go through it.

Practice a hobby

Hobbies are powerful ways of channelizing our minds away from the negativities of our lives. Practicing an art form like painting, singing, musical instrument, pottery, craft, or even sports help channelize negative emotions and stress precursors like fear, disappointment, and anger away. If you don’t have a creative pursuit, learn one today and dedicate at least one hour in a day to it. Research says that people with active hobbies live longer and happier lives than those who don’t have a hobby.

Use the technique of Positive Reaffirmation

People with low self-esteem feel de-stressed when they write about an activity that they loved doing. Similarly, people with high self-esteem felt light and cheerful when they wrote down positive self-beliefs about themselves. Either way, regardless of your level of self-esteem, writing down thoughts and activities is mentally beneficial. Highly stressed individuals may feel some of their negative energy draining out when they put their thoughts on paper.

Exercise every day

The benefits of exercise and its links with mental health have been highly documented. Exercise releases a group of endorphins that create feelings of happiness, peace, and contentment in our minds. The more we exercise, the more conditioned our mind becomes in thinking only positive thoughts. So even if you have never exercised before, start today and mark it as a changing point.

Get rid of fear

Fear of the unknown is the biggest precursor to stress and so working on eliminating your fears is a worthy investment of your time. We often find that fear, self-doubts, and uncertainty weigh down our personalities and stop us from achieving milestones that we were meant to conquer. These fears may be financial, psychological, emotional, social, or situational, but they are almost always self-created. Invisible barriers of our mind that we have erected for ourselves. We torture ourselves with questions, “what if this goes wrong” or “what will people say” or “how will these change things for me.” Strengthening your self-belief and spiritual reserves of strength is a very effective way of dealing with fear.

Sign up for CBT

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a kind of psychotherapeutic treatment that allows people to identify and alter destructive thought patterns that cause chronic stress and behavioral issues. CBT changes negative recurring thoughts after identifying and applying a wide variety of strategies like role playing, journaling, and relaxation techniques. CBT should only be attempted in a friendly, professional setting like The Green Room Psychological Services Inc in San Diego. We have a well-equipped team of CBT specialists who will guide you on your quest to find a stress-free existence.

Author
Dr. Neda Khodaparast Neda Khodaparast, PsyD, QME, is the founder and CEO of The Green Room Psychological Services Inc. in San Diego, California. Dr. Khodaparast earned her doctorate from the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology in Boston. She has over 15 years in clinical practice providing individual and couple therapy, as well as conducting forensic evaluations for personal injuries, civil cases, immigration evaluations, and pre surgical clearance psychological evaluations. She has also been conducting medical-legal worker’s compensation evaluations as a Qualified Medical Evaluator (QME) Since 2014. Dr. Khodaparast specializes in utilizing psychodynamic orientation and focuses on treating trauma and PTSD including childhood sexual and physical abuse, sexual assualt’s survivors, war truama, as well as eating disorders, and adoption related issues. She appreciates the complexity of human’s psyche and understands the process and the importance of “meeting the patients where they at.”

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