There are a plethora of things to be stressed out about in our so-called modern, fast-paced, work-a-day world: money or employment, housing, your health, family friends or other relationships. And if your own life isn’t stressful enough, all you need to do is turn on the television or read the newspaper to experience a host of other larger-scale issues to stress about, like environmental disasters, protests against austerity measures, jester-like behavior in politics, globalization, civil wars and child soldiers, et cetera, et cetera. The list of things is, seemingly, endless.
But have no fear: if you were simply stressed out about your own little problem, I don’t mean for you to get even more upset about what is going on in the world at large. I mention them because these things do contribute to your overall stress level, and stress from these larger issues can trickle even into your personal life. It is up to you to decide which is more important to you: the personal or the global issues. In either case, here are some tips that could help you to de-stress, or to “restart” yourself, in order to better face whatever issues, whether inside or outside of your personal life, come your way.
- Exercise. Whatever it is that’s bothering you, you are going to have to deal with it head on – otherwise it is only going to linger on in the background, haunting your every move. Still, you if you are under a lot of stress, you may not be in the right frame of mind to deal with anything. In my own experience, there is nothing better to beat back stress or anxiety than exercise. Whatever it is, a good solid workout is the best thing there is to restart yourself – once the invigoration sets in, you may even find it hard to believe you were so stressed out in the first place.
- Pound a pillow. Sometimes deep breathing, meditation, or bubble baths just won’t cut it. In that case: pound a pillow! It’s very satisfying to let loose physically, and it’s a lot cheaper than taking up the drums. Whoever, or whatever you identify as the source of your stress, just imagine it’s ugly stress causing mug on that pillow, and let ‘er rip! Even concepts or intangible things can be punched: imagine the pillow represents debt, or hierarchy, or even Death itself, then haul off and plant one straight into its intangible face!
- Talk. While the first two tips apply mostly to personal problems (although I guess the pillow could be something like globalization as well) this one applies to both. It seems obvious, not to keep things bottled up inside, but people still do it. Even in situations when people are talking about either their own problems or larger scale problems, there are still often boundaries that people are unwilling to cross. The best thing you can do (short of punching stress itself, in the form of a pillow, in the face) is find someone, ideally more than one, who you can talk to without any reservations whatsoever, where nothing whatsoever is taboo. This kind of full disclosure conversation is rare even among family and friends, so if you have someone you can talk to in this way, don’t let them go.
- Educate yourself. Regarding the larger-scale causes of stress: these things can’t be ignored. If you just try to block them out, they won’t really go away; they’ll just kind of hang over you, like a secret cloud of stress, making you anxious for reasons you don’t know. Even if you try to pretend everything is OK, you know that the ice caps are melting, you know that the bees are dying, you know that a renewed crisis of overproduction could level the economy, and you know that a nuclear bomb could drop at any moment, leveling everything. These things hang over you at all times, causing stress in every aspect of your life. So, don’t ignore them, face them head on. Read about these issues, talk about them, figure out where they come from and how they can change.
- Get involved. Much like with the larger-scale issues, you can read and talk and get involved in issues in your own life. If you’re having relationship issues – read a book about it – become more informed about what your problems are and how you can fix them. If you feel you’re being mistreated at work, find out what your rights are, and if you really need to put up with the abuse that you’re getting. Finally, don’t be afraid of change: if your relationship, your friends, or your job are causing you so much stress, maybe you need to change them completely. Sometimes nothing you can do will fix a situation, and you just have to leave it behind.
So, if you’re too stressed out to deal with things, either inside or outside of your personal life, one or more of these tips might help you to “restart” yourself, to get yourself de-stressed enough to deal with your own life – let alone the fate of planet earth. No matter how big or small the issue is, you need to be in the right frame of mind to approach it in the right way, so try a workout, a pillow pound, a conversation, or some research to get yourself inspired or invigorated enough to take things on. Good luck!
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