My friends and I have been thinking of ways to cope with everyday stress. I am a single mother of two kids, and I work at least 40 hours a week. My friend Janie has no kids, but she is a lawyer and her hours are erratic. Arabella has a million kids (just eight, lol) and we call her the baby maker – she maintains their home all by herself. Rosalie has one child who seems to be a wonder kid with lots of activities to do daily that keeps Rose on her toes all the time.
We love our kids and our lives, but stress can sometimes bring us down. As we sat down one Sunday during our usual breakfast date, we aired out this stress issue and discussed natural ways to beat it without having to go to a shrink or resort to drinking ADs. (AD’s are anti-depressants.)
“That reason that stress is so toxic is that it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. When you meet stress with an attitude of “this is too much” and “I don’t want this,” you turn an otherwise natural and normal bodily experience into something dangerous. Your whole body will then shift into resistance and react as if it is under attack.” – Steven Hayes, Ph.D.
Read And Write Your Stress Away
I told my friends of an app in the Play Store or App Store, depending on what type of smartphone or tablet you have, and it’s called Episode Choose Your Own Story. It is an interactive story writing and reading application wherein one can participate – read or write your own story. Episode Team writers or amateur writers from all over the world publish their work within the app, and it’s free unless you want unlimited reads without ads. Genres in Episode include Romance, Drama, Comedy, Fantasy, and Mystery.
It’s been beneficial for me because I get to imagine as I read or write and that refreshes my mind. All worries and troubles leave my head for the time being, and I also get inspired. I love to read their Romance and Mystery stories. Each day, I spend the four passes given by Episode for free as my “relax” time. I also started writing my very own story and right now, it has 20 chapters with 5,600 plus reads.
Yoga As Stress-Relief
According to Ryan M. Niemiec Psy.D., “Any relaxation strategy involves the use of your self-regulation strength. This strength involves taking control of your breathing and creating a greater feeling of calmness in your body’s physiology. In turn, such self-regulation has a positive impact on your racing mind and your worries of the day.”
Her free time was limited, and Janie has always been an exercise buff. She used to do Zumba and some kickboxing but settled with Vinyasa Yoga now to keep fit and release stress. Janie said it was a calming activity for her and that she needed the time to meditate.
Janie would do a sun salutation and the mountain pose upon waking up to start her day right. She would also set aside 15 minutes during lunchtime to perform her moves. Sometimes, her nights are busy, and she can’t do yoga. If her schedule permitted it, Janie would go to her gym and do a full hour of Vinyasa.
Growing Orchids And Flowers Can Decrease Stress
Arabella said that growing flowers is the best thing ever. I mean, I must hand it to her for maintaining a household and taking care of eight kids! Wow, right? She used to look shabby but now, every time we went out, she’d be all glammed up and pretty. Ara said it’s the flowers making her feel and look good. She’s beautiful like her garden, as she says, and it shows.
She also said that the roses she grows acts as her shrink, and steady companion. When you talk to flowers, they listen, she said. They do not criticize, complain, or make you feel bad. I think she’s a hippie and a bit cuckoo for thinking that flowers “listen” to her, but it’s her thing. If it makes her less tense, then, it must be an effective stress-reliever.
Ikebana For Inner Harmony And Respite
Rosalie is part American, part Colombian, and part Japanese. Of course, one of the ways to calm her senses is by doing Ikebana. What is Ikebana, you ask? It is a Japanese practice by geishas in the early days consisting of a disciplined flower arrangement. Today, it is used as a stress reliever by men and women alike, even if they’re not geishas or Japanese.
If you go to Rose’s house, it’s filled with beautifully arranged flowers. It’s just so exquisite. She even gave all of us flower arrangements as gifts last Christmas. The flowers are so heavenly and it keeps her stress-free, too.
Finally, volunteerism. Volunteering has been proven to relieve stress. Kristen Scarlett, LMHC, says, “It can be an uplifting way to change how you feel about your life, and at the same time positively impact someone else’s life in a profound way. In fact, “people can experience a ‘volunteer’s high’.”
These are the things we do to help us cope with our daily stressors. Hope you’ve learned a thing or two and maybe decide to do it for your stress-relieving benefit.