4 Steps to Take Control of Your Stress


Do you ever wonder how could you be having a great day, and in an instant, things completely change? Events such as receiving bad news, going through obstacles with a spouse or significant other, something regarding your child, or getting frustrating news from your job or something going on with a coworker can cause anxiety. All of these instances can cause an immediate upheaval of stress within our mind, our body, and within our spirit. The ugly stress monster! For something to be so intangible, it certainly can rear its ugly head in our lives.

April is Stress Awareness Month, and for many of us, this time last year was the beginning of likely one of the most stressful and uncertain times we have ever experience: the beginning of the pandemic. I believe that as moms, we often disregard our own need for stress management and stress relief. I tend to think that I manage my stress fairly well, but I will be the first to say that the past year has been somewhat difficult. As I began to work from home more, I stayed up later in the evening. I worked out less and as a result, I began to grow less optimistic about the nature of the world around me. On top of that, I was managing the life of a teenage daughter who was now in an uncertain and concerning world that I did not have answers for. The first thing I did was to realize that I was stressed by several factors in my life. Next, I was determined to manage it and get back on track. 

I’ve learned that the following key tips help to press reset and remain panic free during those stressful times. Here are 4 steps to take control of your stress:

Recognize your triggers.
Examples might include: work-related tasks/projects, screaming children, procrastination, loud sudden noises, uncertainty, lack of control, or major life changes. These might involve moving, the loss of a close family member or friend, or a divorce. All of these instances will be a part of life at some point, for each of us. However, it is all about how we manage and deal with it.

Find a few minutes to meditate.
Often, quiet time to reflect, pray, and just have time alone can calm your mood. It allows for the opportunity to simply be still and press reset.

Get moving. 
Exercise and dancing can release endorphins that help lift your spirit and change your mood. Not only can it lift your mood, but it can be a direct outlet to release stress.

See your doctor.
Schedule an appointment to visit your family doctor. Stress can lead to illness and chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, ulcers, obesity, weakened immune system, anxiety disorders, depression, and more. The sooner you seek advice, the sooner you are able to preserve your health.

Often times, we may not recognize the effect of stress in our life until we are inundated in it. It’s important to recognize stress triggers, and be aware of the tools and resources to help us manage it, not only for ourselves, but for the sake of the important relationships in our lives as well. There are many resources that offer guidance with stress management and seeking help. Here are a couple links that can help in offering tools with stress management: The American Institute of Stress and Community Health of Central Washington.


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