Three Simple Tips for Combating Stress

by Carollyn Mushro

If there has been one common theme of 2020, it could probably be summed up as “change.” For many, constant and sudden changes to life’s routines can result in unwanted stress.

Believe it or not, stress actually serves a purpose. In the caveman days, it served to help us be alert and run from predators. In today’s modern life, it still serves to motivate us, but in situations like studying for a test or performing well at a job interview. 

But left unchecked, if we deal with excess stress and we don’t manage it during our waking hours, it can continue to adversely affect us while we sleep. In some instances, it can even affect us for years to come. In fact, about 80% of our physical ailments can be attributed to emotional root causes! So, if we can find ways to mitigate our potential stressors, we can not only avoid a lot of heartache but physical aches and pains, as well.

Let’s break down three tactics for combating stress that you can access anywhere, at any time. 

Tip 1: Take a deep breath before responding to situations. 

This might sound too simple to be true, but, we have actually trained our brains to react in certain ways given a set of stimuli. So, if we are used to yelling at our kids when they spill something, that is exactly what we will continue to do unless we train our brain to react otherwise. Taking a moment to pause, and get a big dose of oxygen flowing to the brain before we react can not only help to calm us, but also rewire any stressful habits we have built over the years. So, next time you find yourself in a stressful situation, take a moment to pause, breathe & create a new, peaceful response habit.

Tip 2: Find a few affirmations that inspire you.

Affirmations, or positive phrases, can be little reminders of how we want to feel as we go through our days. Our thoughts, as well as our spoken words, are proverbial seeds that ultimately shape our emotions & perception of the world.

For example, if arriving late tends to be a stressor for you, instead of thinking, “I don’t want to be late,” try, “I arrive safely & on time.” Shift your focus from what you DON’T want, to what you DO want. Just be sure to make your affirmation realistic so your subconscious mind doesn’t question it. For example, if finances are a stress, try shifting from “I hate paying bills,” to “Abundance flows easily for me.” A phrase like, “I am a billionaire” is easy for your subconscious to deny if your bank account isn’t sporting that many figures!

Tip 3: Create clear visualizations in your mind.

This is something that works well for me every time I implement it. If something is causing me a lot of stress or worry, I literally close my eyes and picture the positive outcome that I want with vivid detail.

When showing a home, for example, try picturing yourself at the closing table with those clients in a few weeks. How will it feel to hand them the keys? What housewarming gift will you send to greet them when they open that door for the first time? Imagine it happening-- in color!

If we can take a moment to pause throughout our busy days to breathe, say a little mantra, or visualize the reality we want to create, we can diminish the stress we experience and carry around in our bodies. It’s simple-- BREATHE, SAY, SEE. It just takes practice to make it a habit! 

About the Contributor

Carollyn is a wellness enthusiast living in the Chicago burbs with her husband and two children.
She loves inspiring families to find their own healthy journey through holistic modalities.
She loves kombucha, travel, and questioning the status quo.
You can find her on IG: @carollyn.mushro