Good Evening, Everyone! Shall I welcome myself back from the rock I’ve been under? I hope you all had a great Easter weekend if you celebrated. I loved seeing so many posts of hysterically crying kids on creepy bunny’s laps, celebrations, egg hunts, and food. Its been a full week since I’ve sat down, put the pen to the paper, and logged some thoughts. In this case, laid down and put my fingers to my laptop. I was going to blog yesterday, however, a pretty intense car accident landed me in the hospital. A case of whiplash, a concussion (which means I am one step closer to being like the NFL player I’ve always wanted to be, so who is the real winner here? Call me, JJ!), a jacked up car, and my Sunday was complete. The good news? We were both extremely lucky: I am okay and the driver who hit me is okay. (I hope.) Life will go on. That really s*itty situation also inspired this blog post.
Most people, in these situations, aren’t so calm or forgiving. My perception? Life isn’t easy, why am I going to make it much harder for someone when we’re in an already stressful situation? Accidents happen. Life hack: You literally have a choice on how you respond to the stresses in your life. Crazy, right? I know some people, who know me personally and are reading this, are probably thinking, “Angela? Calm?” Crazier things have happened. I’ve been called a firecracker but I’ve also trained myself on how to remain cool during some stressful times. Here are my five quick tips on how to remain positive during stressful situations in life:
1- Stop what you’re doing. Literally stop the immediate situation, for a few minutes, to take some deep breaths. Breathe in through the nose for a few seconds, hold it for a few seconds, and slowly out through the mouth. This is proven to effectively help calm your body, almost immediately, as oxygen is restored back to the bloodstream. If you’re a yogi, you know ALL about this. Now downward dog like the boss that you are. Namaste.
2- Get to the gym! Endorphins, suit up. Cortisol, you’re on the bench! Obviously this is one of my favorite pastimes and stress relievers. While you’re working out, your endorphins (think of happy little clouds located in the brain that release into your blood stream during physical activity) are up, resulting in cortisol (stress hormone) decreasing. Obviously, when a car hits me at around 25mph while I am at a red light, or my good friend/coworker, Kristy, is going full bore during month end at work, (I can’t tell you how many times I’ve turned around and said, “You’re literally stressing me out, Kristy”) I can’t say, “Guys, be right back, I am going to lift some heavy sh*t and run six miles.” During the times that I am in control, going to the gym elevates my mood, resets my thought process, and helps me focus on things I can control: My health, my strength, and my mind. Now, get outside and go for a walk, will you?!
3- Recite mantras. Okay, so maybe my therapist taught me this but I am not exactly paying her to be my best bud. I am paying her to help me and my anxiety. And guess what? She has. Mantra meditation is the reciting of a personal affirmation or phrase to help you be at peace. IE: “This too shall pass” or it can be something more personal like, “Even though I am in a place of personal conflict, I will find light.” It can even be the repetition of a single word or words like, “peace” or “serenity” or “SERENITY, NOW!” (See what I did there? You’re welcome.) Here is a list of mantras to practice.
4- Talk. Curse. Drop the F bomb 50x in a row if you need to. If you’re going to tell me you’re still stressed after that I am rolling out the polygraph machine. Tell people how you feel! If someone is stressing you out, tell them why. We’re humans, not robots, we can’t read each other’s minds. Expressing your feelings should be an immediate stress relief. (And I quote, “should be.”) If these both fail, pet animals. If you’re not happy after that, you have no soul.
5- Cry. I was a colic baby so I am 100% into crying, it’s totally my thing, and I am not ashamed to admit it. When I am beyond stressed, I cry. When I am sad, I cry. I feel that a good cry always helps shed emotions and stress horomones out of the body. Don’t worry, I totally get that it makes people uncomfortable, so I promise that I usually wait until I am alone to let it out. You’re welcome. (If I don’t, just like, hug me or something.)
Overall, for the most part, we can’t control the stress that comes in and out of our life on a daily basis: Work, family, relationships, financial responsibilities, small humans, and the list goes on. Our response to situations, fight or flight, is the only thing we can control. I hope I’ve inspired some of you to recite some mantras, get a sick workout in, or curse it out. I’ll be back later this week. Until then, be kind to people because you never know what stresses they’re enduring and most importantly, take it easy on yourself.