Being overstressed for a prolonged period can wreak havoc on your physical, mental, and spiritual health. We need a certain amount of stress to reach our goals or run from an immediate threat. However, since our bodies and minds haven’t yet evolved for modern life, most of us deal with chronic stress.
We can handle the physical, acute stress caused by an encounter with a wild animal or natural disaster instinctively, for instance. All the mental stressors and overstimulation in our society can quickly become overwhelming, leading to stress that never goes away. Despite all the challenges of modern life, we can still take our power back and learn to manage stress.
5 Easy Steps to Stop Feeling Overstressed
Below, we’ll describe a few ways to control stress and feel calmer in daily life.
1. Only Focus on What You Can Control to Stop Being Overstressed.
If you feel overstressed, perhaps you’re focusing too much on things outside your immediate control. For instance, politics, the state of the economy, or other world events might cause you to distress if you watch the news often. However, we don’t have much control over things happening outside ourselves for the most part. All we can do is decide how we react or respond to situations.
So, instead of directing all your energy outwards, learn to explore and control your inner world. If you can conquer yourself and your emotions, that’s all that truly matters in the end. Focus on improving your physical, mental, and emotional health and let go of everything else. When you do that, you’ll feel the world’s weight disappear.
2. Meditate or Practice Deep Breathing.
Countless research studies prove that a regular meditation practice can stop you from being overstressed. A comprehensive meta-analysis on mindfulness-based therapy revealed that meditators also had lower levels of anxiety and depression. Researchers have found that mindfulness triggers positive changes in two different stress pathways in the brain, thereby lowering cortisol levels.
Furthermore, psychologists discovered that people who received mindfulness-based therapy had fewer negative thoughts during heightened stress. Deep breathing exercises work in the same way to reduce stress and cortisol levels, helping you become more aware of your breath.
You could try pranayama, the ancient yogic practice of controlling the breath by breathing in specific patterns. One 2013 study found that people who felt overstressed had lower perceived stress levels after practicing pranayama.
In general, becoming more mindful will help you live a happier, more peaceful life by repairing the connection between the mind and body.
3. Beat the Overstressed Feeling by Simplifying Your Life.
Maybe you feel overstressed because you’re juggling too many things in life. There isn’t much time left for yourself between work, kids, chores, and other responsibilities. Unfortunately, most adults must fulfill an obligation toward society, which requires at least 30-40 hours per week. But, you can choose what type of work you wish to perform.
For example, if you own a business, you have greater control over your schedule, giving you more autonomy. Or, maybe you can ask your boss if you can work from home, eliminating commuting time. You could even sell everything and buy land if you’re able to do so. If you look deeply enough, you can always find a solution to being overstressed.
4. Avoid Dwelling on Negative Thoughts or Circumstances.
Much of our stress comes from our minds, which isn’t always easy to tame. The reason can create chaos or peace in life, but it requires training to weed out negative thoughts. So, if you’re feeling overstressed, try focusing on the positive aspects of life, even if it’s just the little things.
Seeing a beautiful flower on the way to work, or playing with your kids after a long day, can easily lift your spirits. When it feels like you’re drowning with no lifeboat in sight, turn your attention to the beauty and innocence that often gets overlooked in daily life.
5. Make Time For Nature and Exercise.
Sadly, most people spend their days in air-conditioned offices or other buildings, rarely stepping foot into the great outdoors. This lack of nature time may partially explain the mental health crisis, as we need to connect with Mother Earth for overall wellbeing. Not only does nature help us feel grounded – it reminds us where we came from and restores depleted energy levels. In short, it’s medicine for the soul, and we don’t get near enough of it.
Exercise also can help if you feel overstressed because it releases feel-good hormones and endorphins. Our bodies require some movement each day to function correctly and remove toxins built up from the previous day. It’s also beneficial for mental health, as researchers explain a link between exercise and reduced anxiety and depression.
If possible, it’s even better to exercise in nature since you’ll receive even more mental and physical health benefits. Studies have shown that ‘green exercise’ can boost self-esteem and mood, along with reducing symptoms of mental disorders.