How to Reduce Stress During Periods of Change

Change is difficult for everyone, but for some, it can be downright crippling. 

Big changes are especially difficult to handle as they often involve many aspects of your life. A pregnancy, loss or cross-country move can create changes that lead to stressful situations. 

And it’s all completely natural. 

Fortunately, there are a few ways you can handle stress to keep it manageable. 

Admit You Are Stressed

This sounds like such an incredibly simple step yet it’s one we all avoid. Admitting there’s a problem is the first step to addressing it. If you’re avoiding this step, you might find yourself snapping at your loved ones and being short-tempered in general. Even if it’s just to yourself, put words to your feelings. From here, it’ll be much easier to tackle.

Avoid Poor Coping Mechanisms

When we’re stressed, too many of us turn to drugs or alcohol to cope. Unfortunately, stress and addiction have a very sordid history and often walk hand-in-hand. 

When stressful times lead to substance abuse, it may seem to solve the problem in the short term, but it’s actually going to make things worse over time. Alcoholism and drug addiction can even cause anxiety in addition to a host of new problems. 

When you’re feeling anxious, it’s a good time to monitor and limit your alcohol consumption.

Remain Proactive

When change occurs, there are usually things you can do to revolutionize your life and take charge of your situation. Whether it’s finding new friends in a different city or planning for family life, you can take the proactive approach to this change and make it as positive as possible. Just the action alone will help you feel better. 

If you feel like someone or something else controls your destiny, it’s easy to feel stressed. But instead of obsessing over “what ifs,” focus on where you are in the moment and have confidence that you can handle what comes your way.

Practice Breathing Exercises

Have you ever noticed how your breath quickens when you’re stressed out? You could be sitting on the couch, but you’re thinking of something that worries you and your pulse and breath speed up. Well, you might be happy to learn that the mind-breath connection works in reverse too. If you can consciously slow your breath, your mind will follow suit. 

Eat Well

When you’re feeling stressed, you might be tempted to eat junk. We tend to flock towards comfort foods in times of stress. But if you want to keep your mind clear and thoughts positive, you must stop stress eating. 

Although it’s easier said than done, finding a way to control this stress eating will allow you to get better control of your mind and body and will be better off for it.

Make A List of Your Victories

When things look bleak, we tend to focus on the negative side of things. The mind tricks us into thinking we have to worry in order to be prepared. To combat this unproductive phenomenon, make a list of every obstacle you’ve overcome in your lifetime. 

As you review this list, take note of the times you thought you weren’t going to triumph. Yet look at how you did. We should all spend more time looking at the small victories instead of the things we think might be problems. 

Periods of change can trigger stress in most of us, especially when that change is unwanted. But if you follow the tips outlined here, you may be able to breathe a little easier. You’ll get through this just like you got through everything up until now. 

2020 Kimberly Signature

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