When people face stress they may find that thoughts begin to pile on not only present stress but also things that stressed them in the past and even then future.

You may notice when you’re stressed that the same thoughts keep repeating creating an endless loop of worry and stress. This thought pattern does not help solve the issue at hand but, it also could interfere with your day to day life

The solution is to clear your mind and provide yourself with respite from the stress. With a cool approach, you will be able to solve your issue or at a minimum compromise on an answer that’s manageable. People with healthy coping mechanisms for stress tend to have;

Better rest

Lower levels of Cortisol

Improved Creativity

1. Meditation

Research shows that meditation can be helpful in facilitating forgiveness, letting go of rumination, and reducing negative emotions. Meditation provides many other benefits, as well. In order to meditate; go to a place where you feel comfortable, sit in any position you feel most comfortable (preferably one that allows your back to be straight), close your eyes and focus on your breathing.

 Inevitably, your attention will leave the breath and wander to other places. When you get around to noticing that your mind has wandered—in a few seconds, a minute, five minutes—simply return your attention to the breath.

At the start you can begin with 5 minutes, it doesn’t sound like a lot but it may feel much longer when you have no distractions. As you meditate more, increase the amount of time you meditate in order to help increase your focus and mindfulness.

2. Distract yourself 

Sometimes, the best thing you can do to clear your mind is to change your focus. Go outside and exercise. Go and do a project or hobby you have. Read a book you enjoy, maybe go for a walk. Distracting yourself with an activity and changing your surroundings can help promote the flow of ideas 

Doing things you associate positively will boost your mood and increase your focus. Plus helping you take a break from stress and worry.

3. Music

Music can be a dramatic mood changer and if used properly it can help boost your mood and help you concentrate on a task. If you listen to music regularly, you may notice it makes it easier to keep your attention on a task and complete it successfully. 

Music is very personal. Some people like uplifting melodies, some prefer a more mellow one, experiment and see what works best for you depending on your taste. Music with no lyrics tends to be the go-to for most people.

4. Connect with friends

If you’re overly stressed and swamped in your own thoughts you may notice that the behaviour of people around you changes, the mood may become more serious and even despairing, negatively affecting your relationship with other people. 

Focusing on positive relationships can minimize stress and the tendency to ruminate. By strengthening your relationships, you provide yourself with a healthy coping technique.

Processing your problems with an empathetic friend can be a healthy distraction and a highly effective coping method. But even if you choose not to discuss your problems, the simple act of getting together can be useful to clear your mind. It’s a fun and healthy way to deal with stress and anxiety.

5. Goodnight’s sleep

A good night sleep will help you feel energized throughout the day and also protect you from mental fatigue and emotional afflictions.

A lack of sleep is also linked to a decrease cognitive function and motor skills as well as negatively impacting a person’s mood. Also a study found that people suffering from sleep deprivation tend to make more impulsive and riskier decisions than people with a goodnight’s sleep.

Fatigue can amplify your feeling of being overwhelmed, making it more difficult to see things clearly and detaching from thoughts you don’t need. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or fatigued in the middle of the day if possible, consider taking a nap. It may be the boost you need to help you get through the day and get some of your focus back. You may want to be careful since napping for too long can have some drawbacks, check out our article on napping to find out more about napping

6. Avoid Ruminating

One danger to watch out for is the potential for co-rumination. Co-rumination involves regularly revisiting and talking regarding issues with friends. This kind of behavior will result in negative feelings and exacerbate feelings of hysteria and depression.

Talking to friends CAN be a vital outlet, however it’s necessary to recollect that not all sorts of support are essentially useful. Healthy emotional process involves brooding about things realistically, usually realizing ways to unravel issues or find the positives. Rumination generally involves repetitive thoughts that solely target the negative.

If you discover yourself home solely on the negative when talking to friends, it’s possible that you are partaking in non-helpful co-rumination. Search for ways to process your feelings and look for support without slithering into rumination and negative thinking.

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