Baby Steps To Less Stress — For the Holidays and Beyond!
When it comes to the holidays (which seem to start earlier every year), is it a situation of “ho, ho, ho,” or “no, no, no?”
Not everyone can easily slip into the spirit of the season, making November through early January a tough period. And many have good reasons for feeling stress. If you’ve experienced losses of any kind, or are in a tough emotional place, this is a difficult time of year. And you absolutely should not put on a false front for the sake of others, but rather focus on getting your physical, mental and emotional equilibrium back.
If your year-end stress revolves around too much to do, unrealistic deadlines, and a crush of social functions, then taking small steps can deliver big results when it comes to de-stressing — even if just for a few minutes a day. Let us lead you through the baby steps to less stress.
First, let’s look at some basics:
- Identify your root stress triggers. Commonly what we think is causing all of our stress is not the primary issue, it’s often something else and typically psychological.
- Concentrate on understanding your stress response. If you can control your stress response, your stress reduces.
- Thread in coping methods unique for your kind of stress. There are three kinds of stress and appropriate coping methods that fit each one.
Now, what are some simple baby-steps a dentist can use to turn your life around?
Add yet to the end of any sentence for an immediate paradigm shift.
The word “yet” is one of the most powerful words in the English language. It provides hope when you feel stuck. It reminds us that there are still options even when we think we’ve thought of everything. Most importantly, it allows us to forgive the past and focus on creating new normals.
Commit to breathing deeper.
Deep breathing is the No 1 way to reduce stress. Numerous studies support deep breathing as the go-to coping method. It’s how you breathe that will make a difference, so be sure to inhale slowly through the nose and exhale out the mouth. Close your eyes when possible to reduce the amount of stimulus the brain receives.
Focus on one thing.
More of us can turn our lives around when we focus on one thing: make changes, form new habits—and then move onto the next thing. If you have too many situations to change at once, the task becomes too large and instead of forging ahead it’s more common to avoid changes and settle for less. It doesn’t matter which situation you decide to change first. It’s starting the process of change that makes the difference.
What can you do to avoid falling into the trap of stress?
When people know better, they do better. Try these two easy fixes to start heading off your stress:
Sign up for newsletters. Find a stress management expert you like and sign up for their newsletter, blogs or email content. Then read them.
Take webinars. There are free and low-cost webinars to enjoy from the comfort of your office or home that can help manage stress more effectively.
And remember, if you’re becoming more stressed by trying to avoid stress, slow down! Take those deep breaths, sit still for a minute and let your mind quiet itself. Think about the next thing to be done, not the next 10 things, and go from there!
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Interested in keeping your stress at bay?
Note: If you have thoughts of hurting yourself and/or others, please call the national suicide prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255 immediately.
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