Healthier Ways to Stress
How many times have you said or thought, I need to cut all of the negativity and stress out of my life.
You deleted people on Facebook, gave up on trying to make a failing friendship work, dumped a toxic partner, started a new hobby, and probably cut your hair.
Somehow that stress sneaks its way back in though, doesn’t it? You’re down in the dumps and upset. Thinking, It doesn’t make any sense. I deleted those drama addicts on Facebook. I quit talking to so and so. I attempted to craft. I got bangs. Why don’t I feel better?
The negativity is coming from somewhere, but where?
Sometimes it’s from people you love. Family, that doesn’t mean to stress you out or hurt you. Friends whose life isn’t meshing with yours like it once did. Toxic people aren’t always meaning to be toxic. We all have friends or family members who live dramatic lives; always relationship problems, family issues, conflicts at work. You love them and would steal the moon for them, but bearing the weight of others’ issues on top of your own can be overwhelming.
If you’re anything like me, you care too much. You get in too deep and feel every feeling hard, even when it’s not your feeling to feel. You lay awake at night trying to solve your own problems and sort out everyone else’s. You somehow get roped into drama between others. Put in the middle of tricky situations. Before you know it, the only hope of making it through a week is avoiding people all together.
As safe as it feels to ignore messages, lock the doors, throw on a blanket and turn on Gilmore Girls, that’s not healthy either.
Here’s what you need to do instead:
Set Limits and Say No
Say yes when you feel like you absolutely need to, but don’t beat yourself up for choosing not to help someone out of a pickle. If I dropped everything and ran every time someone I love needed something, it would be a full time job. Sometimes you need to just say, no.
I know it sounds easy, but I would be a liar if I said I always do this, because I definitely don’t. No, you shouldn’t have to explain why you’re saying “no” but if you have to for your own conscience, try this:
“No. I am dealing with some of my own stuff right now.”
It’s not going to be easy to do, but with practice it will get easier.
Give Yourself Time to Stress
Vent to a friend, but put a cap on it. Give each other a chance to get it all out. Agree that you will try and talk about other things, more positive things when you’re both done. Don’t let it turn in to a pity party.
If you don’t have a friend to vent to or you don’t de-stress that way, get a journal. You don’t have to write page long entries or get fancy. Just jot down what’s bugging you. I tend to work through things better by writing about them.
Don’t Forget About Yourself
Make a list of things you can do to take care of yourself. My list includes polishing my nails, writing in my journal, and buying new songs. These simple things give me a little time to just focus on myself and indulge in something I enjoy. Stress and negativity do more emotional and physical damage than you think. Counteract it as much as possible.
You’re never going to get rid of all of the negativity in your life. You’re never going to be able to cut out everyone that gives you stress. But you can choose how you’re going to handle it.