Stress is one of those things that everyone is aware will happen on a regular basis. Whether you’re stressed about if you’re going to meet a deadline at work or about an argument you had with a friend, the feeling of mental or emotional strain is imminent.
Though the average person could handle stress without an issue, there are times in which stress can get out of hand. What do you do when stress has reached an all-consuming level? Though freaking out, running away, and turning to vices might provide temporary relief, the truth is, the only way to deal with stressful circumstances is to do so with a clear mind.
Clouded Minds Lead to Clouded Judgment
There are circumstances that come up in life that consume you to the point you can’t focus on anything else. The situation becomes so stressful that not only does it cloud your mind, change your mood, and deteriorate your health, but it clouds your judgment. When stress is not dealt with effectively, it can build, and when it does, it leads to clouded judgment and reckless behaviors like the dependency on drugs and alcohol. Unmanaged stress can also lead to lack of concentration, decreased productivity, depression, and anxiety. It inhibits your ability to proactively handle stressful situations going forward.
If you’ve reached a point where drugs and alcohol or reckless behavior has become your method for dealing with stressful situations or clearing your mind, getting help is the first step. Outpatient drug treatment programs and therapists are both viable resources that can help guide you in the right direction.
Clearing the Mind One Step at a Time
To best deal with the stress in your life and/or to get through a stressful moment with a clear mind, you must learn how to cope and essentially redirect your thoughts. Here are some healthy ways to do this:
Write About it – Sometimes, you’re dealing with something but you don’t feel like you want to share it with others. Writing it down can be a great way for you to let out what you’re going through without causing more stress. You can write a letter to the person you’re upset with and throw it away or just keep a journal of your thoughts. Although you didn’t tell anyone, you did get it off your chest and your mind can be clearer.
Meditate – Meditation and mindfulness are both great practices that can help you to refocus your energy on positive thoughts despite what you may be presently going through. Soothing music, calculated breathing, and mindful thoughts can shift your attention from the negativity to something more positive putting you in a better space to deal with the problem at hand.
Turn on the Music and Run – Nothing like music to change the mood and running is a great way to boost endorphins which send “happy messages” to the pleasure center of the brain. Strap on your best jogging shoes, plug in your earbuds, and just run. Try singing along with the songs or looking around at the scenery to get your mind off things.
Talk it Out – Sometimes, venting is the best way to get something off your mind. Talk out what you’re going through with those that are supportive and understanding. A listening ear can go a long way in helping you to declutter your mind. Be sure that you’re talking to someone you can trust not to share your conversation as that could essentially create more stress. If you’re dealing with an especially trying time in your life a therapist, who is legally required not to share your conversations may be a better choice.
Though stress is likely in life, the way you handle stress will have an impact on your overall health. If you’re dealing with a stressful situation in your life, the best thing you can do is clear your mind before dealing with it. Find a way to release the negative energy and initial emotion and see things in a better light. This essentially makes it easier for you to cope. If the stress in your life is getting out of hand, remember getting help from a professional is better than turning to vices like drugs and alcohol.