via the American Heart Association
The holidays can be a stressful time for all. Whether you are a student facing finals or a mother preparing all of those gifts for the Christmas tree, stress can sneak up on you. The American Heart Association came out with a few ways in which to help keep stress at a low. This article is dedicated to the delicate art of self-talk.
Self-talk is one way to deal with stress. We all talk to ourselves; sometimes we talk out loud but usually we keep self-talk in our heads. Self-talk can be positive (“I can do this” or “Things will work out”) or negative (“I’ll never get well” or “I’m so stupid”).
Negative self-talk increases stress. Positive self-talk helps you calm down and control stress. With practice, you can learn to turn negative thoughts into positive ones. For example:
|“I can’t do this.”||“I’ll do the best I can.”|
|“Everything is going wrong.”||“I can handle things if I take one step at a time.”|
|“I hate it when this happens.”||“I know how to deal with this; I’ve done it before.”|
To help you feel better, practice positive self-talk every day — in the car, at your desk, before you go to bed or whenever you notice negative thoughts.
Having trouble getting started? Try positive statements such as these:
- “I can get help if I need it.”
- “We can work it out.”
- “I won’t let this problem get me down.”
- “Things could be worse.”
- “I’m human, and we all make mistakes.”
- “Some day I’ll laugh about this.”
- “I can deal with this situation when I feel better.”
Remember: Positive self-talk helps you relieve stress and deal with the situations that cause you stress.
There are many stressful situations — at work, at home, on the road and in public places. We may feel stress because of poor communication, too much work and everyday hassles like standing in line. Emergency stress stoppers help you deal with stress on the spot.
Try these emergency stress stoppers. You may need different stress stoppers for different situations and sometimes it helps to combine them.
- Count to 10 before you speak.
- Take three to five deep breaths.
- Walk away from the stressful situation, and say you’ll handle it later.
- Go for a walk.
- Don’t be afraid to say “I’m sorry” if you make a mistake.
- Set your watch five to 10 minutes ahead to avoid the stress of being late.
- Break down big problems into smaller parts. For example, answer one letter or phone call per day, instead of dealing with everything at once.
- Drive in the slow lane or avoid busy roads to help you stay calm while driving.
- Smell a rose, hug a loved one or smile at your neighbor.